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Thursday July 18, 2013 - 16:03:02 GMT
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| | Email US Market Update: Strong Earnings Drive DJIA and S&P500 to Record Highs US Market Update: Strong Earnings Drive DJIA and S&P500 to Record Highs
Thu, 18 Jul 2013 11:24 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (BR) Brazil July Final IGP-M Inflation: 0.2% v 0.3%e
- (RU) Russia Gold & Forex Reserve w/e July 12th: $506.0B v $505.B prior
- (PT) Portugal May Current Account: -72.3M v 178.6M prior
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 334K v 345Ke; Continuing Claims: 3.114M v 2.959Me
- (CA) Canada May Wholesale Sales M/M: 2.3% v 0.3%e
- (ZA) South Africa Central Bank (SARB) leaves Interest Rates unchanged at 5.00%, as expected
- (MX) Mexico Jun Unemployment Rate: 5.0% v 5.0%e
- (US) July Philadelphia Fed: 19.8 v 8.0e
- (US) Jun Leading Indicators: 0.0% v 0.3%e
- (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: +58 bcf v +62-67 bcf expected range

- After pretty listless overnight trading in Asia and Europe, US equity indices are rocking higher on a mix of positive earnings reports. Both the S&P500 and the DJIA are at record all-time highs, with the S&P500 looking ready to take out 1700 today. As of writing, the DJIA is up +0.70%, the S&P500 is up 0.70% and the Nasdaq is up 0.35%.

- Initial jobless claims dropped sharply last week to 334K, a nearly five-year low. Analysts caution that the figures have been volatile in recent weeks as auto factories begin their annual summer shutdowns for retooling. Much like the July Empire Manufacturing survey earlier this week, the regional Philly Fed survey was much better than expected and rose to its best level since March 2011. The employment sub-index was notably strong as well.

- The dollar remains well bid as Chairman Bernanke begins his second and final day of Congressional testimony. EUR/USD has been pivoting around the 1.3100 level. Bernanke has been reiterating most of the comments he made yesterday without adding a whole lot.

- Morgan Stanley's quarterly numbers narrowly topped expectations, but its big gains in securities and trading revenue are brining in the buyers this morning. Shares of MS are up 4.4%. Asset managers Blackstone and BlackRock reported excellent Q2 results, widely outperforming expectations in a quarter of very strong market gains. BlackRock's CEO said his firm is seeing the early stages of a rotation within fixed income as investors increasingly focus on the duration of their fixed income portfolios.

- Intel is being punished this morning for missing expectations in its Q2 report and cutting FY13 guidance, with shares down nearly 4%. Note that executives warned the overall 2013 PC market would be weaker than forecasted at the beginning of the year. IBM is up more than 2% after easily topping consensus views, hiking its FY13 outlook and offering very positive comments about the outlook. Sandisk is also gaining on strong outperformance

- Verizon's Q2 profits rose by 23% y/y, driven by solid gains in wireless customers and FiOS subscribers. On the conference call, executives said 7.5M smartphones were activated in Q2, 51% of which were iPhones, implying 3.8M activations versus 4M in Q1. Investors are disappointed with the firm's tepid revenue growth, however, and shares of VZ are down more than 2%. ADRs of Nokia are trading down 3% after reporting another flat quarter plus substantial declines in device shipments.

- Dell said that no vote was taken today on the $24.4 billion offer from founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake at the special shareholders meeting, which has been adjourned to provide more time to solicit proxies from shareholders. The special meeting will reconvene on July 24. Note that overnight, big institutional investors Vanguard, BlackRock and State Street switched their votes to support Michael Dell's offer.

***Looking Ahead***
- (EU) G20 Deputy Finance Ministers and Central Bankers
- (EU) G20 Labor Ministers meet
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $15B in 10-Year TIPS
- 13:30 (BR) Brazil to sell 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2019 Bills
- 18:00 (IT) Italy Prosecutors seek Berlusconi Indictment in Corruption Probe




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