***Economic Data*** - (BR) Brazil Sept Industrial Production M/M: -0.2% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 6.3% v 7.1%e - (BR) Brazil Sept CNI Capacity Utilization: 81.9% v 82.4%e - (CZ) Czech Central Bank left its Repo Rate unchanged at the 0.75%; As Expected - (UK) BoE maintained both its Interest Rate and Asset Purchase Target (APT) at the current levels of 0.50% and Â£200B respectively (as expected) - (US) Q3 Preliminary Nonfarm Productivity: 1.9% v 1.0%e; Unit Labor Costs: -0.1% v +0.6%e - (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 457K v 442Ke; Continuing Claims: 4.340M v 4.378Me - (EU) ECB left its Main Refi Rate unchanged at 1.00%; as expected - (CA) Canada Oct Ivey Purchasing Managers Index: 56.7 v 65.0e - (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: + 67 bcf vs. +65 to +70 bcf estimated range
- Equity markets are gaining sharply worldwide this morning after Fed Chairman Bernanke's $600B gunshot. Initial commentary about Bernanke's move has been mixed, and in rate decisions this morning both the BoE and the ECB pointedly declined to expand their own bond buying programs. ECB Chief Trichet stated that he does not believe that the US is pursuing a weak dollar policy, although commentary from China and Brazil has been less kind, with officials from both nations criticizing the move as dangerous to their economies. The dollar has weakened sharply in the wake of the decision, with EUR/USD heading right for 1.43. Crude remains at levels last seen in early June, above the $86 handle. Gold has turned around as well, with the yellow metal right back near all-time highs, around $1,380. The US Treasury curve continues to morph around the nuts and bolts of QE2. The long end continues to dramatically underperform, especially relative to the belly where much of the Fed purchases are going to take place. The 5-year yield continues to make new all time lows just above 1.02% currently while the 10-30 spread is holding a fresh all time highs above 155 basis points. The US benchmark 10-year yield is down 11 basis points on the day to 2.46%, while GILT and BUND yields are higher.
- Prudential Financial is off its best levels after strong Q3 results, but still up 2%. Note that the firm's assets under management jump appreciably on a y/y and q/q basis. Note that in France, both BNP and Societe Generale reported strong quarterly results. Both banks confirmed they would not have to raise capital in order to meet new Basel III capital requirements.
- Leading independent energy exploration and production firms have reported decent third quarter results. Apache's refsults were up sharply from year-ago levels, although bottom-line profits slightly missed expectations. After a string of acquisitions this year, the company said its 2010 production would be up more than one third y/y. Chesapeake Energy beat top- and bottom-line expectations, and projected strong natural gas production growth for the 2010-12 period. Murphy Oil was the laggard, with both earnings and revenue missing the Street's expectations. Troubled oil services name Transocean missed consensus goals and said it was increasing expenses associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
- A raft of major media names have reported results. News Corp is up a few percent after profits beat the consensus view. On the conference call, News Corp executives said they are seeing no signs of advertising spending getting weaker (as AOL's CEO asserted yesterday). Time Warner Cable beat on earnings handily and launched a huge $4B share buyback, sending shares of TWC up 6%. Cablevision missed slightly. DirectTV was right in line with expectations. DTV and CVC have spent most of the morning slowly crawling out of negative territory.
- There were some ugly parts to today's October same-store sales reports: key mall chains and department stores missed estimates, sometimes by wide margins, with comps slowing noticeably from September levels. However there were plenty of bright spots as well, and many executives cited more difficult y/y comps for some of their issues. Apparel chains American Eagle, Abercrombie and Aeropostale all missed by very wide margins. Bon-Ton, JC Penny and Kohls all reported comp declines that were notably lower than expected. Not everything was terrible among apparel names, and The Limited, Gap and TJX all managed to surprise to the upside. Discount warehouse names BJs and Costco also reported very strong comp store sales. Luxury department store Saks crushed expectations. Despite the issues, nearly all the leading retail names opened strong, and most remain well bid, in line with the broader equity markets.
- The dollar maintained a soft tone across the major and commodity-related pairs as the markets continued to react to the official launch of the Fed's QE2 measure. Weekly claim data did not inspire confidence in the greenback either as the pace of firings continue to linger in the mid-450K range despite over a year of enduring a modest US economic recovery. There were no surprises in any of the European rate decision as the Czech, BOE and ECB all maintained rates at current levels. ECB press conference saw the EUR/USD moved to fresh 9-month highs of 1.4282 and GBP/USD approached the 1.6300 handle as no fresh measures of the Asset Purchase Target fueled further momentum for the sterling. The market all but ignored the continued widening of peripheral spreads ahead of the publication of the Irish 2011/14 budget outlook. A weaker reading in the Canadian Ivey PMI failed to dent much into the USD/CAD as it continues to hover around parity.
***Looking Ahead*** - 11:00 (US) Fed to Purchases Notes/Bonds - 12:30 (IR) Ireland Finance Ministry to publish 2011/14 Budget outlook - 13:00 (SZ) SNB's Danthine Speaks in Geneva - 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell 10-Year TIPS Reopening - 17:00 (CO) Colombia Oct Producer Price Index M/M: No est v -0.6% prior; Y/Y: No est v 2.3% prior - 20:30 (AU) RBA Quarterly Monetary Policy Statement
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Mon 19 Mar 2018 Tue 20 Mar 2018 AA 9:30 GB- CPI A 10:00 DE- ZEW Survey Wed 21 Mar 2018 AA 03:00 AU- Employment AA 9:30 GB- Employment A 12:30 US- Current Account AA 14:00 US- Existing Homes Sales A 14:30 US- EIA Crude A A18:00 US- Fed Rate Decision A 21:00 NZ- RBNZ Rate Decision Thu 22 Mar 2018 AA All Day flash PMIs AA 9:30 GB- Retail Sales AA 12:00 GB- Bank Of England Decision A 13:30 US- Weekly Jobless Fri 23 Mar 2018 AA 12:30 CA- CPI/Retail Sales A 12:30 US- Durable Goods A 14:00 US- New Homes Sales
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