Dow -96 S&P -12.4 NASDAQ -25 ***Economic data*** - (US) Jun Challenger Job Cuts Y/Y: 39.4K v 38.8K prior; -47.1% v -65.1% prior - (BR) Brazil May Industrial Production M/M: 0.0% v 1.5%e; Y/Y: 14.8% v 17.8e - (CL) Chile Central Bank Meeting Minutes: Voted unanimously to raise interest rates by 50bps back on Jun 15th - (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 472K v 455Ke; Continuing Claims: 4.616M v 4.550Me - (BR) Brazil Jun PMI Manufacturing: 52.7 v 52.4 prior - (RU) Russia Jun Reserve Fund: $39.3B v $39.3B prior; Wellbeing Fund: $85.5B v $85.8B prior - (BR) Brazil Jun Trade Balance: $2.3B v $2.9Be; Exports: $17.1B v $17.8Be; Imports: $14.8B v $14.9Be - (MX) Mexico May Remittances: $2.1B v $2.0Be - 10:00 (US) Jun ISM Manufacturing: 56.2 v 59.0e; Prices paid: 57.0 v 70.0e - 10:00 (US) May Construction Spending M/M: -0.2% v -0.8%e - 10:00 (US) May Pending Home Sales M/M: -30.5%% v -14.2%e; Y/Y: -15.6%% v 24.6% prior - (US) EIA Natural Gas Inventories: +60 bcf v +60 to +70 bcf estimate range
- Equity markets around the world continue to gather negative momentum, as weak economic data from various corners of the globe are giving the skeptics plenty of ammunition. Challenger jobs data showed private employers eliminated more jobs in June than they did in May, while the labor department's weekly claims numbers were worse than expected. These reports, plus yesterday's ADP data and a string of weaker than expected reports out of China and Brazil namely, had the bears driving on the NY open. After the opening bell the June ISM manufacturing index was much weaker than expected, hitting its lowest level in six months, while the key prices paid component plummeted to an almost one-year low. After the data the S&P500 briefly traded towards 1010.The S&P cash market has not traded below 1000 in nearly a year. Traders are dumping the dollar, sending EUR/USD straight up through the 1.24 handle. Gold has plummeted this morning, with August gold approaching two-week lows. Front-month crude is down more than three bucks, with the contract holding just above the $72 handle. US Treasury yields continue to plunge as demand for bonds remains strong despite some of the lowest yields in more than a year. The long bond yield now offers less than 3.85% and the 10-year is below 3.9%. The curve continues to flatten with the 2-10 year spread narrowing towards 230 basis points.
- In earnings, wine and liquor name Constellation Brands is down 3% after missing revenue expectations in its Q1 report. Note that Constellation did increase its 2011 forecast, although the range was quite broad and merely met analysts estimates. Competitor Fortune Brands is down 2% on the news. For-profit education name Apollo Group is in the black after a moderately strong Q3 report, and competitor Corinthian is also up in sympathy.
- Earnings season is just around the corner and more profit warnings were out this morning. Taser slashed its revenue outlook for its Q2, warning that revenue has been impacted by delays of a number of large international orders. TASR is down 5%. Renesola was up as much as 6.5% after boosting its Q2 revenue outlook considerably and raising its shipment guidance for the quarter.
- Two names are gaining on various takeover rumors making the rounds. Speculation and rumors continue to boost US-traded ADRs of BP, which is up 4% or so today. During yesterday's sesson, analysts talked about Exxon being a preferred candidate to take out BP. Today reports are making the rounds that a Chinese oil company CNOOC is looking a big stake in the firm's Argentina operations, leading to more pregnant speculation. Shares of discount retailer BJs are up 14% after Leonard Green disclosed a 9.5% stake in the firm and his plans to discuss further options with management.
- The greenback is under pressure as the market focuses on the string of softer US data over the last few sessions. Today's initial jobless claims have shown no sign of any downtrend while the weaker ISM Manufacturing is only adding concerns that the phrase "double-dip" is returning to the market's vocabulary. EUR/USD tested 1.2450 by midmorning in New York as a series of stops were elected at various points. Mid-East sovereign names are said to have been aggressive buyers of euro. USD/JPY hit fresh 2010 lows below the pivotal 88.00 level and now eyes the critical 85.00 level (said to be a possible BoJ currency intervention trigger point among JPY watchers).
***Looking Ahead*** - (EU) ECB member Stark speech - (IT) Jun New Car Registrations Y/Y: No est v -13.8% prior - (IT) Italy Jun Budget Balance: No est v -8.1B prior; Budget Balance (Year to date) No est v -50.1B prior
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