***Economic Data*** - (PO) Portugal Oct Construction Works Index: 74.3 v 75.6 prior - (IR) Ireland Oct Industrial Production M/M: -4.8% v 7.9% prior; Y/Y: 7.8% v 10.9% prior - (RU) Russia Oct Trade Balance: $10.5B v $9.9Be - (CA) Canada Oct Int'l Merchandise Trade: -C$1.7B v -C$2.0Be - (US) Oct Trade Balance: -$38.7B v -$43.8Be - (US) Nov Import Price Index M/M: 1.3% v 0.8%e; Y/Y: 3.7% - (US) Dec Preliminary University of Michigan Confidence: 74.2 v 72.0e - (MX) Mexico Sept Gross Fixed Investment: 6.8% v 5.0%e
- US equity markets opened a touch higher this morning, although trading since then has been relatively choppy, with little upside momentum seen. The economic data has been relatively positive, with the US trade deficit falling to its lowest level in nine months in October and US exports at their highest in more than two years. The preliminary DecemberUniversity of Michigan Confidence survey rose to its highest level since January 2008, and prospects for a final deal between the Congressional GOP and the Obama Administration looked better today. Note that traders will be focusing on tonight's November data dump from China, including key CPI data. The US 10-year yield is staying close to that 3.25% level consolidating the week's big move higher in US rates. Precious metals have remained under some pressure forcing the Feb gold contract towards trend line reaching back to this summer.
- Industrial conglomerate United Technology offered markets an initial FY11 forecast at the firm's investor day, with both earnings and revenue projections a bit softer than expected. Executives said they expect market improvements in 2011, with particular strength in emerging markets and the commercial aerospace aftermarket. Industrial services firm Harsco's FY11 outlook was also a below consensus expectations.
- In earnings, GreenMountain Coffee's fourth quarter results were ahead of expectations, while its guidance for the first quarter was mixed, with earnings below par and revenue well ahead of expectations. Shares of GMCR are down nearly 12%; recall that the SEC continues to investigate the firm for accounting irregularities. Shares of National Semiconductor are down more than 6% after the firm missed revenue in its second quarter report and forecasted an even steeper revenue miss for its third quarter. NSM blamed customer inventory corrections for the poor showing.
- On the deals front, Tenet Healthcare rejected an unsolicited $6/shr proposal from arch-rival Community Health Systems. The deal would have valued Tenet at $7.3B. Oxy Pete is shuffling assets in its portfolio, selling oil and gas operations in Argentina to Sinopec for $2.5B and buy properties in South Texas and North Dakota from Shell for around $3.2B. In addition, Oxy raised its quarterly dividend by 21%, to $0.46. Shares of OXY are 2% or so.
- Consolidation remained the theme for the greenback in the New York session. The better US November trade data helped to the longer end of the US curve and provided additional support for the dollar. EUR/USD remained within its 48-hour range but appeared vulnerable below the 1.3160 area. Note that the IMF postponed its scheduled board vote on Irish bailout package for today as it awaited Irish budget measures to be finalized. USD/JPY continues to hover just under the 84 handle.
***Looking Ahead*** - 11:15 (SP) ECB members Trichet and Ordonez Speak in Madrid - 13:00 (EU) EU President Van Rompuy speaks in Madrid - 14:00 (US) Nov Budget Statement: -$130.0Be v -$120.3B prior - (PE) Peru Oct Trade Balance: $ v $601.0M prior
***Key Weekend data*** - (CH) China Nov CPI Y/Y: 4.7%e v 4.4% prior - (CH) China Nov Industrial Production Y/Y: 13.1%e v 13.1% prior
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