***Economic Data*** - (RU) Russia Mar Industrial Production M/M: 15.3% v 10.5%e; Y/Y: 5.7% v 3.0%e - (BR) Brazil Apr FGV Inflation IGP-10 M/M: 0.6% v 0.5%e - (PD) Poland Mar CPI M/M: 0.3% v 0.4%e; Y/Y: 2.6% v 2.6%e - (IC) Iceland Mar Unemployment Rate: 9.3% v 9.3% prior - (CL) Chile Mar Copper Exports: No est v $2.7B prior - (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 484K v 440Ke; Continuing Claims: 4.639M v 4.580Me - (US) Apr Empire manufacturing: 31.9 v 24.00e - (US) Feb Net Long-term TIC Flows: $47.1B v $29.7Be; Total Net TIC Flows: $9.0B v -$33.4B prior - (US) Mar Industrial Production: 0.1% v 0.7%e; Capacity Utilization: 73.2 v 73.3%e - (US) Philadelphia Fed: 20.2 v 20.0e - EIA Natural Gas Inventories: +87 bcf v +75 to +85 BCF estimated range
- The strong April Empire Manufacturing survey is front and center this morning, with the survey only a bit lower than the five-year high seen last October. Note that the employment sub component was very strong, while the prices paid subcomponent hit its highest level since September 2008. The slightly higher than expected weekly claims data depressed indices before the open, although the data is firmly in the rear view as traders push equities higher, aided and abetted by strong UPS earning guidance and some positive corporate earnings. Note that Citigroup passed the key $5/shr level in early trading this morning for the first time since last fall. Front-month crude is down a few cents, taking a pause after testing the $86 handle in yesterday's session. Natural gas is headed lower after the weekly gas inventory report.
- Economic bellwether UPS is up more than 6% this morning after reporting preliminary Q1 results that crushed not only the Street's estimates, but also the company's own guidance from early February. In addition, UPS hiked it full-year earnings view by nearly 10%. Executives stated the results were powered by a significant acceleration in the international package and supply chain businesses and improved operating margins across all three of the company's segments. FDX is up an additional 3% on the news. Fast food potentate YUM! Brands reported results that were slightly ahead of expectations and reaffirmed its prior guidance. YUM emphasized that profits are being driven by international sales, especially in China, and that sales are not performing to expectations in the US. Shares of YUM are up 4%. Trucking firms Landstar Systems and JB Hunt both modestly exceeded expectations in quarterly reports yesterday evening. Comments from both firms were encouraging: Landstar stated that trends in March and April are much stronger than last year, while JB Hunt said spot market rates increased in the current quarter, another sign of improving transportation economics. LSTR and JBHT are both up around 6%, while competitor YRCW is up 10% on the news.
- In other news, Novellus is not really benefitting from its improved Q1 guidance, given that the name gained 5% yesterday on the strong results from chip major Intel. In addition, the better Q1 projection was chiefly due to a tax benefit. Charles Schwab is down 1% after soft Q1 results, especially on the top line. Apache announced another big acquisition this morning: the firm is taking out Mariner Energy, in a cash and stock deal valued at $2.7B, plus the assumption of $1.2B in Mariner debt. Much of Mariner's portfolio comprises Gulf of Mexico assets (plus some unconventional onshore plays). Note that on Monday Apache said it would buy Devon's Gulf of Mexico assets for around $1B. Mariner has risen more than 40% on the news to meet the deal terms, while APA is down a bit.
- The European peripheral situation continued to dominate the price action for the euro. The spread on the 10-year Greek/German bond narrowed from earlier levels to dip back below the 400bps level. The EUR/USD has yet to fill the week's opening gap presented from last weekend Euro Zone announcement of a â‚¬30B aid-package available to Greece in bilateral loans. The IMF is expected to offer a further â‚¬15B and just stated today that it was beginning negotiations with Greece. The dollar saw some momentum wane after the weekly jobless claims data re-enforced the view that any improvement in the labor market would take time to unfold thus continuing to be a headwind against a sustainable economic recovery. EUR/USD is stabilizing around 1.3560 area. USD/JPY off its European lows and at 93.00 area
***Looking Ahead*** - 11:30 (IS) Israel Mar Consumer Prices M/M: % v 0.1%e v -0.3% prior; Y/Y: % v 3.2%e v 3.6% prior - 12:15 (US) Fed's Bullard in NY on financial risks - 13:00 (US) Apr NAHB Housing Market Index: 16e v 15 prior - 13:30 (SZ) SNB's Jordan - 13:40 (US) Fed's Lockhart press briefing - 15:00 (US) Paul Volker in NY on financial risks
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