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Monday March 16, 2015 - 15:53:03 GMT
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| | Email US Mid-Session Update: ECB QE Helps Boost Global Equities

Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:37 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (BR) Brazil Jan Economic Activity (Monthly GDP) M/M: -0.1% v 0.0%e; Y/Y: -1,8% v -1.3%e
- (US) March Empire Manufacturing: 6.90 v 8.00e
- (CA) Canada Jan Int'l Securities Transactions: +C$5.7B v -C$13.6B prior
- (PL) Poland Jan Current Account Balance: +0.1B v -0.9Be; Trade Balance: +1.0B v -0.1Be
- (PL) Poland Feb CPI Core M/M: 0.0% v 0.0%e; Y/Y: 0.4% v 0.5%e
- (US) Feb Industrial Production M/M: 0.1% v 0.2%e; Capacity Utilization: 78.9% v 79.5%e; Manufacturing Production: -0.2% v 0.0%e
- (US) Marcj NAHB Housing Market Index: 53 v 56e
- (NL) Netherlands Jan Manufacturing Production M/M: -1.0% v 0.1% prior; Y/Y: -1.5% v -2.8% prior

Equities are on a tear again this morning, with European equities looking to close at fresh highs and US stocks picking up where they left off from Friday's late-session rally. The dollar has given up a little ground, even as the 10-year yield comes in, dropping three basis points to 2.083%. As of writing, the DJIA is up 1.10%, the S&P500 is up 1.00% and the Nasdaq is up 0.96%.

Homebuilder confidence has dipped lower than expected in March. The NAHB index of homebuilder sentiment has fallen for the third straight month, missing expectations for a slight gain. Manufacturing activity growth in New York State slowed in March for a second month in a row as the pace of new orders contracted to its weakest level since November 2013.

Today Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared at a press conference with Kyrgyz President Atambayev, breaking an 11-day absence from public life. Responding briefly to the wild conspiracy theories bumping around the internet and the media over the last week, Putin noted "without gossip, life would be boring." Journalists said that Putin only spoke a few words at the press conference and did not offer any extended comments.

WTI crude closed out last Friday around $45 and has been volatile in Monday trading, testing as low as $43 in very heavy volume, a six-year low. Brent was at $54.60 last Friday and is currently trading below $53. The Baker Hughes rig report saw its 14th week of contraction, with another 56 oil rigs taken offline for a total oil rig count of 866, the lowest figure since early 2011. The Genscape private inventories forecast showed that the reports out this week would show another big build, heightening concerns about ever scarcer storage capacity.

Valeant clinched its deal to acquire Salix Pharmaceuticals today, raising its offer by about a billion dollars in a new deal that knocked out rival bidder Endo International. Valeant hiked its all-cash bid to $173/shr, or about $11.1 billion total, up from its original offer of $158/shr. The higher price prompted Endo to withdraw its rival cash-and-stock $172.56/shr bid. Investors seem pleased by the outcome: ENDP is up 3% on the news.

Share of Procter & Gamble leapt 2% on press reports that the company was mulling a sale or IPO of certain beauty brands and has already hired advisors to work out a plan. The company is currently looking to sell off many non-core brands, although executives didn't waste any time refuting the reports, taking PG off its session highs.

***Looking Ahead***
- 14:45 (EU) ECB's Draghi speaks in Frankfurt
- 16:00 (US) Jan Net Long-term TIC Flows: No est v $35.4B prior; Total Net TIC Flows: No est v -$174.8B prior
- 20:30 (AU) RBA March Meeting Minutes
- 23:00 (JP) Bank of Japan (BOJ) Policy Statement/Kuroda Press Conference


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