***Economic Data*** - (GR) Greece Feb Current Account: -â‚¬3.3B v -â‚¬3.7B prior - (US) ICSC/GS weekly chain store sales w/w April 17th: +0.2% w/w, +4.6% y/y - (PD) Poland Mar Producer Prices M/M: 0.0% v -0.1%e; Y/Y: -2.4% v -2.8%e - (PD) Poland Mar Sold Industrial Output M/M: 18.9% v 18.2%e; Y/Y: 12.3% v 10.1%e - (BR) Brazil Apr IBGE CPI IPCA-15 M/M: 0.5% v 0.5%e - (US) Redbook Retail Sales w/e Apr 17th: +2.6% y/y; MTD -1.7% v Mar - (CA) Bank of Canada (BOC) leaves interest rates at unchanged at 0.25%; As expected but removed its pledge to maintain rates at current level through June. - (BR) Brazil Mar Tax Collections (BRL): 59.4B v 61.3Be
- US equity indices remain in positive territory despite the mixed brace of earnings reports seen yesterday evening and this morning. The focus is certainly on Goldman's $3.3B profit, nearly twice that seen last quarter, although major DJIA components IBM, Coca Cola and J&J are all in the red on disappointing quarterly reports. Front-month crude is up nearly two bucks, reversing the declines seen yesterday. Note that yesterday evening, Chicago Fed President Evans said the recession is "definitely over" and the odds of a "double-dip" are low, as the economy bottomed out last summer. This morning, the IMF warned that a new phase of the economic crisis could grow out the sovereign debt situation.
- Goldman blew quarterly earnings targets out of the water again. Note that the firm has met or beat expectations every quarter since early 2005. Revenue was substantially higher than expected. Among the firm's businesses, proprietary trading and investments accounted for more than $10B of the firm's reported $12.8B in revenue, up 60% over last quarter. The earnings conference was essentially a review of the SEC probe, during which Goldman's general council reiterated their position that the SEC's charges are groundless. Shares of GS are down one percent, while most of the rest of the major financial stocks are up one percent.
- Large regional banks US Bank and Regions Financial both came in more or less even with expectations. Regions noted that its charge-offs would peak by the end of Q2 and then decline, while US Bank's loss provisions are already starting to decline. Last night Zions Bank's quarterly loss was much smaller than expected. USB is up 1%, while Zion's is up 2.5%. RF is down 3%. Financial services names TD Ameritrade and State Street offered solid results, although AMTD's 2010 guidance was somewhat soft. AMTD is up, while State Street is off 5% and heading lower.
- Dow components IBM, Coca Cola and J&J are all in the red this morning on various sour notes in their earnings reports. IBM is down more than 2.5% despite topping estimates and raising its 2010 forecast; note that the firm's backlog fell slightly over last quarter, in a similar way that GE's smaller backlog spooked investors looking for top-line drivers last week. Johnson & Johnson was way ahead of expectations when taking into account a big one-time gain, while revenue was in line. The firm trimmed its 2010 outlook slightly and guided full-year revenue slightly below par, citing the effects of the healthcare reform. Coca Cola beat bottom-line targets but missed slightly on the top line. KO is down 1.5%.
- Swiss pharma Novartis beat the Street and reaffirmed its full year outlook, and commented that the impact of the US healthcare reform would be "manageable." Biotech giant Biogen Idec was slightly light of earnings expectations. Results at Forest Labs were solid, but the firm's 2011 outlook missed expectations.
- Among industrial names, Steel Dynamics was up as much as 4% just after the open after modestly exceeding analysts' top- and bottom line targets, although the name was in the red within the first 30 minutes of trade. STLD said it has a more stable and positive outlook for the coming quarter and second half of 2010. AK Steel opened underwater and fell to -7% before recovering a bit mid morning. The firm discussed uncertainty over iron ore pricing in its press release, noting that it would not be able to offer forward-looking guidance due to the iron ore issue.
- In currency trading, the Canadian Dollar surged following comments from the Bank of Canada, which removed its pledge to maintain interest rates at the 0.25% level through the end of Q2. USD/CAD dipped below parity in the aftermath of rate-hike expectations. Overall the dollar was mixed against the major pairs. The yen exhibited the most weakness in the New York session as a return of risk appetite coupled with stronger German ZEW and UK inflation data aided the European pairs.
***Looking Ahead*** - (US) Fed's Bernanke, US Tsy Geithner testify at House on Lehman Brothers - (EU) ECB's Weber - EIA energy inventories
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