***Economic Data*** - (CZ) Czech Republic sells CZK8.12B 5% 2019 bond; avg yield 3.818%; Bid-to-cover: 2.7x - (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Jul 16th: +7.6% v -2.9% prior - (CA) Canada May Wholesale Sales M/M: -0.2 v 0.4% - (MX) Mexico May Retail Sales: 5.0% v 3.4%e - (US) DOE weekly energy inventories: Crude +360K v -1Me; Gasoline: +1.2M v +1Me; Distillate: +3.9M v +1.6Me; Utilization: 91.5% v 90.2%e
- Investors bid up equities before the bell, however, all three of the leading indices pushed into the red within the first 30 minutes of trading and remain lower on the day. Fed Chairman Bernanke is due to provide his semi-annual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking Committee later this afternoon and there seems to be some cautious sentiment ahead of his remarks. Recall that yesterday's spurious rumor that the Fed would cut interest paid on reserves; traders seem to be wary follwoing yesterday's run up. Oil prices turned lower after an unexpected build in crude inventories and a much larger than expected addition to distillate stockpiles. Sep crude is now below $77 while heating oil futures are down more. Gold is well off yesterday's eight-week lows, trading round $1,192. Front month copper has moved up 3% to approach a one month high near $3.10. US Treasury prices remain firm as even any notable equity strength seems to have little effect on underlying demand these days. The 10-year yield is still near 3.92% within ten basis points from the lows of the year.
- Morgan Stanley is bucking the trend seen among the other major US banks during earnings season so far. Shares of MS are rocketing, up as much 9% after the firm crushed earnings estimates and grew revenue from equity trading over last quarter's totals (fixed income trading was flat). The bank's Smith Barney brokerage unit was another big profit generator, with income up sharply from last year. Shares of large retail banks US Bancorp and Wells Fargo were also up sharply after the firms beating earnings estimates. Like most other banks reporting so far this quarter, both WFC and UBS saw more incremental improvements in credit quality. WFC's CEO said he expects this trend will continue over the coming year, and is seeing plenty of signs of continued improvement in the credit landscape.
- Dow components Coca Cola and United Technologies both offered largely in line results. Coca Cola's CEO warned that the state of the global economy remains uncertain in many regions, affected by ongoing deficit concerns in Europe, recent downward revisions to China's economy and weakened consumer confidence. The company is seeing very strong growth in emerging markets. UTX nudged up its FY10 guidance a bit. KO is up 2% and UTX is up 1%.
- Shares of tech darling Apple rose another 4% before the open on earnings and revenue outperformance. The firm offered its usual conservative guidance for next quarter. On the conference call Apple's CFO reiterated that the company still can't meet demand for the iPhone 4. Yahoo's results were a bit ahead of expectations. Yahoo's CEO said search is stabilizing and revenues are trending in the right direction. Nevertheless, Citigroup cut the name to a Hold from Buy, and shares of YHOO are down more than 8% this morning. Computer hardware manufacturers Altera and Seagate reported in line results. Altera guided revenue higher than expectations for next quarter, while Seagate's revenue guidance was a bit soft. ALTR is down 3%, while STX is -9%.
- Quarterly results from pharma names Abbott, Boston Scientific and Gilead held few surprises, with results more or less meeting expectations. Abbot said its full-year revenue would be up in double digits and offered plenty of positive commentary on the conference call. ABT is up nearly 4%. Boston Scientific fell as much as 5% despite relatively strong guidance. Shares of Gilead fell more than 3% after the firm trimmed its 2010 sales guidance, although they have bounced back. Genzyme is around even despite missing targets for its Q3 and full year guidance.
- The greenback maintained a firm tone midway through the New York session morning, with EUR/USD hovering around the 1.2800 level as traders wait to see whether Fed Chairman announces any changes in its excess reserves policy. There is technical support around the 1.2750 area with a break below could set up attest of 1.2430 neighborhood. Dealers noted that the greenback typically has not fared well during Fed testimony in recent years.
***Looking Ahead*** - 14:00 (US) Fed's Bernanke monetary report to Senate banking panel (Note: the time changed from 10:00am ET due to earlier signing of Financial Services Regulation - (BR) Brazil Central Bank (COPOM) Interest Rate Decision: Consensus expectations to raise the SELIC Target by 75bps to 11.00%
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