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Thursday February 19, 2015 - 17:08:16 GMT
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| | Email US Mid-Session Update: Germany Says Nein to Greece

Thu, 19 Feb 2015 11:46 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (UK) Feb CBI Industrial Trends Total Orders: +10 v +6e; Selling Prices: +8 v -7e
- (IL) Israel Dec Manufacturing Production M/M: -0.1 v +0.6% prior
- (IE) Ireland Jan CPI M/M: -0.8% v -1.1%e; Y/Y: -0.6% v -0.9%e
- (IE) Ireland Jan CPI EU Harmonized M/M: -0.7% v -1.1%e; Y/Y: -0.4% v -0.7%e
- (RU) Russia Gold and Forex Reserve w/e Feb 13th: $368.3B v $374.7B prior
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 283K v 290Ke; Continuing Claims: 2.425M v 2.345Me
- (US) Feb Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook: 5.2 v 9.0e
- (US) Jan Leading Index: 0.2% v 0.3%e
- (EU) Euro Zone Feb Advance Consumer Confidence: -6.7 v -7.5e
- (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: -111 bcf vs. -106 to -110 bcf expected range
- (US) DOE Crude: +7.72M v +3.7Me; Gasoline: +0.49M v +1.3Me; Distillate: -3.81M v -2Me

US futures were in the red before the open as the Germans said Nein to Greece's most recent bailout plan. The impact was not lasting and equities have crept back to unchanged as of writing. The DJIA and S&P500 are both more or less flat on the session, while the Nasdaq is up 0.43%.

The Germans have rejected Greece's latest proposal, which only hours earlier most commentators were calling a capitulation by Athens. In its offer, Greece recognized that the existing bailout agreement was binding. It asked for fewer concessions, including for the ECB to restore Greek government debt as collateral, but the overall theme was Greece caving to more EU demands. Just before the US cash open, the German Finance Ministry spokesman said there were not enough "substantive solutions" in Greece's proposals, although officials said they were not shutting the door on more talks, and the Eurogroup is meeting tomorrow for more talks. EUR/USD remained within the 1.1450 to 1.1330 range seen over recent sessions.

Crude prices fell to their lowest level in a week before the open, with WTI briefly dipping below $50 and Brent below $60. Last night's API inventories data saw the sixth consecutive increase, with the build the largest seen in years, while the build in today's DoE inventories was more than twice the expected amount. Both contracts bounced higher in mid-morning trade.

Like the Empire State survey two days ago, the February Philly Fed survey went in the wrong direction. The headline number fell from 6.3 to 5.2, well short of the expected result. The inventories component saw a big build. Initial claims fell even further, pulling the four-week average down to 283K.

Analysts dissected the FOMC minutes in morning notes today. JP Morgan said the minutes show a Fed in no rush to tighten, with only some saying rates have been at zero for long enough. BMO saw a fair number of members still wanting reassurance before normalization, skewing the odds of a hike toward September or even later. Goldman saw no clear indication that most parties thought "patient" language should be removed.

Shares of Walmart are off nearly 3% this morning. The firm's fourth quarter results were decent, however its FY16 guidance was a bit soft, with EPS lower than expected and the revenue outlook cut from the firm's preliminary view. Additionally, the company announced that it would increase minimum pay levels for 500,000 current and future sales staff, starting in April.

***Looking Ahead***
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $9.0B in 30-Year TIPS
- 16:00 (NZ) New Zealand Government 6-Month Financial Statements
- 16:00 (CO) Colombia Dec Trade Balance: -$1.2Be v -$1.3B prior; Total Imports: $5.2Be v $5.3B prior
- 20:35 (JP) Japan Feb Preliminary Manufacturing PMI: 52.5e v 52.2 prior


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