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Friday June 18, 2010 - 15:18:50 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update (Trade the News)

Friday, June 18, 2010 10:56:46 AM

 US Market Update

Dow +35 S&P +3.8 NASDAQ +12.3

***Economic data***
- (PD) Poland May Producer Prices M/M: 1.6% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 1.5% v 0.5%e
- (PD) Poland May Sold Industrial Output M/M: 2.0% v -3.4%e; Y/Y: 14.0% v 7.9%e
- (RU) Russia May retail sales M/M: 2.1% v 1.7%e; Y/Y: 5.1% v 4.5%e
- (CA) Canada May Leading Indicators M/M: 0.9% v 0.7%e
- (CA) Canada Apr Intl Securities Transactions: C$12.4B v C$2.5Be
- (BE) Belgium Jun Consumer Confidence: -9.0 v -13.0 prior
- (MX) Mexico Apr Retail Sales: -0.1% v 3.5%e
- (MX) Mexico Central Bank maintains Overnight Rate Unchanged at 4.50%; as expected (10th straight time)

- Trading is subdued in US markets this morning despite "quadruple witching" options expiration. With few major earnings and no US economic data on the schedule, investors have been focusing on continuing commentary out of Europe surrounding bank stress tests and the final day of the European Union summit meeting. The tests will evaluate the ability of European banks to survive more difficult economic conditions, starting with the continent's 25 largest institutions, then progressing to second-tier firms. The euro is sustaining this week's gains, with EUR/USD hovering just below the 1.24 handle, although gold continues to hit fresh all-time highs, with spot gold just shy $1,260 and silver is above $19 for the first time in more than a month . Note that the WSJ published commentary from former Fed Chairman Greenspan this morning, who noted that the perception of substantial borrowing capacity in US is mistaken and warning that the US situation could be analogous to Greece's. Treasury prices are lower pushing the 10-year yield back above 3.2%.

- In equity news, CVS and Walgreens have settled their differences and signed a new PBM network pharmacy agreement (no terms were disclosed). Recall that back on June 7th Walgreens ended participation in CVS pharmacy benefit manager plans, charging that CVS's terms didn't fit its needs. WAG and CVS are up 4% or so, while ESRX, which earlier in the month was seen as a prime beneficiary of the two pharmacies' falling out, is down a few percent. BP is in positive territory after yesterday's tense Congressional hearings featuring CEO Hayward. Moody's and S&P have both downgraded the firm in the wake of the testimony, while the Coast Guard reports that 25K barrels of crude were collected from the leaking Gulf well yesterday, up from 16K the day before.

- EUR/USD remained steady below the 1.24 level in quiet price action. European peripheral debt spreads narrowed, with the spread between 10-year Spain/German government bonds dipping below 190 bps, compared to 220 bps earlier in the European session. Spain's PM Zapatero commented that Spain discussed its economic program and financial system with IMF at a meeting. He noted that labor market reform was the most pressing issue in decades. He could not confirm nor deny the results of stress tests in its banking sector. Mexico Central Bank maintained its Overnight Rate Unchanged at 4.50%; as expected and the 10th straight time keeping the rate steady.

***Looking Ahead***
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina May Industrial Production M/M: No est v 1.5% prior; Y/Y: 9.2%e v 10.2% prior
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Q1 Quarterly GDP: 6.45e v 2.6% prior; Current Account: $400Me v $1.6B prior
- 17:00 (CO) Colombia Apr Industrial Production Y/Y: 6.9%e v 6.4% prior; Retail Sales Y/Y: 10.55e v 9.3% prior
- (CO) Colombia Central Bank Interest rate Decision: Expected to maintain the Overnight Lending rate Unchanged at 3.00%

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