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Friday May 7, 2010 - 15:51:23 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update (Trade the News)

Friday, May 07, 2010 11:43:58 AM

 US Market Update

Dow -90 S&P -10 NSDAQ -32

***Economic Data***
- (CA) Canada Apr Net Change in Employment: 108.7K v 25.0Ke; Unemployment rate: 8.1% v 8.2%e
- (BR) Brazil Apr IBGE Inflation M/M: 0.6% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 5.3% v 5.2%e
- 8:00 (CL) Chile Apr CPI M/M: 0.5% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 0.9% v 1.0%e; CPI Ex-perishables: 0.2% v 0.4%e
- (CL) Chile Apr Trade Balance: $1.4B v $1.3Be; Total Exports: $6.0B v $5.5B prior; Total Imports: $4.2B v $4.1B prior
- (US) Apr Change in NonFarm Payrolls: 290K v 190Ke; Change in Private Payrolls: 231K v 100Ke; Change in Manufacturing Payrolls: 44K v 20Ke
- (US) Apr Unemployment Rate: 9.9% v 9.7%e
- (US) Apr Average Hourly Earnings M/M: 0.0% v 0.1%e; Average Weekly Hours: 34.1 v 34.1e
- (MX) Mexico Apr Consumer Prices M/M: -0.3% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: 4.3% v 4.4%e; CPI Core M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e

- Investors are totally ignoring the change in the US employment picture seen in today's payrolls data and volatility is surging. Since the open of floor trade S&P E-mini futures have traded in more than a 40 handle range. Early selling sent the DJIA down triple digits, but eventually US indices pared those losses heading into the European close. European bourses finished down roughly 4% and US stock investors remain uneasy, as risk aversion remains the story heading into the weekend. The VIX traded above 40 for the first time since last April. Note that the good news in the payroll report was significantly watered down by the birth-death adjustment and a rise in the unemployment rate. Treasury prices rallied into positive territory as equities have come under pressure. The US 10-year yield is below 3.4% while the 2-year is just above 0.8%. Crude is off another 2.5% to trade near $75 while flight to safety bids buoy Gold around $1200.

- AIG reported another quarterly profit this morning, beating expectations thanks to several high-profile asset sales in the quarter. However, executives remain cautious about generating new business in its operating unit, saying the company continues to face "challenging economic conditions." Goldman Sachs is holding its annual meeting today as rumors heat up about a pending settlement of the SEC's charges against the firm. The WSJ reported that Goldman lawyers had been meeting with the SEC, but that the parties remain far apart on the particulars. Note that CEO Blankfein reiterated that he has no intention of stepping down. Shares of GS are holding up as of writing, keeping in positive territory while the rest of the major banks head down 2% or so.

- Fertilizer name CF Industries surprised investors with a loss, versus expectations for a significant profit in the quarter. The company stated that an unusually wet spring forced farmers to apply nitrogen and other fertilizers in April, harming first-quarter results but setting up a potentially strong second quarter for the firm. CF was up as much as 3% before the slide, with shares around even mid morning.

- Kraft's earnings and revenue beat expectations in its Q1, and the firm guided for the year considerably above par. Losses at prepaid wireless name Leap Wireless were greater than expected, as ARPU declined and churn picked up. LEAP is off more than 12% this morning, dragging PCS down 6% as well. Activision Blizzard jumped as much as 6% after walloping estimates, although the name is heading back towards even with the overall slide. Casino names Las Vegas Sands and Wynn both crushed expectations, beating on earnings by very wide margins. Revenue totals at both names were less exuberant. Both names were up a few percent in early trading, but have gotten hammered, with both below -6%.

- In M&A action, Simon Property increased its offer for General Growth to $20/shr on Thursday, noting that this is the group's final offer for GGP. Pershing Square reiterated its opposition to Simon takeover of GGP, offering to forego 17M warrants if GGP pursues a standalone reorganization plan. This morning GGP said it was still seeking additional bidders, and Simon has reportedly said it will abandon its offer if the court approves the combined offer from Brookfield, Pershing Square and Fairholme. IT services name Stanley, Inc is being acquired by CGI Group via cash tender of $37.50/shr, for a total deal valued at $1.07B.

- In FX, USD/JPY managed to retest the 93 handle following the nonfarm payrolls data. However the birth-death adjustment weighed upon the initial euphoria and sent the pair back under the 92 handle. Germany's upper house of parliament passed the Greek €110B loan package which was passed by the lower house earlier today. GBP/USD was off its session lows below 1.45 and was around 1.4750 in the mid-NY morning. Moody's commented that the UK elections posed no direct threat to the country's sovereign ratings, noting that the differences between UK parties' fiscal plans were minor and should not prevent compromise

***Looking Ahead***
- 12:30 (US) Fed's Plosser
- 13:00 (EU) EU Leaders hold Summit on Greece aid package
- 13:15 (US) Former Fed Chaiman Greenspan
- 15:00 (US) Mar Consumer Credit: -$3.9Be v -11.5B prior



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