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Wednesday March 31, 2010 - 15:28:02 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 11:20:20 AM

 US Market Update

Dow -35 S&P -2.5 NASDAQ -1.5

***Economic Data***
- (PD) Poland Central Bank Interest Rate Decision: Maintained the Base Rate at 3.50%; as expected
- (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Mar 26th: 1.3% v -4.2% prior
- (IN) India Q4 Current Account: -$12.0B v -$10.0Be
- (SA) South Africa Feb Trade Balance (ZAR): -5.7B v -2.1Be
- (PD) Poland Q4 Current Account: -€2.7B v -€1.3B prior
- (US) Mar ADP Employment Change: -23K v +40Ke
- (CA) Canada Jan Gross Domestic Product: % v 0.5%e
- (BE) Belgium Feb Budget Balance YTD: -€4.8B v -€2.9B
- (US) Mar Chicago Purchasing Manager: 58.8 v 61.0e; New Orders: 61.8 v62.2 last; Employment: 53.1 v53.2 last
- (US) Feb Factory Orders: 0.6% v 0.5%e
- (US) Mar Milwaukee
NAPM: 62.0 v 58.0e
- (US) DOE weekly inventories: Crude: +2.9M v +2.4Me; Gasoline: +315K v -1.8Me; Distillate: -1.1M v -1.3Me; Utilization: 82.6% v 81.3%e

- The ADP jobs report has tested the consensus feeling that there will be a big positive payrolls number released on Friday. Equity futures headed lower in the wake of the jobs data, with the downbeat Chicago PMI survey providing further weight after the open. However the major indices are back around even after an hour and a half of trading as investors take the data in stride and concentrate on numbers from the Commerce Department indicating February saw the sixth consecutive increase in US factory orders. Traders are awaiting an announcement from President Obama, who is scheduled to announce an expansion in offshore drilling in US waters. Front-month crude continues to hold above the $82 handle despite the larger-than-expected gains seen in the week's DoE inventory reports. Gold is higher, trading around $1,115, with traders reportedly eyeing stops ahead of $1,123. Grain prices are heading lower after the USDA's plantings report. Treasury markets caught a bid post ADP, but yields have drifted up from opening levels as stock markets recouped some losses.

- With earnings season less than a month away, the preannouncements and profit warnings have begun in earnest. Honeywell raised its Q1 and full-year outlook slightly yesterday evening, noting that orders and revenues continue to show signs of recovery. AutoNation offered a forecast for its Q1 that was right in line with expectations, and said its new car sales would be 18% ahead of last year's levels, and used car sales up 12%.
HON is up 2% and AN is down 2%. Boeing joined many other major corporations in disclosing costs that would accrue from the healthcare reform this year. Boeing sees a $0.20/shr impact from the reform in Q1, with more charges to follow in 2010.

- In earnings, Rite Aid reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss, although its revenue was right in line. The firm's projected losses for FY11 are a good deal higher than expected, due in part to continuing high levels of unemployment. RAD spiked down as much as much as 12%, before recovering by up to -6%. Discount giant Dollar General beat profit projections and guided slightly above par. DG is -2%.
SAIC's results were as expected, although the firm slashed its 2011 guidance due to fewer than anticipated contract wins. SAI is down 7%. Sealy is off nearly 6% after missing expectations by a hair in its Q1 earnings report. In other news, Ford is off 4% after the warrants for paying VEBA costs began trading.

- The dollar was softer against the major pairs following the ADP data. The Chicago PMI also failed to ignite confidence as its major components retrace some of the prior month's strength. Euro deflected a Moody's downgrade five Greek banks and remained above the 1.35 handle during the NY morning. USD/JPY back below the 93 level.

***Looking Ahead***
-12:00 (CO) Colombia Feb 14.1%e v 15.3% prior
- 12:30 (US) Fed's Lockhart speaks on employment
- 12:30 (US) Fed's Duke
- 13:30 (EU) ECB's Bini Smaghi
- 13:30 (BR) Brazil Feb Nominal Budget Balance (BRL): No est v 2.2B prior; Primary Budget Balance: No ext v 16.2B prior
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Feb Construction Activity Y/Y: No est v 2.2% prior



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