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Thursday April 17, 2014 - 15:49:14 GMT
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| | Email US Market Update: Markets Calm Ahead of Easter Holiday

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:23 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (PT) Portugal Mar PPI M/M: -0.2% v 0.1% prior; Y/Y: -1.4% v -1.5% prior
- (RU) Russia Gold and Forex Reserve w/e Apr 11th: $477.7B v $473.9B prior
- (PL) Poland Mar Sold Industrial Output M/M: 9.4% v 10.1%e; Y/Y: 5.4% v 6.4%e
- (PL) Poland Mar PPI M/M: -0.2% v -0.1%e; Y/Y: -1.3% v -1.2%e
- (RU) Russia Mar Unemployment Rate: 5.4% v 5.7%e
- (RU) Russia Mar Real Retail Sales M/M: 8.5% v 8.0%e; Y/Y: 4.0% v 3.3%e
- (RU) Russia Mar Investment in Productive Capacity: -4.3% v -3.0%e
- (RU) Russia Mar Real Disposable Income: -6.8% v 0.0%e
- (RU) Russia Mar Real Wages Y/Y: 3.1% v 3.6%e
- (BR) Brazil Apr IBGE Inflation IPCA-15 M/M: 0.8% v 0.9%e; Y/Y: 6.2% v 6.3%e
- (BR) Brazil Mar Unemployment Rate: 5.0% v 5.4%e
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims 304K v 315Ke; Continuing Claims: 2.739M v 2.78Me
- (CA) Canada Mar CPI M/M: 0.6% v 0.4%e; Y/Y: 1.5% v 1.4%e; Consumer Price Index: 124.8 v 124.1 prior
- (CA) Canada Mar CPI Core M/M: 0.3% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 1.3% v 1.3%e
- (CA) Canada Mar CPI (Seasonally Adj) M/M: 0.2% v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: CPI Core (Seasonally Adj) M/M: 0.1% v 0.2% prior
- (BE) Belgium Apr Consumer Confidence Index: -9 v -8 prior
- (US) Apr Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook: 16.6 v 10.0e
- (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: +24 bcf vs. +32-36 bcf expected range

- US trading volumes are elevated this morning on options expiration, although all and all things are pretty calm following the drama seen earlier this week. Ukraine continues to be worrisome, and diplomats from Russia, the US, Ukraine and the EU are said to be close to some sort of "solution" in Vienna talks. As of writing, the DJIA is down 0.07%, the S&P500 is up 0.11% and the Nasdaq is up 0.22%.

- The Philadelphia Fed factory survey was somewhat stronger than expected and rose to a seven-month high of 16.6, offsetting the softer-than-expected results in the Empire State survey earlier this week. New orders, shipments and hiring all accelerated sharply. Weekly initial jobless claims were basically flat around 304K, while the four-week average fell to 312.0K (lowest since Dec 2007) from 316.75K prior.

- The FX market has been pretty quiet heading into the Easter holiday, even in the wake of the negative German March PPI reading. This marks the third consecutive month that German PPI has been flat or down, which bodes ill for the threat of deflation. EUR/USD barely reacted and pivoted around 1.3837 overnight.

- Both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley posted good headline first quarter results this morning, beating top- and bottom-line expectations. However, a deeper look at Goldman's results show a more mixed picture profit and revenue declined on a y/y basis (but less than expected) whereas Morgan's profits were up 18% y/y. Goldman's FICC trading arm saw net revenue continue to slump, while Morgan's fixed income business grew its revenue take. Investment banking units at both firms saw double-digit revenue gains. Shares of MS are up 4.5% and at their highs while GS is well off its post-open high of 2.5%.

- United Heath lost as much as 5.5% this morning after missing slightly even as it met earnings expectations. The company is the first insurer to report earnings for the period covering the rollout of Obamacare, and it claimed health insurance reform related costs (plus lingering sequestration costs) reduced earnings by around $0.35/shr. Executives warned that additional losses were possible related to the ACA. The firm also reiterated its FY14 outlook. Other major managed care names are down 3-4% a piece on the news, with WLP down 3.5%.

- Shares of Google and IBM are off their lows seen after the close yesterday following disappointing revenue performance at both tech giants in first quarter results. One analyst suggested Google's revenue slowdown is no surprise after its very strong fourth quarter. Sandisk is going even higher, up 9.6% on its excellent earnings performance.

- Industrial names General Electric and Honeywell, and chemicals name DuPont all missed revenue targets. Revenue and profits fell modestly on a y/y basis at GE and sharply at DuPont, although the latter had warned investors of the slump in guidance a month ago. Honeywell saw modest revenue and earnings growth, and said the firm was "cautiously optimistic on the macro environment, even with some nice momentum exiting the quarter." DD is in the red, HON is flat and GE is up more than 2%.

- Walmart jumped into the money transfer market this morning, launching a lower-cost service called Walmart-2-Walmart for the US market. Total amounts that can be sent are capped and the service is only available for sending money inside the US, however MoneyGram and Western Union are selling off hard on the news. WU fell as much as 8% and MGI was down as much as 15%, although both names have regained some ground.

- Traders are waiting for shares of Chinese microblogger Weibo to open for trade this morning on the Nasdaq. The firm priced 16.8 million ADSs for $17 apiece, down from its initial interest in selling 20 million ADSs at $17-19 per share. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which owns an 18% stake in Weibo, is expected to file for a widely anticipated share sale as early as Monday. Note that Sina Corp owns 71% of Weibo, although some are saying that Alibaba will make a bid to acquire Weibo soon after it goes public.

***Looking Ahead***
- 11:30 (US) Treasury to sell $18B in 5-Year TIPS
- 14:30 (BR) Brazil Mar Formal Total Job Creation: +115.0Ke v +260.8K prior
- 15:00 (US) API Monthly Statistical Report
- 17:00 (CL) Chile Central Bank Interest Rate Decision: Expected to leave Overnight Rate Target unchanged at 4.00%




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