***Economic data*** - (BR) Brazil Aug FGV Construction Costs M/M: 0.2% v 0.3%e - (BR) Brazil July Unemployment Rate: 6.9% v 7.0%e - (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 473K v 490Ke; Continuing Claims: 4.456M v 4.495Me - (BR) Brazil July Central Gov't Budget (BRL) 0.8B v 3.0Be - (US) Q2 Mortgage Delinquencies: 9.85% v 10.06% prior; MBA Mortgage in Foreclosures: 4.57% v 4.63% prior - (BR) Brazil July Nominal Budget Balance (BRL): -14.3B v -13.6B prior; Primary Budget Balance: 2.5BB v 4.8Be ; Net Debt/GDP ratio: 41.7% v 41.5%e% - (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: +40 bcf vs. +35 to +40 bcf estimate range ***Fixed Income*** - (CZ) Czech Republic 52-week Bill auction results: Sold CZK7.3B in to in 364-day Bills v CZK8.0Be, avg yield 1.3%; Bid-to-cover: 1.7x
- The weekly claims data has chased away some of the nervousness that has dominated markets over the last several sessions, but trading remains subdued this morning. Volumes are back down again, while the VIX remains relatively elevated. Despite the fact that initial claims fell w/w for the first time in a month and both initial and continuing claims were lower than expected, these key metrics remain well above levels that suggest a healthy economic recovery. An S&P sovereign analyst noted the chances of a double dip were low, but also warned that US lawmakers need to take measures to protect the country's AAA rating. Nouriel Roubini followed up on his call from yesterday that chances of a double dip were approaching 50%, noting that he expects a big downward revision in Q2 GDP in Friday's data. December gold has moved off the two-month highs seen over the last two session, to trade around $1,239, while crude is extending yesterday's late session gains to trade in the $73 handle. Copper is enjoying a sizable bounce as well up more than 2.5% back towards $3.30. Treasury markets initially saw some buying following yesterday afternoons dip but have migrated back towards unchanged. The US 10-year yield climbed back towards 2.55%.
- Fed Chairman Bernanke kicks off the Jackson Hole conference on Friday morning. Generally Fed chairmen have taken a low profile at Jackson Hole, but many analysts anticipate that Bernanke will use his speech tomorrow to reassert control over what has become a fractured monetary policy dialog. Few big new ideas are expected in the speech, and Fed watchers expect Bernanke to counter the idea that the Fed is either paralyzed by indecision or out of ammunition. Note that Bernanke's speech will come after a likely downward revision to 2Q GDP data and will be watched closely for any sign of optimism.
- Dell topped HP's offer for 3Par this morning, with a $24.30/shr offer, just a few cents above HP's $24/shr offer. Shares of PAR are off a few percent on the news, while both HPQ and DELL are up a percent or so. 3Par snubbed HP and went for the Dell offer, which values the firm at $1.6B. Shares of Royal Bank of Canada are off nearly 3% after the firm's quarterly profit fell considerably and missed consensus estimates. The bank blamed its poor showing on much weaker prop trading revenue. On the conference call executives clarified that US and Canada trading was strong in the quarter, while thhe outlier was the European business. Jo-Ann Stores crushed expectations in its Q2, beating profit targets by an order of magnitude. JAS is up 13%. Investors were disappointed by forward-looking guidance out of Guess Jeans, despite the firm beating earnings expectations by a comfortable margin. GES is down 2%.
- The greenback tried to recover from earlier session lows seen in Europe but was back near its session lows during the mid-part of the NY morning. The slight decline in weekly jobless claims and fall in Q2 mortgage delinquencies were favoring some risk appetite in equities thus a softer USD and JPY against the major European pairs.
***Looking Ahead*** - 11:00 (US) Fed to Purchases Notes/Bonds - 13:00 (US) Treasury to Sell 7-Year Notes - 16:00 (US) Jun RPX Composite 28day Y/Y: No est v 2.14% prior; RPX Composite 28day Index: No est v 195.86 prior
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