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Wednesday September 18, 2013 - 15:46:02 GMT
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| | Email US Market Update: Focus on Congress as Taper Seen as Inevitable, Impact Mild US Market Update: Focus on Congress as Taper Seen as Inevitable, Impact Mild
Wed, 18 Sep 2013 11:08 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (PT) Portugal Aug PPI M/M: 0.0 v 0.6% prior; Y/Y: 1.1% v 1.3% prior
- (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Sept 13th: +11.2% v -13.5% prior
- (BR) Brazil Sept Final IGP-M Inflation: 1.4% v 0.1% prelim
- (ZA) South Africa July Constant Retail Sales M/M: -0.5% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 2.8% v 3.7%e
- (PL) Poland Aug Sold Industrial Output M/M: -4.5% v -3.8%e; Y/Y: 2.2% v 2.7%e
- (PL) Poland Aug PPI M/M: -0.3% v 0.1%e v 0.2% prior; Y/Y: -1.1% v -0.7%e
- (US) Aug Housing Starts: 891K v 923Ke; Building Permits: 918K v 950Ke
- (US) DOE Crude: -4.4M v -1.0Me; Gasoline: -1.6M v +0.5Me; Distillate: -1.1M v +1.0Me

- Global markets have been choppy heading into the big Fed announcement today, without racking up any big gains or losses. US equities were looking flattish heading into the session, but have taken a turn into the red as GOP stonewalling in Washington on a budget extension continues. As of writing, the DJIA is -0.20%, the S&P500 is -0.14% and the Nasdaq is flat.

- The August starts and permits data is the latest housing report that suggests the industry has leveled off after months of surging business. Note that Aug single-family starts are still growing, up 7% at an annualized rate, while permits were up 3% at an annualized rate, to their highest level since May 2008. Shares of the homebuilders are in the red this morning.

- The FOMC's big moment comes later this afternoon, with the decision at 14:00ET and Chairman Bernanke's press conference at 14:30ET. After bottoming out on Monday at seven-week lows versus the greenback, the euro has rallied into the upper half of its recent range, hitting 1.3365 overnight. EUR/USD has softened a bit coming into the US session, to around 1.3340. Note that in Italy, it is looking as if Berlusconi may refrain from blowing up the government as the Senate panel votes this morning to strip him of his status, ahead of a full Senate vote in the next few weeks.

- With Congress racing toward the end of the federal government's FY on Sept. 30, the deadline to avert a government shutdown, the House GOP continues to place roadblocks in the way of short-term budget extension. Senate majority leader Reid and minority leader McConnell warned that there is no plan B if things fall apart in the House. Last week the House had to shelve a two-step plan that would have funded the government and allowed a separate (but symbolic) vote on defunding Obamacare. This morning House Speaker Boehner is pushing a plan for a single bill that both funds the government and defunds Obamacare, although it has little chance of passing the Senate, bringing a shutdown even closer to becoming a reality.

- Walgreen joined many other big corporations in moving a big chunk of its workforce off the company's health insurance plan and onto private online marketplaces known as exchanges. Approximately 160K employees, or 67% of Walgreen's workforce, will join Aon's exchange, which begins operations on Jan 1st, 2014, although the first Obamacare exchanges will start up next month. Shares of AON are up 2.5% or so.

- Shares of Adobe are up 7.5% this morning despite missing consensus expectations in both its Q3 report and its Q4 guidance. Investors are fired up about the firm success in moving customers onto recurring software subscriptions under its Creative Cloud service. Multiple analysts raised PTs on the firm. FedEx is up 2.8% thanks to decent Q1 results and news that its express unit will increase shipping rates by an average of 3.9% effective January, 2014.

***Looking Ahead***
- 11:30 (BR) Brazil Central Bank weekly currency flow data
- 12:00 (CA) Canada to sell 2-year Notes
- 14:00 (US) FOMC Interest Rate Decision: expected to leave Interest Rates unchanged at 0.25%
- 14:00 (US) Fed releases Summary of Economic Projections
- 14:30 (US) Fed Chairman Bernanke holds post rate decision press conference in Washington




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