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Thursday March 7, 2013 - 16:58:46 GMT
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| | Email US Market Update: Modest Risk Appetite Continues Ahead of Feb Jobs Report

Thursday, March 07, 2013 11:30:41 AM US Market Update: Modest Risk Appetite Continues Ahead of Feb Jobs Report

***Economic Data***
- (ZA) South Africa Jan Electricity Consumption Y/Y: -3.0% v -3.8% prior; Electricity Production Y/Y: -4.1% v -2.8% prior
- (DE) Germany Jan Factory Orders M/M: -1.9% v +0.6%e; Y/Y: -3.3% v +1.6%e
- (IE) Ireland Jan Industrial Production M/M: -1.1% v 4.9% prior; Y/Y: -3.3% v -0.5% prior
- (CL) Chile Feb Trade Balance: $68M v $500.0Me; Total Exports: $5.9B v $.6B prior; Total Imports: $5.9B $6.7B prior
- (CL) Chile Feb Copper Exports: $3.2B v $3.5b prior
- (UK) Bank Of England (BOE) left both Interest Rates and Asset Purchase Target unchanged at 0.50% and 375B respectively, as expected
- (BR) Brazil Jan Industrial Production M/M: 2.5% v 1.6%e; Y/Y: 5.7% v 4.6%e
- (US) Feb Challenger Job Cuts: 55.4K v 40.4K prior;Y/Y: +7.0% v -24.4% prior
- (US) Mar RBC Consumer Outlook Index: 47.1 v 49.5 prior
- (EU) ECB leaves Main 7-day Refi rate unchanged at 0.75%, as expected
- (PL) Poland Feb Total Official Reserves: $107.1B v $108.0B prior
- (US) Jan Trade Balance: -$44.4B v -$42.6Be
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 340K v 355Ke; Continuing Claims: 3.094M v 3.120Me
- (US) Q4 Final Nonfarm Productivity: -1.9% v -1.6%e; Unit Labor Costs: 4.6% v 4.3%e
- (CA) Canada Jan Building Permits M/M: 1.7% v +5.3%e
- (CA) Canada Jan Int'l Merchandise Trade: -C$0.2B v -C$0.6Be
- (MX) Mexico Feb Consumer Prices M/M: 0.5% v 0.5%e; Y/Y: 3.6% v 3.6%e; Core CPI M/M: 0.5% v 0.5%e

- US equity markets are sustaining modest gains this morning ahead of Friday's February jobs report. The weekly payroll report, combined with last week's numbers, suggest even more labor market improvements, somewhat boosting confidence. In
Washington, it looks like a continuing resolution will be passed, eliminating the risk of a government shutdown this spring. The DJIA is up 0.31%, the S&P500 are up 0.17% while the Nasdaq is up 0.22%.

- There were no surprises in either the BoE or the ECB rate decisions.
Sterling moved higher following the decision, with GBP/USD rising from 1.4990 to test above 1.5070. There was no increase in QE, although the sterling price action suggested bets were the other way. The euro gained as ECB Chief Draghi held his press conference. Analysts felt his opening remarks were a bit less dovish, as he omitted any mention of euro appreciation as a growth risk. The ECB Staff Projections saw only a modest tweak and were not nearly as bad as anticipated. Some feel that the prospects for near-term ECB rate cut are now entirely off the table.

- Navistar's shares are up a whopping 25% this morning, their biggest one-day gain in years, after the firm named a new CEO. The firm's Q4 report showed that the company has managed to staunch the bleeding and is losing less money.

- Dell is flat this morning after the big run-up yesterday afternoon. The company responded to Carl Icahn's assertion that the firm needs to pursue a leveraged recapitalization, confirming that it is still assessing alternative transactions to the Michael Dell/Silver Lake $13.65/shr takeout.

- The big
US financial names are in the black this morning, with BAC leading the pack up 2.5%. The Fed will disclose the first part of its annual Dodd Frank SIFI bank capital review today, namely results from its stress tests. A week from now, it will release the results of its Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR). Both will be used to potentially authorize higher returns of capital to shareholders.

- Shares of mortgage insurance name MGIC Investment are down 9% after the firm launched big concurrent debt and equity sales.

- Colgate gained in the premarket after boosting the dividend and announcing a 2-1 reverse stock split, however CL has given up gains in cash trading.

- The Gap's February same-store sales numbers were disclosed on the company's website earlier than scheduled this morning, prompting a 4% gain in the company's stock.

- Other February sales comps were mixed, although at this point the number of companies disclosing monthly comps is rapidly shrinking. Costco's comps were much better than expected and The Limited met expectations.

- In M&A news, teen retailer Hot Topic said it had agreed to be acquired by Sycamore Partners for $14.00/share cash in $600M deal. This is a 30% premium to its prior close.

***Looking Ahead***
- 12:00 (US) Q4 Net House Hold change: No est v $1.722T prior
- 15:00 (US) Jan Consumer Credit: $14.7Be v $14.6B prior
- 18:00 (PE) Peru Central Bank Interest Rate Decision: Expected to leave Reference Rate unchanged at 4.25%
- 18:50 (JP) Japan Q4 Final GDP Annualized: -0.3%e v -0.4% prelim
- 18:50 (JP) Japan Jan Trade and Current Account balances




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