***Economic Data*** - (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Nov 12th: -14.4% v 5.8% prior - (US) Oct Consumer Price Index M/M: 0.2% v 0.3%e; CPI Ex Food & Energy M/M: 0.0% v 0.1%e; CPI NSA: 218.711 v 218.854e - (US) Oct Housing Starts: 519K v 598K; Building Permits: 550 v 570Ke - (US) DOE Weekly Energy Inventories: Crude: -7.3M v -500Ke; Gasoline: -2.7M v -500Ke; Distillate:-1.1M v -2Me; Utilization: 84.0% v 82.9%e
- US and European equity indices are attempting to stabilize this morning, led by the NASDAQ. Eurozone member states tried but failed to get Ireland to accept financial support for its shaky budget and banking system, and the UK stepped in to offer its neighbor additional financial support if needed, helping to reduce sovereign debt fears for the moment. In the US, the Oct housing starts and building permits numbers provoked some worries, although analysts were quick to point out that the decline in overall starts was almost entirely due to a 44% plunge in multi-family starts which historically has been highly volatile month to month. October CPI barely showed a pulse, although analysts continue to expect gains as the anemic recovery slowly gets underway. Note that the y/y CPI figure registered its lowest reading ever at 0.6%. Commodities are largely flat this morning, with traders reluctant to reverse yesterday's slide. Note that the role of the front-month WTI crude contract into January is under way, with the latter now at higher volume than the December contract. Oil prices remain lower despite draws across all three off the weekly petroleum inventory data. Treasury prices are drifting higher for the second straight session pushing the 10-year yield back towards 2.8%.
- The mainstream media is covering the imminent IPO of General Motors in obsessive detail this morning. The IPO will likely price sometime later today or this evening, with shares open for trading during tomorrow's session. Reports have it that the IPO is eight times oversubscribed, with total shares on offer somewhere just shy of 500M. Recent reports have the IPO pricing around $32-33 a share.
- Two more major retail chains reported third-quarter results this morning. Target met expectations and said that it expects fourth quarter comparable-store performance will be the best of any quarter in the last three years. Discount warehouse BJ's beat profit targets and tweaked its 2010 outlook a bit higher. Comp sales at both chains were relatively strong for the quarter. Both TGT and BJ are up 3% or so in mid morning trading, while competitor COST is up 2%. Shares of Walmart are in the red, and have now given up all the gains seen before the open yesterday, following its mixed Q3 report. Chinese solar name Suntech Power missed earnings expectations but beat revenue targets. The firm said it would likely be able to do better than even the top end of its prior guidance for 2010 shipments, with more than 1.5GW in shipments expected. STP fell as much as 10% in early trading, although shares are back to -6% mid morning.
- The FX market continued to consolidate during the New York session after yesterday wild price action. The euro has been aided by renewed chatter that the ECB was again buying peripheral debt, with Portuguese and Greek bonds mentioned specifically. EU President Barroso wrapped up the Eurogroup summit by noting the obvious with a call for the Irish bank crisis to be addressed "speedily" and also asserted that nobody was putting pressure on Ireland to take aid. Dealers again see the 1.3550 level as an hourly pivot point with euro buy-stops building above that level. The dollar encountered some headwinds after the y/y CPI figure hit record lows.
***Looking Ahead*** - (PH) Philippines Oct Balance of Payments: No est v $3.1B prior
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Mon 18 Dec
10:00 EZ- final HICP Tue 19 Dec
09:00 DE- IFO Survey
13:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
13:30 US- Current Account Wed 20 Dec
15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales
15:30 US- EIA Crude Thu 21 Dec
03:00 JP- BOJ Decision
13:30 CA- CPI & Retail Sales
13:30 US Weely Jobless
13:30 US- GDP Fri 22 Dec
09:30 US- GB- GDP
13:30 US- core PCE Deflator & Presonal Income
15:00 US- New Homes Sales
15:00 US- final University of Michigan
17:00 US- early Closes Mon 25 Dec
00:00 Christmas Holidays
Potential Trading Opportunities
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Mon--10:00 GMT-- EZ- final November HICP. flash data are rarely changed.
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH- Medium Tue --09:00 GMT-- DE- IFO Survey. Key report but usually not a market-mover
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH- Medium- Tue --13:30 GMT-- US- Housing Starts and Permits. Leading indicators of activity
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH-Medium- Wed --15:00-- US- Existing Homes Sales. Top Housing statistic
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