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Tuesday February 19, 2013 - 16:32:04 GMT
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| | Email US Market Update: US Stocks See Modest Gains in a Quiet Session US Market Update: US Stocks See Modest Gains in a Quiet Session
Tue, 19 Feb 2013 11:11 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (ES) Spain Dec Trade Balance: -1.3B v -1.4B prior
- (PT) Portugal Jan Producer Prices M/M: +0.6% v -0.4% prior; Y/Y: 1.9% v 3.6% prior
- (EU) OECD Q4 GDP -0.2% v +0.3% prior
- (RU) Russia Jan Real Retail Sales M/M: -27.1% v -25.5%e; Y/Y: 3.5% v 4.9%e
- (RU) Russia Jan Unemployment Rate: 6.0% v 5.7%e
- (RU) Russia Jan Disposable Income: 0.7% v 4.8%e
- (RU) Russia Jan Real Wages Y/Y: 8.0% v 3.3%e
- (RU) Russia Jan Investment In Productive Capacity: 1.1% v +0.5%e
- (TR) Turkey Central Bank left its Benchmark Repo Rate unchanged at 5.50% (as expected ) but cut both Overnight Lending Rate and Overnight Borrowing Rate by 25bps to 8.50% and 4.50% respectively
- (BR) Brazil Dec Retail Sales M/M: -0.5% v +0.8%e; Y/Y: 5.0% v 7.3%e; Broad Retail Sales Y/Y: 5.0% v 7.0%e
- (PL) Poland Jan Sold Industrial Output M/M: 5.4% v +2.7%e; Y/Y: +0.3% v -3.0%e
- (PL) Poland Jan Producer Prices M/M: 0.1% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: -1.2-1.1%e
- (IS) Israel Feb Inflation Forecast: 1.9% v 1.9% prior
- (IS) Israel Jan Money Supply Y/Y: 10.4 v 8.6% prior
- (CA) Canada Dec Int'l Securities Transactions: -C$1.9B v+ C$6.8Be
- (CA) Canada Dec Wholesale Sales M/M: -0.9% v -0.4%e
- (BE) Belgium Feb Consumer Confidence: -17 v -23 prior
- (EU) ECB weekly Forex Reserves w/e Feb 16th: 216.4B v 216.6B prior
- (US) Feb NAHB Housing Market Index: 46 v 48e

- US equities are seeing modest gains this morning in a quiet session. The DJIA is up 0.28%, the S&P500 is up 0.35% and the Nasdaq is up 0.25%. Spot gold is not seeing any bounce after last week's big slide and continues to trade just above $1,600. WTI front-month crude is in the middle of the $95 handle.

- FX markets are subdued today thanks to the absence of impactful data reports or official statements, following yesterday's quiet session. Euro- and yen-related pairs held steady. Later this week there should be more action with the calendar full of Eurozone flash PMIs on Thursday and the German IFO Survey on Friday. Rumors about an imminent UK sovereign downgrade made the rounds earlier in the session, although it is highly unlikely before the UK spring budget, which will be presented on Wednesday, March 20th.

- The NAHB housing market index printed at 46, marking its first drop in 10 months, although the index remains only a hair off its recent seven-year highs.

- New Medicare Advantage rate guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is slapping around the healthcare stocks this morning. Last Friday, CMS published preliminary 2014 reimbursement rates for public comment. Humana commented that the preliminary rates would drive a mid-single-digit decline in the company's Medicare Advantage payment rates, while a Citigroup analyst warned the proposals would reduce payments to plans by 7-8%. Shares of HUM are down 8%, while shares of most other major managed care names are down 2%.

- Shares of OfficeMax are up 25% on reports that it is in advanced merger talks with Office Depot. Recall that last September, activist Starboard took a stake in ODP last September and urged the company to take steps to improve shareholder value. Shares of spiked more than 30% in the premarket but are around +18% as of writing.

- Shares of Express Scripts were up 5% in the premarket on the firm's solid Q4 earnings and bullish FY13 guidance out last night. ESRX is down to +2% in the first hour of trading.

- Medtronic saw modest growth in its Q3 report and tightened up its FY13 guidance. Traders expected more, evidently, and shares of MDT are down 3%.

- Group 1 Automotive is down 7% after the firm missed EPS estimates on shrinking margins in its Q4 report.

***Looking Ahead***
- (IE) Ireland Presidency holds negotiation meeting on Basel III
- (ES) Spain PM Rajoy State of the Nation debate
- (NO) Norway Central Bank Gov Olsen speaks in Oslo
- 11:30 (US) Treasury to sell $65B in 3-Month and 6-Month Bills
- 12:15 (CH) SNB's Jordan speaks in Zurich
- 14:15 (EU) ECB's Asmussen (Germany) Speaks in Bratislava
- 16:45 (NZ) New Zealand Q4 Producer Prices- Inputs Q/Q: No est v -1.0% prior; PPI Outputs Q/Q: No est v -0.9% prior
- 18:50 (JP) Japan Jan Merchandise Trade Balance: 1.379Te v -641.5B prior; Adj Merchandise Trade Balance: +586.7B v -88.7B prior
- 20:30 (JP) BOJ Board Member Morimoto speech
- 21:30 (NZ) RBNZ Governor Wheeler speaks in Auckland




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