***Economic Data*** - (BR) Brazil Oct FGV Inflation IGP-10 M/M: 1.2% v 1.0%e - (PD) Poland Sept Employment M/M: 0.2% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 1.8% v 1.7%e - (PD) Poland Sept Avg Gross Wages M/M: -0.1% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 3.7% v 4.0%e - (CA) Canada Aug Int'l Securities Transactions: C$11.1B v C$6.0Be - (US) Aug Total Net TIC Flows: $128.7B v $63.7B prior; Net Long-term TIC Flows: $38.9B v $61.3B prior - (US) Sept Industrial Production: -0.2% v 0.2%e; Capacity Utilization: 74.7% v 74.8%e - (US) Oct NAHB Housing Market Index: 16 v 14e
- US equities gained modestly this morning on strength in the financials and anticipation of a big earnings week, plus plenty of M&A action. Traders ignored the unexpected decline in the Sept Industrial production numbers just before the open and took profits after the relatively strong Oct NAHB index, which hit its highest level since June. Note that the NAHB said that the new homes market is finally moving past the lull that occurred when the home buyer tax credits expired and economic growth stalled this summer. There has been an interesting exchange among Fed governors over QE2. Yesterday Chicago Fed President Evans Reiterated his support for more accommodation, asserting that further QE should not be data dependent. This morning Fisher went on CNBC to reiterate that the Fed may or may not decided to carry out QE2, and said any decision will be data driven. Crude remains at the high levels seen last week, trading around $83, while gold is just shy of $1,370. US Treasury prices are higher, but the 10-year benchmark yield remains above 2.51%.
- Shares of Citigroup are still at their highs, up nearly 4%, after the bank's rather ho-hum earnings. Citi met analysts' expectations more or less in its Q3, but like JP Morgan last week, Citigroup said it sustained its bottom line in part by releasing money it had set aside to cover bad loans. Note that JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley is up more than 2% in early trading and shares of the other big banks are all in positive territory. Oil services giant Haliburnton modestly exceeded the consensus view. The company said its North American business generated record revenue, benefiting from robust activity in shale gas fields and a shift in drilling to oil basins from natural gas as prices for crude oil firmed during the quarter. Investors were not impressed, and shares of HAL are down more than 4%. Toy firm Hasbro is up more than 6% after modestly beating earnings estimates.
- A plethora of deals and even a deal failure or two have been announced this morning, including the end of the Rio Tinto/BHP joint venture effort. In regards to the latter, BHP and Rio said that their decision to end the attempt to form a jv comes after extensive talks with European regulators, including some, like Germany, who would have prohibited the deal outright. In the biggest announcement in recent memory, Northeast Utilities said it would acquire competitor NSTAR for $40.22/shr, in a deal worth $17.5B. St. Jude Medical announced that it would acquire cardiovascular and atrial fibrillation device maker AGA Medical for $20.80/shr in cash and stock, for a 41% premium to Friday's close, in a deal worth $1.3B. American Commercial Lines said it would be acquired by Platinum Equity at $33/shr, in a deal valued at $777M. Note that shares of Quicksilver Resources are up nearly 20% after a major holder said it was exploring alternatives for its stake in the name.
- FX trading during the New York session confirm there has been no newfound enthusiasm for the dollar, confirming that earlier dollar strength was more a result of positioning. The first monthly decline in US Industrial production since June 2009 had the EUR/USD pair little changed from its opening levels in Asia. In addition, the euro benefitted from news that Spanish PM Zapatero had secured an agreement with the Canary Islands Coalition which would ensure the passage through parliament the minority government's 2011 austerity budget. The light US calendar this week set the trading focus on equities and events elsewhere but dealers conceded the Nov G20 might become a factor as the week grinds on.
***Looking Ahead*** - 11:00 (EU) Euro-Area Finance Ministers Resume Meeting - 12:55 (US) Fed's Lockhart Gives Speech on Economy - 13:00 (GE) RWE Think Tank and German Econ Min Bruederle at Energy Roundtable - (AR) Argentina Oct Consumer Confidence: No est v 48.83 prior
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