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Monday August 16, 2010 - 15:40:14 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update (Trade the News)

Monday, August 16, 2010 11:38:22 AM

 US Market Update

DOW +10 S&P flat Nasdaq +12

***Economic Data***
- (PD) Poland July Budget Level (PLN): +1.6B v -4.8Be; Budget Level YTD: -34.9B v -36.8B prior; Budget Performance (YTD): 66.9% v 70.5% prior
- (IS) Israel Q2 Advanced
GDP Annualized: 4.7% v 2.9%e
- (CL) Chile July Copper Exports: $3.1B v $2.8B prior
- (US) Aug Empire Manufacturing: 7.1 v 8.0e
- (US) Jun Net Long-term TIC Flows: $45.7Be v $35.4B prior; Total Net TIC Flows: $40.0Be v $17.5B prior
- (BE) Belgium May Trade Balance: -€335M v -€992.6M
- (US) Aug NAHB Housing Market Index: 13 v 15e

***Fixed Income***
- (FR) France Debt Agency (ATF) sold total €8.5B in Bills via three tranches versus €8.5B indicated
- (EU) ECB to drain €60.5B at 7-day Term- deposit auction on Tuesday, Aug 17th; settled €10M in Euro-zone gov't bonds in latest week

- The slump in the Japanese Q2 preliminary GDP data provided initial caution in European markets and pre-market US trading. Before the open the August Empire Manufacturing data further weighed on confidence, with its first negative new order component in 14 months. The June TIC data confirmed that
China continues to lighten up on its holdings of US Treasuries. Front-month crude is more or less flat on Friday's level, around $75M. Gold is climbing higher, with the Dec contract around $1,226.

- In earnings, home improvement giant Lowes missed market expectations in its Q2 report very slightly, while the firm's outlook was firmly in line. Lowes' CEO warned that the company's visibility on demand levels is limited in the near term. Shares of LOW and competitor HD are both up 2%. HD reports later this week. Food service name Sysco's Q4 report was in line with the analyst's estimates.
SYY is 2%.

- For-profit education names have been in the spotlight over the last several sessions. On Friday the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pledged to undertake deeper regulation of the for-profit education sector, saying that his department will conduct twice as many investigations and possibly seek criminal penalties against certain individuals. Over the weekend the department said it would set up new benchmarks requiring for-profit institutions to show their programs improve graduates' job prospects without saddling them with large amounts of debt. Strayer and the Washington Post Co. both warned that they may be impacted by the new rules; WPO and
STRA are both down 10%, while competitor COCO is down 25%. For profit name APOL is actually up 5%.

- Plenty of mergers and acquisitions are in headlines this morning. Dell announced it would acquire 3PAR for $18/shr in cash, for an 86.5% premium to Friday's close. The deal values 3PAR at $1.15B; Dell expects the deal to be accretive to non-GAAP earnings in FY12. Flir Systems said it would acquire ICx Technologies for $7.55/shr in cash. Onex Corp offered to acquire the rest of ResCare for $12.60/shr. Vedanta Resources confirms it has offered to acquire 51-60% of Cairn's
India unit for $8.5-9.6B in cash.

- Interest rate differentials are weighing on dollar sentiment this morning. EUR/USD is above 1.2855 in the wake of the Empire Manufacturing data and its very negative new order component. Also weighing upon the greenback was the observation that the 10-year US swap spreads have gone negative. The Greek/German 10-year spread was approaching 820bps, its widest level in three months while the Irish 5-year CDS hit its widest level since March 2009. The ECB once again will drain €60.5B in its one-week term deposit facility and noted that they settled €10M in Euro-zone Govt bonds in the latest week. The info seemed to disappoint the market after chatter circulated that the central bank was buying Irish bonds.

***Looking Ahead***
- (PE) Peru Jun GDP Y/Y: % v 10.8%e v 9.2% prior
- (PE) Peru July Unemployment: % v 7.0%e



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