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Wednesday February 13, 2013 - 17:06:29 GMT
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| | Email US Market Update: Equities Head Lower After S&P500 Makes Another Five-Year High

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 11:50 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (IE) Ireland Dec Trade Balance (First Estimate: 3.0B v 4.3B prior
- (ZA) South Africa Dec Retail Sales M/M: 1.0% v 1.0%e; Y/Y: 2.3% v 1.6%e
- (PT) Portugal Q4 Unemployment Rate: 16.9% v 15.8% prior
- (RU) Russia Jan YTD Budget Level (RUB): -81.3B v -12.8B prior
- (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Feb 8th: -6.4% v +3.4% prior
- (US) Jan Import Price Index M/M: 0.6% v 0.8%e; Y/Y: -1.3% v -1.0%e
- (US) Jan Advance Retail Sales: 0.1% v 0.1%e; Retail Sales Less Autos: 0.2% v 0.1%e; Ex Auto & Gas: 0.2% v 0.4%e
- (US) Dec Business Inventories: 0.1% v 0.3%e
- (US) Weekly DOE U.S. Crude Oil Inventories: Crude: +560K v +2.5Me; Gasoline: -800K v -0.5Me; Distillate: -3.68M v -1Me; Utilization: 83.8% v 84.1% prior

- The S&P500 pushed out to fresh five-year intraday highs this morning, briefly trading above 1523 before giving up ground. Note that trading volumes have fallen off somewhat this morning. Early equity strength has flagged, and as of writing the DJIA is down 0.4%, the S&P500 is flat and the Nasdaq is up a mere 0.2%.

- Analysts had been closely watching the January retail sales report out this morning. The thesis was that the data was a barometer for the impact of the payroll tax hike: a decline could have indicated problems for the recovery as consumers withdrew spending. The virtually flat y/y reading can be taken different ways, although the consensus is that spending was not held back by the tax hike.

- US treasury prices were under pressure in the early going, with the 1-year yield climbing back above 2% for the first time in a week. Note that the higher US yields come following another good Italian auction, the stronger euro overnight and the US retail sales numbers.

- Confusion about the G7 currency statements continued this morning. The BoE's King asserted that the communiqushould have been taken at face value, after some back-and-forth yesterday about whether or not Japan is getting a green light from the G7 to weaken the yen. Then there were also reports that the G7 were simply concerned about the rapidity of the changes in the value of the yen, not its absolute level. All in all, the view of how the G7 feels about the issue is totally muddled. EUR/USD rose to 1.3520 from 1.3450 in the wake of the better Italian auction, although it returned to 1.3450 in the wake of a financial press report highlighting the ECB's concerns about a strong euro holding back exports.

- Shares of General Electric are up 3% this morning after Comcast agreed to acquire GE's remaining 49% stake in NBC Universal for nearly $17B. GE boosted its share buyback program by $10B as part of the deal. Shares of CMCSA are up more than 6%

- Shares of Cliffs are tanking after the firm disclosed a big $2B impairment charge in its Q4 report thanks to lower iron ore prices and a sour acquisition, plus the 76% cut to the dividend. Cliffs said global iron ore sales would be relatively flat y/y in 2013, at approx 40M tons.

- Welllcare's y/y earnings decline was not as bad as expected and its FY13 revenue forecast beat expectations. In addition, the firm saw big improvements in its medical benefits ratio. Shares of WCG are up more than 10%.

- Rosneft has a deal to borrow $30B from China in exchange for doubling oil supplies, making Beijing the largest consumer of Russian oil and further diverting supplies away from Europe.

***Looking Ahead***
- (IR) The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meets with Iran
- (MX) Mexico Central Bank 4Q Inflation Report
- (MX) Mexico Jan ANTAD Same-Store Sales Y/Y: No est v 2.3% prior
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $24B in 10-Year Notes
- 18:50 (JP) Japan Q4 Preliminary GDP Q/Q: 0.0%e v -0.9% prior; GDP Annualized: +0.4%e v -3.5% prior
- (JP) BOJ rate decision: Expected to leave Traget Rate unchanged at 0.10%




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