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Monday September 22, 2014 - 15:32:04 GMT
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| | Email US Market Update: Global Sell-Off on China Jitters

Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:18 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (US) Aug Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index: -0.21 v +0.33e
- (IL) Israel Central Bank leaves Base Rate unchanged at 0.25%, as expected
- (MX) Mexico Aug Unemployment Rate (unadj): 5.18% v 5.5% prior; Unemployment Rate (adj): 4.87% v 4.80% prior
- (US) Aug Existing Home Sales: 5.05M v 5.20Me
- (EU) Euro Zone Sept Advance Consumer Confidence: -11.4 v -10.5e

Worries about China were festering as the week began, with press articles circulating that Beijing may lower its 2015 growth targets and was unlikely to undertake any more major stimulus efforts. Small caps and momentum stocks are getting hit hard (the Nasdaq and Russell indices are big losers), the S&P500 is back below 2000 and metals are also trading lower. As of writing the DJIA is down 0.39%, the S&P500 is down 0.71% and the Nasdaq is off a whopping 1.26%.

Multiple influential figures will be speaking throughout the day at a big Bloomberg conference today. This morning the focus was on the New York Fed's Dudley, who said that the Fed should raise rates as soon as appropriate. Dudley said it would be nice to see sufficient progress in the economy to start raising rates in 2015, and that rates near zero was not a comfortable place for the Fed. Also at the conference, hedge fund manager Julian Robertson was very bullish on Alibaba, although the stock is down 3.5% currently, trading below its opening level on Friday.

ECB President Draghi is testifying before the European Parliament. Draghi reiterated that the Eurozone recovery is losing momentum and that the ECB is ready to do more if necessary. Addressing the problems with the TLTRO last Friday, Draghi said the take by banks in the initial auction was well within the range expected by the ECB and claimed the TLTRO program has already positively impacted lending. He also said that the AQR stress tests may have constrained credit flows in the eurozone. EUR/USD had been as high as 1.2865 in the European session but test almost to 1.2821 during the US session.

Apple said that its first weekend of iPhone 6 sales were above 10M units, compared to estimates ranging from 6.5 million to 10.0 million units. Note that a year ago, the first weekend of iPhone 5 sales topped 9.0 million devices and included sales in China. Today's numbers do not include China, where the model is still waiting for approvals from regulators; analysts expect about 2.75 million units in initial sales in China.

In the latest pharma consolidation deal, Germany-based Merck KGaA has agreed to acquire US firm Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion in cash to boost its lab supplies business. Merck will acquire all of the outstanding shares for $140/shr, a 37% premium to Friday's close. The deal helps Merck focus on supplying major pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions with chemicals and services.

***Looking Ahead***
- 16:00 (US) Crop Condition Report
- 21:45 (CN) China HSBC Sept Preliminary Manufacturing PMI: No est v 50.2 prior


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