Dow +108 S&P +10.8 NASDAQ +24.7 ***Economic Data*** - (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Oct 8th: +14.6% v -0.2% prior - (PD) Poland Sept CPI M/M: 0.6% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 2.5% v 2.3%e - (CA) Canada Aug New Housing Price Index M/M: +0.1% v -0.1%e - (US) Sept Import Price Index M/M: -0.3% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: 3.5% v 3.8%e
- Multiple cross currents are moving markets this morning and not all is as it seems. US equity indices are advancing strongly in the wake of solid earnings reports from JP Morgan, Intel and CSX (although shares of JP Morgan, the other major banks and Intel are heading lower in negative territory in mid morning trade; CSX is up a few percent). Equity strength stems from gains on the Shanghai Composite and European bourses, following the record highs seen in China's September FX reserves reportand continued focus on the Fed's likely QE2 announcement next month. Speculation about where QE2 Treasury buying would take place is forcing funds out of the long end of the curve. The dollar strengthened overnight, partially on technical moves, then reversed course in mid morning trading. Gold has spiked back toward all-time highs around 10:00ET as vague chatter made the rounds that China was buying gold as part of its reserve diversification process. Silver is hitting fresh 27-year levels. Oil is back above the $83 handle after reports out of the IEA and EIA indicated that demand is getting back on track.
- JP Morgan's earnings were well above par, benefitting strongly from lower loan loss provisions, while revenue was a hair below expectations. Total funds set aside to cover losses were less than one third the amount set aside in last year's Q3. Note that investment banking revenues fell from last quarter's total, however the decline was not as drastic as many had feared. CEO Dimon said he expects charge offs to further improve next quarter, and also insisted that the emerging foreclosure scandal would have only an "incremental" impact on earnings. The major banks and JPM (with the exception of Citigroup) are heading lower in negative territory. Intel was just a bit ahead of expectations in its Q3 report, with the firm's outlook for Q4 revenue was in line. Intel CEO Otellini said he is expecting customers to pare inventories in Q4 ahead of the release of the widely anticipated SandyBridge processors even as the corporate IT refresh cycle continues. Shares of INTC are off their morning highs and tacking into negative territory. Leading rail name CSX were largely in line with the Street in its Q3. Freight volume growth remains in double digit growth territory, and executives said that business has remained robust in a quarter that is seasonally slow. CSX is up 4%, off its best levels, while the other major rail names are up more than 3%.
- The greenback entered the NY morning on the vulnerable side, with dealers continuing to blame contrasting ECB and Fed policies coupled with big funding flows into emerging currencies. QE2 fever boiled over following the release of the FOMC minutes on Tuesday. However, during today's US session EUR/USD gave back most of its overnight gains, helped along by some verbal intervention by Cyprus and Slovak Fin Ministers coupled with the pair's inability to sustain a move above 1.40. The strength in the USD was not one-sided, with more bumps coming from the usual chatter of Far East interest in euro and commodity-related pairs.
***Looking Ahead*** - (US) Treasury to sell 10-Year Notes Reopening - (US) API Weekly Energy inventories - 17:00 (CO) Colombia Aug Trade Balance: $50.0Me v -$82.9M prior
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