***Economic Data*** - (BR) Brazil Jan Retail Sales M/M: 2.7% v 1.5%e; Y/Y: 10.4% v 8.7%e - (BR) Brazil Q4 GDP Q/Q: 2.0% v 2.2%e; Y/Y: 4.3% v 4.5%e; GDP 4Qtrs Accumulated: -0.2% v -0.1%e - (SZ) Swiss Central Bank (SNB) maintained its Three-month LIBOR Traget rate at 0.25%; As expected - (CZ) Czech Q4 Final GDP Q/Q: 0.7% v -0.6% prior; Y/Y: -3.1% v -4.2% prior - (US) Jan Trade Balance: -$41.0Be v -$40.2B prior - (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 460Ke v 469K prior; Continuing Claims: 4.500Me v 4.500M prior - (CA) Canada Q4 Capacity Utilization: 70.0%e v 67.5% prior - (CA) Canada Jan New Housing Price Index M/M: 0.4%e v 0.4% prior - (CA) Canada Jan Intl Merchandise Trade: C$0.2Be v -C$0.2B prior - (RU) Russia Jan Trade Balance: $16.8B v $16.1Be; Imports: $11.6B v $12.3Be; Exports: $28.4B v $27.8Be - (MX) Mexico Dec Gross Fixed investment: -4.1% v -54.8%e - (US) Natural Gas Inventories: -111 bcf v -105 to -110 bcf estimate range
- Lower European indices and flat US data - weekly claims held no surprises this morning, while the January trade deficit was only slightly bigger than expected - kept trading to the downside in the early going today. US equity indices returned to around the unchanged mark by mid morning. In the wake of the trade data, President Obama said that export increases were key for G20 to obtain sustainable and balanced economic growth, echoing his State of the Union address. Front month crude is around unchanged.
- Citibank and AIG gained again in early trading this morning, extending the strong gains seen this week. Shares of Citi and AIG have come off in mid morning trade, however. Last night the FT reported that Citi CEO Pandit believes his firm could earn as much as $20B from its core business within a few years, marking a large increase from current earnings potential. Senator Dodd said he would unveil a draft financial reform bill on Monday without support of Republicans. Note that RealtyTrac's February foreclosure activity index racked up its smallest y/y increase since 2006, although foreclosure activity declined less on a m/m basis than in January. Nevada's foreclosure rate continues to rank highest in the nation for the 38th month in a row.
- Novellus is around even this morning after slightly increasing its Q1 guidance and also boosting its orders forecast for the quarter. Men's Warehouse reported a smaller-than-expected loss but missed revenue targets. Shares of MW are -4%. Jackson Hewitt fell as much as 14% after missing top- and bottom-line expectations and warning about a possible covenant breach. JTX is off its worst level in mid morning trade, around -8%. Smithfield Foods is around even after making modest gains in the premarket. SFD beat earnings expectations, but missed on revenue. Note that Exxon is holding its 2010 analyst day today, at which it is outlining capex spending for 2010, estimated at $28B. In line with other integrated oil majors, Exxon is warning the downstream sector remains difficult. Devon is up a hair after agreeing to sell Brazilian, Azeri and Gulf of Mexico assets to BP for $7 billion.
- Plenty of data and comments kept the price action choppy during the New York morning, although the greenback has maintained its mildly softer tone against the European pairs. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) left rates unchanged, as expected, and revised its economic growth forecasts higher. The bank's wording on the Swiss Franc appeared largely unchanged from past statements, indicating it will combat any strengthening of the franc. In addition, the SNB predicted Swiss inflation would breach the bank's 2% threshold for price stability by 2012. The French press reported that President Sarkozy is not in favor of a weak euro. On the Eastern currency front, Polish Central Bank Chief Skrzypek stated that the bank was ready to intervene in Zloty while member Rzonca stated that Zloty strength was the main threat to the Polish economy.
***Looking Ahead*** - Fed's Baxter - (US) US Tsy to sell $13B in 30-year bonds - (CA) BOC Gov Carney
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