***Economic Data*** - (US) ICSC/GS weekly chain store sales w/e Jul 31st: -0.1% w/w; +3.9% y/y - (BR) Brazil Jun Industrial Production M/M: -1.0% v -0.8%e; Y/Y: 11.1% v 11.9%e - (US) June Personal Income: 0.0% v 0.2%e; Personal Spending: 0.0% v 0.1%e - (US) June PCE Core M/M: 0.0% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 1.4% v 1.3%e; PCE Deflator Y/Y: 1.4% v 1.3%e - (US) Redbook Retail Sales w/e July 31st: +2.9% y/y; MTD: -0.6% v Jun - (SI) Singapore July Purchasing Managers Index: 52.2 v 51.0e; Electronics Sector Index:55.7 v 50.1e - (US) June Factory Orders: -1.2% v -0.5%e - (US) June Pending Home Sales M/M: -2.6% v +4.0%e; Y/Y: -20.1% v -15.6% prior
- US equities are holding up relatively well this morning, all things considered. After an initial decline, the leading indices are heading back toward unchanged as of mid day. The surprising decline in the June factory orders data upset investors and also sent EUR/USD above 1.3250 briefly. Before the open, June income and spending were seen as flat in reports. With focus shifting to Friday's payrolls data, Treasury Sec Geithner warned that it was possible that unemployment would continue rising for a couple of months but tried to sooth sentiment by saying the economy was "gradually healing." Retailers are being hit hard by the spending data (JCP is down 7%); note that July same-store sales are due tomorrow and on Thursday. The upward momentum in front-month crude is hardly being checked by the weak US data; the contract has gained another 1% this morning, to trade above $82. US Treasury markets remain well bid as noted by another new all time high in the Sep 10-year note future above 124, as well as fresh all time lows in the 2-year note yield.
- MasterCard's results were largely in line with analysts' expectations in its Q2 report this morning. Shares of MA are in the red, with shares of AmEx and Discover down even more. Note that both MA and V remain down after yesterday's news that mobile phone carriers were firming up plans for online payment systems, reportedly in cooperation with Discover. Shares of DFS are down 2%, giving up yesterday's gains. On the conference call, MasterCard's CEO said the firm was waiting for the Fed to develop regulations based on the Durban amendment before determining the bill's impact on its business. In other financial sector news, mortgage insurer Radian had a terrible second quarter, with earnings and revenue far, far below expectations. Shares of RDN are down 16%, while other mortgage insurer names are down in sympathy.
- Shares of Dow Chemical are down nearly 9% after the firm missed consensus targets in Q2 results. Revenue growth was mostly flat across regions, expect for some growth in the North America business, while the company warned on the conference call that demand could remain flat next quarter. Small-cap chemical manufacturer Westlake crushed expectations, but DOW's weakness and overall jitters about the recovery are weighing on the name and WLK fell as much as 6% before recovering slightly. Big ag name Archer Daniels Midland beat profit targets but missed on revenue by a wide margin. But with agricultural commodity prices at record highs, investors are happy to pile in the stock, with ADM up 2%.
- Pharma giant Pfizer was well ahead of both top- and bottom-line expectations. Pfizer also reaffirmed its 2010 guidance range, and the CEO said the company would hit the upper end of the range for the year. On the conference call, executives said Pfizer would increase its dividend in December. Press reports note that Sanofi and Genzyme are holding "friendly talks" over a potential merger, with a preliminary offer from Sanofi for Genzym said to be around $69/shr.
- In consumer-facing stocks, Dow component Procter & Gamble missed Q4 consensus estimates by a hair and offered soft Q1 earnings guidance. PG is down 4%. Casino operator MGM's quarterly loss was greater than expected, although revenue hit targets. The firm's REVPAR is holding up well, but gambling revenue is down from last year (when conditions were terrible). MGM fell 3% on the poor results, but popped up into positive territory as executives discussed sale of the firm's stake in Atlantic City casino Borgata. Rental car name Dollar Thrifty met earnings expectations, although its revenue was somewhat soft. It also raised its full year EBITDA view. Shares of DTG are down one percent. OfficeMax crushed bottom-line targets, but revenue was merely in line, and lower on a y/y basis. OfficeMax's CFO expects to face headwinds in the second half of 2010, with challenging macroeconomic conditions and continued weak US employment trends. Shares of OMX are down 11%.
- The greenback came off multi-month lows as New York traders arrived at their desks, although the dollar continues to suffer from a crisis in confidence. With spending and income stagnating in the US and unemployment still near 26-year highs, the US currency has a lot to overcome. The Japanese yen appreciated against all major pairs. EUR/USD is holding above 1.3210 while USD/JPY continues to probe the 85 handle. The last break below 85.00 was back in late Nov 2009 and has long been touted as the line-in-the-sand for possible BOJ currency intervention. The market appears to be testing the will of the Japanese central bank on the currency situation.
***Looking Ahead*** - (IR) Ireland Finance Ministry publishes Jan thru July budget data - (MX) Mexico July IMEF Manufacturing Index: 53.1e v 53.6 prior; Non Manufacturing Index: 53.1ev 53.3 prior - (US) API Weekly energy inventories - (US) ABC Consumer Confidence w/e Aug 1st: -46e v -48 prior
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