***Economic Data*** - (CL) Chile Apr Economic Activity Y/Y: 4.6% v 2.2%e - (CL) Chile May Trade Balance: $0.7B v $1.4Be; Total Exports: $5.4Bt v $5.6B prior; $4.7B v $4.2B prior
- US equities opened little changed from Friday's close and vacillated in the first hour of trade before turning decisively lower before 11ET. Risk aversion is once again the order of the day as the an absence of any US economic data or corporate earnings keeps the attention of US traders fixed firmly on the European sovereign debt situation. Spreads for CDS insurance on European sovereign debt has been spiking to post-euro launch highs, with the spread between 10-year Spanish and German government bonds widening out above 200bps. With news on FY11 budget moves coming out of both the UK and Germany, not to mention Hungary, investors are worrying about nasty deficit surprises. Additional uncertainty has come from an overnight press report that Germany's high court might block or delay the nation's participation in the â‚¬750B Euro Zone debt backstop package. Also lurking in the background is expectations for news when the market will see the results of European bank stress tests as the EU looks to ferret out which of its banks could face the worst exposure to the continuing debt debacle. US Treasury markets are basically flat, consolidating Friday's move higher. The benchmark 10-year yield remains just below 3.2%. Gold has caught another bid taking the Aug contract back above $1230, not far from its all time highs put in just below $1250 in early May.
- BP disclosed this morning that the cost of its response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill to date has cost $1.25B, and once again stated it was too early to say what the final cost of the disaster might be. The company also stated that it is collecting upwards of 10K bpd following the successful connection of the cap to the leaking well head last week, and that this figure would slowly increase over the next few days. Note that after growing speculation that BP could become a takeover target due to the dramatic decline in valuation over the last two months, there were reports in the UK press overnight that the firm was looking to hire an investment bank to protect against hostile bids. BP's US-listed shares were up a few percent in early US trading, before moving back towards unchanged.
- Shares of CVS are off nearly 10% after Walgreens cut off its participation in CVS's pharmacy benefit manager plans. In a letter to CVS, Walgreens said that it was troubled by uncertainties surrounding transfers of customers among CVS's pharmacy networks and the unpredictability of its reimbursement rates. Among the beneficiaries have been PBM names Medco and Express Scripts, both of which are up around 4%. WAG is down 2%, off earlier lows.
- European finance ministers were out in force during the early US session reiterating that the euro's current level was not a big worry (saying instead that the rapid decline of the single currency was troubling) as it would bolster exports. The feel-good story from the European session that Hungary was no Greece waned somewhat during the course of the New York morning. Secondary effects of the EU's â‚¬750B debt rescue package were in evidence this morning: the Italian Debt Agency (Tesoro) stated that it would increase its 2010 debt issuance plans in order to finance its participation in the aid package. EUR/USD has been unable to move above 1.20 and saw most of its post-Tokyo open gains evaporate, while USD/JPY has unable to move above the weekly pivot point of 92.30. The European peripheral sovereign spreads versus Bunds continue to remain elevated at, with the focus on Spain. The spread
***Looking Ahead*** - (CA) Canada's Fin Min Flaherty and BOC's Carney - (US) Fed's Yellen - (US) Apr Consumer Credit: -$2.0Be v $2.0B prior
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