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Friday September 17, 2010 - 15:33:07 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update (TTN)

Friday, September 17, 2010 11:27:14 AM

 US Market Update

Dow +10 S&P +2 NASDAQ +10

***Economic data***
- (BR) Brazil Sept FGV Inflation IGP-10 M/M: 1.1% v 1.2%e
- (PD) Poland Aug Producer Prices M/M: -0.2% v -0.1%e; Y/Y: 4.1% v 4.2%e
- (PD) Poland Aug Sold Industrial Output M/M: -1.8% v -1.6%e; Y/Y: 13.5% v 13.3%e
- (US) Aug Consumer Price Index M/M: 0.3% v 0.3%e; CPI Ex Food & Energy M/M: 0.0% v 0.1%e; CPI NSA: 218.3 v 218.3e
- (BE) Belgium Sept Consumer Confidence: -4.0 v -4.0 prior
- (US) Sept Preliminary University of Michigan Confidence: 70.0e v 68.9 prior

- Investors' risk appetite returned after yesterday's strong earnings out of Oracle and Research in Motion, with solid gains seen in Asian equity trading (ex Shanghai Composite, which suffered from more speculation about PBoC tightening) and early European trading. US consumer prices posted a small rise in August, but outside of a big jump in volatile gasoline prices, inflation was essentially flat. Traders struggled to shrug off reports that
Ireland could need more EU/IMF aid (the euro gave up its earlier gains while equity and commodity prices moved off the highs of the European session), but ultimately US indices opened in the black. The miss in the September University of Michigan confidence data sent equities back to unchanged, although indices are attempting to head higher once again in mid morning trade. Note that it's an options expiration Friday, and traders are going to great lengths to float spurious rumors to game the market. Gold remains well bid, only a bit below yesterday's all time highs. The US 2-year yield hit another all time low at 0.46% on this morning's renewed European sovereign debt concerns. The 10-year is off its best levels of the day and its yield is lower by a couple basis points sitting just below 2.75%.

- A trio of positive tech stories is moving selected names this morning. Oracle beat expectations in its Q1 report yesterday after the close. Both the top and bottom line were solidly ahead of analysts' estimates, and the firm's guidance for Q2 was in line. Oracle's CEO said he is seeing purchasing orders "getting bigger" as customers trend toward buying both software and hardware from the company. Research in Motion also beat expectations in its Q2 report and crushed estimates in its guidance for Q3. Finally Texas Instruments launched a mammoth stock buyback program, worth $7.5B or approximately 25% of the firm's current market cap, and also hiked its quarterly dividend. Shares of
ORCL are up 6%, RIMM is off its best levels at +2% and TXN is steady at +2%.

- Two DJIA component manufacturing names, Caterpillar and Boeing, have announced good news on orders. Boeing received a 50-plane 737 order from
Russia worth nearly $4B, and also said that it would boost its 737 production rate due to increased demand from customers. Boeing said it has a backlog of more than 2,000 orders for 737s. In its three-month dealer statistics out today, Caterpillar said that June through August machine retail sales were up 37% y/y.

- On the M&A front, Johnson & Johnson said it was in advanced talks to acquire Crucell for €24.75/shr in cash, valuing the firm around €1.8B. Crucell focuses on vaccines and antibodies for infectious diseases, which would help J& J fill in a key area where it has little presence. Citigroup is selling off much of its majority 80% stake in Student Loan Corporation to Discover Financial and Sallie Mae. Discover is buying the firm's private student loan business as well as $4 billon of its private student loans, while Sallie Mae is acquiring $28B in securitized federal student loans. Citigroup said it would take a loss of about $500M loss on the deal.

- Overnight risk appetite from strong equity gains in the Asia session weakened the greenback ahead of the US premarket session this morning, with EUR/USD rising steadily from just above the key 1.30 level up to an overnight high just shy of 1.3160. But as US traders were beginning to come into the market the Irish Independent published a troubling report, citing comments from a Barclays analyst, that Ireland may need to solicit further financial aid from the IMF and the EU if its fiscal situation worsens. "
Ireland does not need aid - at least not yet" read the report, which insisted the Irish Treasury cannot afford unexpected financial sector losses. Immediately risk started coming off and CDS spreads on sovereign debt of the usual suspects began widening out; CDS spreads between 10-year Irish debt and the 10-year Bund hit an all-time high of 369 bps. EUR/USD sank back towards 1.30 (gaining only momentarily around the U of Michigan data), but as of yet is above this key support line. Both the IMF and Irish Finance Ministry have been in headlines denying any substance to the report.

***Looking Ahead***
15:00 (AR) Argentina Q2 Quarterly GDP: 11.0%e v 6.8% prior; Current Account Balance: $331M v -$365M prior
17:00 (CO) Colombia July Industrial Production Y/Y: 8.0%e v 8.5% prior
17:00 (CO) Colombia July Retail Sales Y/Y: 14.01%e v 15.4% prior



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