***Economic data*** - (UK) Aug CBI Industrial Trends Total Orders -14 v -14e - (CA) Canada July Leading Indicators M/M: 0.4% v 0.7%e - (CA) Canada Jun Wholesale Sales M/M: -0.3% v 0.4%e - (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 500K v 478Ke; Continuing Claims: 4.478M v 4.50Me - (US) Aug Philadelphia Fed: -7.7 v 7.0e - (US) July Leading Indicators: 0.1% v 0.1%e - (US) EIA Weekly Natural Gas Inventories: +27 bcf vs. +27 to +34 bcf estimate range
- Equity futures traded off before the US open on some vague European sovereign worries this morning, but the slide really got underway after the weekly claims data. With initial jobless claims now at their highest level since last November and at the psychologically important 500K handle, the negative reading in the Philly Fed at really hit equities. Note that this was the first negative reading in the Philly Fed since July 2009, with worrying negative readings seen in both the new orders and employment sub components. The Fed open market operations did not have their salutary effect due to the overall risk aversion theme, and investors have been moving assets into the usual safe havens. Front-month gold is extending its three-week streak, with the December contract trading at $1,237. Government debt is very well bid, with the yield on the 10-year Bund hitting fresh all-time lows, the yield on the 10-year Gilt below 3% and the 10-year US below 3.7%. Crude is rolling over from the September into the October contract, with the latter trading just below $75.
- More deals are in headlines this morning after several days of strong merger flows. Intel is buying computer security firm McAfee for $7.68B, adding security to its toolbox for providing components for Internet-connected devices such as tablet computers and mobile phones. Intel said the deal would be slightly dilutive to earnings in the first year, and that McAfee will continue to focus on its current business and product lines. INTC is down 3% on the news. MasterCard is buying the UK's DataCash Group, an online payment services provider, in a deal worth $520M. In other merger news, small cap banks NewAlliance and First Niagara are merging in an all-stock deal valued at $1.5B. Finally the WSJ reported that Research in Motion is holding talks with online advertising firm Millenial Media, for a deal worth up to $500M. Note that RIMM is struggling to catch up with advertising initiatives by Apple and Google.
- In earnings, tech names Tech Data and Applied Materials both outperformed consensus estimates. Earnings out of Tech Data were relatively strong in its Q2 report, but revenue only a bit ahead. The firm said FX would have a bigger impact in the second half. AMAT's Q3 was strong, thanks to very firm growth in the company's solar and silicon businesses. The firm's guidance for Q4 was also above target. Brocade's Q3 report met earnings expectations but missed top-line estimates. BRCD's guidance for Q4 and 2010 were all below par. TECD is donw 1%, AMAT was up 2% but is now around even, while BRCD is down nearly 5%.
- More retail names reported quarterly results this morning. Office supply giant Staples met expectations in its Q2 results but guided lower for Q3 and narrowed its 2010 outlook, noting that it would no longer be able to defer certain overseas taxes. The Limited was also in line in its Q2, while guidance was cautious. New York & Company's quarterly loss was greater than expected. Sears Holding's losses met expectations. Stage Stores authorized a new stock buyback program, but missed revenue targets in its Q2. Discount name Dollar Tree beat expectations but considerably reduced its 2010 outlook. SSI is up 12%, DLTR and NWY are up 6%, LTD is around even and SPLS is down 3%.
- Risk aversion flows prompted by the negative US data kept the greenback from weakening against the major pairs, although the dollar remains relatively contained at the lower level of recent ranges. The USD/JPY pair hovered near 15-year lows and was back below the pivotal 85 handle in the aftermath of the Philly Fed.
***Looking Ahead*** - (AR) Argentina Aug Consumer Confidence: No est v 48.17 -prior - 12:00 (TU) Turkey Central Bank Interest rate Decisions: Consensus expectations for the both the Benchmark Repo Rate and Overnight Borrowing to remain unchanged at 7.0% and 6.50% respectively - 12:30 (US) Fed Bullard - (BR) 13:30 Brazil Jul CAGED Formal Job Creation: 183.5Ke v 213.0K prior
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