***Economic Data*** - (US) Feb NFIB Small Business Optimism: 88.0 v 89.3 prior - (US) ICSC/GS weekly chain store sales w/w March 6th: +2.9% w/w, +3.4% y/y - (US) Redbook Retail Sales for the week ending Mar 6th: % y/y; MTD % v Feb - (US) Mar IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism: 45.4 v 46.8 prior - (MX) Mexico Jan Final Trade Balance: -$333M v -$332.6M prior (MX) Mexico Feb Consumer Prices M/M: 0.6% v 0.5%e; Y/Y: 4.8% v 4.8%e; Core CPI M/M: 0.4% v 0.4%e
- US markets opened a hair lower on weakness in Europe after another morning with little economic data to speak of. Today is the one-year anniversary of the 2009 stock market bottom. A year ago the S&P500 closed at 666 but now hovers near 1140. Stocks moved up right from the NY open led by the tech heavy NASDAQ. Bond prices opened higher but have relinquished much of the gains as equity momentum built. The 10-year yield is holding 3.7%. Front-month crude is down about a buck, to trade just above the $81 handle.
- Texas Instrument's guidance for its Q1 was right in line with the Street in yesterday's mid-quarter update. Executives said demand is robust in industrial markets, with orders remaining strong in the quarter, driven by the demand side rather than just the supply side. TXN is -3%. Tivo beat top- and bottom-line expectations in its Q4 report, although the firm expects quarterly losses to continue next quarter. TIVO +2%. Kroger also beat expectations at both ends, although its 2010 outlook was slightly soft. Burger King warned that January and February comps were severely impacted by the winter weather, with a loss of 3.0 percentage points to comps. BKC is in the green, along with most of the other fast-food names. Shares of industrial measurement firm Zygo Corp are down 15% on the day after II-VI withdrew its $10/shr acquisition proposal first made back in January. Shares of IIVI are up 4%. Zygo had previously rejected the offer, noting its preference to remain independent. First Solar is in the red despite a big 300MW new contract from PG&E.
- The NY morning was characterized by the dollar retracing earlier price action but remained firmer compared to Tokyo opening levels. The dollar's price action inversely mirrored equities as both European and US exchanges recovered earlier losses. ECB's Weber came out against the proposed European Monetary Fund (EMF) on the grounds that the fund would create moral hazard by encouraging governments to pursue easy fiscal policies. Talk circulated that an EU Draft Document saw Greece's projected tax revenues lower than the â‚¬2.4B austerity forecast although the â‚¬2.4B in spending cuts appeared sufficient to reach its 2010 budget goal. The document reportedly saw the total Greece debt trajectory moving upwards. EUR/USD is holding below the 1.3590 area while USD/JPY unable to move back above the 90 handle.
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