***Economic data*** - (CA) Canada Aug Consumer Price Index M/M: -0.1% v 0.0%e; Y/Y: 1.7% v 1.9%e - (CA) Canada Aug Core CPI M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 1.6% v 1.6%e - (BR) Brazil FGV Inflation IGP-M: 1.0 v 1.1%e - (BR) Brazil Sept IBGE CPI IPCA-15 M/M: 0.3% v 0.2%e - (PD) Poland Aug Core Inflation M/M: -0.1% v 0.0%e; Y/Y: 1.2% v 1.2%e - (US) Aug Housing Starts: 598K v 550Ke (+10.5% m/m); Building Permits: 569K v 560Ke - (US) Redbook Retail Sales w/e Sept 18th: +2.7% y/y; MTD -0.4% - (BR) Brazil Aug Current Account: -$2.9B v -$2.5Be; Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): $2.4B v -$2.2Be - (MX) Mexico July Retail Sales: 2.2%e v 1.5% prior
- Markets are holding steady this morning ahead of the FOMC decision. Note that the S&P500 has sustained its breakout from the trading range seen since late May, opening a bit lower at 1142 but well above the key 1130 area that was broken in yesterday's session. EUR/USD is probing six-week highs thanks to relatively positive results from the Irish, Spanish and Greek debt auctions in the European session. Data out in the premarket showed that August housing starts and building permits grew on a m/m basis, hitting their highest levels since April. Note that a 32% m/m increase in condo and apartment starts helped pull up the overall housing starts data. In one key area weakness persists: single-family permits, which declined 1% m/m in August to a 16-month low. Natural gas prices have surged 4.5% following forecast that temperatures could be well below normal in the mid-west and east by the time December rolls around. November crude is down 1% at $75.50 ahead of this afternoons API data. The benchmark 10-year yield is lower by 3 basis points at 2.67% while the 2-year rate hit another all time low briefly below 0.45% earlier.
- In earnings, Carnival is up 3% after decent Q3 results and higher FY10 guidance. In the earning release, Carnival said that booking volumes for the remainder of 2010 and the first half 2011 are running ahead of the prior year at prices in line with prior year levels. Competitor RCL is up nearly 4% on the positive report. AutoZone merely met expectations in its Q4 results and shares of AZO are down 2%. Consumer staples name ConAgra Foods missed top- and bottom-line expectations and reduced its FY11 guidance slightly, sending shares of CAG down 5%. Other processed food names are off on the news as well. Companies associated with heavy truck and equipment manufacturing are up this morning after German manufacturers MAN Group and Daimler both offered bullish commentary on the market for trucks. Daimler said new truck orders were up 65% ytd. CAT, CMI and F are all up 1-2% on the news.
- The euro is benefitting from a round of decent peripheral Euro Zone debt auctions seen before the US session. The auctions were not problem free, especially given the lower bid-to-cover seen in the Spanish bill sale, but nevertheless EUR/USD is just below the 1.3150 level last seen in early August. USD/CHF is lower, hovering just above parity at 1.0021 in the wake of a troubling reading in Switzerland's August trade balance. Exchanges of heated rhetoric between Washington and Beijing continue apace, even after the PBoC set the midpoint of the CNY trading range at its highest level since the 2005 revaluation. Note that there was interesting commentary out of China's SAFE overnight. In an essay on deepening yuan reform, an official wrote that China should not fear a floating exchange rate and that reform should focus on improving mechanism, not adjusting FX levels.
***Looking Ahead*** - 14:15 (US) FOMC Rate Decision: Expected to maintain interest rates at 0.25% - 16:30 (US) API Weekly energy Inventories - 17:00 (US) ABC Consumer Confidence w/e Sept 19th: No est v prior
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