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Thursday December 27, 2012 - 17:18:56 GMT
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| | Email US Market Update: Markets genuinely jockeyed by Washington US Market Update: Markets genuinely jockeyed by Washington
Thu, 27 Dec 2012 11:53 AM EST

**Economic Data***
- (RU) Russia Gold & Forex Reserve w/e Dec 21st: $532.0B v $528.8B prior
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 350K v 360Ke; Continuing Claims: 3.206 v 3.20Me
- (US) Nov Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index: 93.7 v 92.2 prior
- (MX) Mexico Nov Preliminary Trade Balance: -$1.3B v -$1.7B prior
- (EU) ECB weekly Forex Reserves w/e Dec 23nd: 226.1B v 228.6B
- (US) Dec Consumer Confidence: 65.1 V 70.0e
- (US) Nov New Home Sales: 377K V 380Ke

Fixed Income:
- (US) Treasury sets auction of $32B 3-month and $28B 6-month bills on Jan 2.

Volume remains light in the US session after European markets traded modestly higher after returning from their holiday break. US stocks started the day flat until the latest pessimistic Fiscal Cliff comments out of Washington knocked stocks lower by 0.5% in the late morning. From the Senate floor, Majority leader Reid suggested that time would likely not allow for any resolution to the cliff before tax rates rise in the New Year. This result was expected by many analysts as it would allow Congress to technically 'cut' tax rates early next year as opposed to preemptively raising the highest brackets before the Fiscal Cliff arrives. Following Reid's comments the VIX volatility index rose above 20 for the first time since July.

Metals markets are broadly higher today following a brief divergence between copper, silver and Gold following the Senate majority leader's comments. March Copper +0.2%, February Gold +0.3%, and March Silver +1.5% for the session.

On the data front, US initial jobless claims yielded a better than expected result, which may be linked to state government office closures during the holiday preventing more filings. US New Home sales figures were broadly in line though showed strong m/m increases in median home price. US Consumer Confidence took a hit in November, coming in almost 5 points below consensus, at a four month low. Many pundits blame the lack of progress in Washington as a possible explanation for the dip.

BCD Semiconductor (BCDS) is trading up +95% today on the merger agreement with Diodes at $8/share in cash. LVB is lower in the session by more than 5% following its announcement yesterday that it had concluded its strategic alternatives process and decided to cancel the sale of its band instrument unit. MRVL is minimally lower today after confirming an adverse court ruling yesterday which sent its stock down more than a point. MRVL highlighted that it intends to appeal the ruling and has yet to determine the possible financial impact to results, though it could ultimately be in the billions of dollars.

The JPY currency continues its weak tone in the session with USD/JPY testing above the 86 handle for the first time since Aug 2010 and EUR/JPY cross above 114 level (16-month highs). The yen weakness continued after new Japanese PM Abe reiterated his aggressive position on policy after he officially took office yesterday.

**Looking Ahead***
All times listed for economic events are denominated in Eastern Standard Time (Add 5 hours for GMT equivalent)

- 12:00 (FR) France Nov Net Change Jobseekers: +25.0Ke v +45.4K prior; Total Jobseekers: No est v 3.103M prior
- 14:00 (AR) Argentina Nov Supermarket Sales Y/Y: No est v 15.5% prior; Shop Center Sales Y/Y: No est v 12.6% prior
- 16:30 (US) Weekly API U.S. Crude Oil Inventories
- 18:30 (JP) Japan Nov Jobless Rate: 4.2%e v 4.2% prior
- 18:30 (JP) Japan Nov National CPI: -0.2%e v -0.4% prior; CPI Ex Food&Energy Y/Y: -0.5%e v -0.5% prior
- 18:50 (JP) Japan Nov Industrial Production M/M: -0.5%e v +1.6% prior; Y/Y: -4.6%e v -4.5% prior




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