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FTSE 100 still poised to test 4605 top; DAX extends gains to 3970 - 3980 -- overbought risk still very high, may entail FTSE pullback to 4450 area
German investor confidence probably declined to the lowest in a year as higher oil prices and rising unemployment weigh on a recovery in Germany. ZEW index may have fallen to 45 from August's 45.3.
DEVELOPMENTS TO WATCH TODAY: Sept 14 Europe
- German investor confidence probably declined to the lowest in more than a year in September as higher oil prices and rising unemployment weigh on a recovery in Europe's largest economy, a survey of economists showed. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research's index of institutional and analyst sentiment may have fallen to 45 from August's 45.3, the median of forecasts. ZEW will release the report at 11 a.m. in Mannheim. Germany's economy is lagging that of the U.S. as companies threaten to cut jobs, hurting consumer confidence which last month fell to the lowest since June 2003. As a 37 percent surge in oil prices this year jeopardizes foreign demand, a German recovery may struggle to gather pace. Exports drove German growth in the past year. In the U.S., economists have cut half a percentage point from their third- quarter growth forecast over the past two months and now expect the world's largest economy to expand at a 3.7 percent annualized rate in the period.
- Sales at U.S. retailers may have fallen in August as receipts at car dealers slumped, a survey of economists showed ahead of a government report today. A 0.1 percent decline was likely last month after July's 0.7 percent advance, according to the median of forecasts. Excluding autos, sales probably rose 0.2 percent, the same as in July, for the smallest gains since spending declined in February. The Commerce Department issues the report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington. Surging gasoline prices and a slowdown in payroll gains in June and July limited the ability and willingness of consumers to spend. Sales may recover this month, according to economists, and H. Lee Scott, chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said last week he's ``optimistic'' about the Christmas shopping season.
- New Zealand retail sales rose for a third month in July, buoyed by higher household incomes and consumer spending that may prompt the central bank to raise interest rates to a four-year high next month. Retail sales rose 1.2 percent from June, Statistics New Zealand said in Wellington, citing seasonally adjusted figures. Economists forecast sales would be unchanged. From a year earlier, sales gained 8.1 percent. House prices jumped almost a fifth in July from a year earlier and the second-quarter jobless rate was a 17-year-low 4 percent, boosting the wealth of households and encouraging consumers to borrow and spend. Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard last week increased interest rates for a fifth time this year to slow the economy and said another increase is likely.
- Canadian companies intend to add workers at a faster pace in the fourth quarter, including factories that have had to cope with a surge in the country's dollar, according to a survey by Manpower Inc. The poll's net employment outlook, which subtracts the percentage of companies that plan to fire workers from the share that expect to add staff, rose 3 percentage points to 17 percent in the fourth quarter. All 10 industries surveyed said they intend to hire. Canadian manufacturers had to cut costs this year to match foreign competition after a record 21 percent rise in the dollar in 2003, and unions and economists predicted job cuts would be needed to do it. Factories employ 2.3 million Canadians, or about one in seven workers, and hired 3,400 people between January and August, suggesting they are economizing elsewhere.
- Crude oil was little changed after rising 2.5 percent yesterday as Hurricane Ivan disrupted supply to ports on the Gulf of Mexico, where more than half of U.S. oil imports arrive and 50 percent of the nation's fuel is refined. Royal Dutch/Shell Group was evacuating oil rigs yesterday and the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, the nation's biggest import terminal, stopped offloading tankers. Ivan is forecast to hit the U.S. near the Alabama-Florida border early tomorrow, about 170 miles (274 kilometers) from the port. Crude oil for October delivery rose 4 cents to $43.91 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:54 p.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, the contract rose $1.06 to $43.87 a barrel. Prices are 56 percent higher than a year ago. Natural gas for October delivery rose 28 cents, or 6.2 percent, to close at $4.85 per million British thermal units in New York. It traded at $4.90 per million British thermal units in after-hours trading.
Equity Markets Summary -
Asian stocks rose today, led by Tokyo Electron Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co., after the Nasdaq Composite Index gained for a third day and an industry report showed increased sales of chip-making equipment. Morgan Stanley Capital International Inc.'s Asia-Pacific Index, which tracks 941 companies, added 0.5 percent to 90.67 at 2:18 p.m. Tokyo time. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.4 percent to 11,301.73 and the Topix index jumped 0.3 percent to 1142.44.
Monday's summary: Stock finished modestly higher. Investors had little economic data to consider today outside of a new quarterly services sector report, which showed that revenue growth in the second quarter among the services categories covered in the survey rebounded sharply from a lackluster first quarter. That positive news was partially blunted, however, by another jump in oil prices as traders speculate that Hurricane Ivan could disrupt offshore drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Overall, the Nasdaq jumped nearly 0.9%, but the Dow gained just 0.2%, and the S&P finished with a negligible gain.
The main European indices built on Friday?s gains, starting the week off at a rapid clip. Ignoring a lukewarm start on Wall Street, the DAX and CAC-40 climbed sharply over the course of the day, closing up 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively, with investors focused on the pharmaceuticals sector. Across the Channel, the FTSE-100 lagged, rising only 0.4%, as the index gave up some morning gains on negative corporate news from the media and tobacco sectors.
- DAX Index - the DAX index focuses at 3970 - 3980. But this may be temporary-- there is a short-term overbought condition -- and we see still a heightened risk of pulling back further towards the 3775 region down the road. The index should then initiate another rally that can be sustained at well above 3800. and may be aimed at 4000 resistance. Further break should go on and challenge the 4175 top further out, and perhaps go on and focus at a 4500 upside target later in the year.
- FTSE 100 Index - no change in view -- the FTSE may be poised to test the 4605 top, but this is probably transitory as indicated by shoprt-term overbought indicators, and we still see a heightened risk that the index will pull back towards the 4430 area in a corrective phase. After this, the index mounts another rally which can be sustained at levels well above 4400. Further break of 4500 may kick off a new upside sequence which will go on and challenge the 4600 top, and perhaps extend gains further towards 4750 later in the year.
- S&P 500 - the index may yet rise further to 1135, but the market is technically overbought in the short-term -- keep an eye out for a corrective decline towards the 1095/85 area, after which the uptrend resumes. Then and only then will we see whether or not the index has staying power above 1110. That should give us an indication if the new bull market hypothesis finally has legs to sustain the rally or not.
- Dow Jones Ind Ave. - no change in view -- the Dow may yet extend gains to 10,450 - 10,500 area -- but a technical overbought condition suggests a topping out process is due. So watch out for a subsequent pull back to circa 10,050 - 10,000, after which the uptrend resumes. it should then whether or not it has staying power above 10,220. Subsequent market action should finally determine whether or not the bull market scenario has any leg to stand on.
- NDX 100 - the index did extend gains to 1435, higher than 1435 ideal objective -- but we still see a good chance that the index will see resistance very soon. It may fall back to 1360/50 area, as part of a basing action +test of the low+. The rally should resume thereafter, and we should see this time if the uptrend has staying power. The price activity thereafter should see if the new bull market hypothesis will finally have a leg to stand on.
- Nikkei - the Nikkei continues to gain ground, and is set to break above the 11,400 resistance. The general idea remains the same -- a new bull market has initiated, and the current uptrend should target the 12,200 resistance further out. We still believe that a new bull market may have already initiated from the 10,450 low in May, which may have 15,000 - 15,500 as the major goal late in the year.
- Hang Seng - the uptrend hits temporary resistance at 13,200, but should bull through during the rest of the week. We should see further upmoves down the road, which may be focused at the 14,058 top.
DEVELOPMENTS TO WATCH TODAY: Sept 13 New York
- Industrial production in France, Europe's third-biggest economy, rose for a third month in July, led by food and machinery manufacturing. Growth in June was more than double the previous estimate. Production increased 0.2 percent from June, Paris-based government statistics office Insee said. In June, output climbed 0.5 percent from May, compared with the 0.2 percent initially reported. July output advanced 3.2 percent from a year earlier. Economists had expected a 0.3 percent July increase, according to the median forecast of 29.
- European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet warned governments against easing the budget-deficit limits designed to buoy confidence in the euro currency. Trichet said central bankers oppose rewriting a regulation that forces governments to keep deficits below 3 percent of gross domestic product and sets a one-year deadline for fixing budgets that swell over the limit. Leaders of the 12 euro nations should ``utilize all the possibilities for improving the implementation but not to change the regulation,'' Trichet said in an interview Saturday after finance officials met in Scheveningen, Netherlands. Trichet is battling political leaders such as Germany's Gerhard Schroeder in an attempt to restore confidence in the $8.5 trillion economy after the weakest growth in a decade caused six countries, including Germany and France, to exceed the budget-deficit limit.
- Crude oil futures rose on concern hurricane Ivan may disrupt output and shipments in the Gulf of Mexico, source of a quarter of U.S. oil and gas production. Royal Dutch/Shell Group, BP Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Kerr- McGee Corp. yesterday began evacuating non-essential workers from platforms in the eastern Gulf. Ivan is forecast to make landfall in Alabama, closer to rigs than Charley and Frances. Output may still be unaffected as the storm brushes past. Crude oil for October delivery rose 15 cents to 42.96 at 12:16 p.m. London time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after adding as much as 82 cents to $43.63 a barrel. It has gained 32 percent this year.
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, said September same-store sales are rising within forecast for a gain of 2 percent to 4 percent as shoppers bought back to school supplies. The discounter had forecast a gain of as much as 4 percent from a year earlier. Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart updated results at U.S. stores open at least a year through Friday in a recorded call.
- OPEC, pumping oil at the fastest pace in 25 years, has little ammunition left to reduce near- record prices at a meeting in Vienna this week, and some analysts are forecasting crude above $40 a barrel for the rest of the year. Ministers of the OPEC, producer of about 40 percent of the world's oil, gather Sept. 15 in Vienna to consider raising the group's official output limits and price targets. OPEC is ignoring a current quota of 26 million barrels a day, producing 8.1 percent above that in August. The problem now is not one that OPEC can solve; New York oil will probably sell for $41 or $42 a barrel by year-end. Demand is the key variable; OPEC's got no more capacity to speak of.
Equity Markets Summary -
Early market indications: Futures trade continues to point to a higher open for the indices in an extension of last week's winning streak... Relief the September 11th anniversary did not bring about a spate of bad events has prompted more buying interest in equities. A higher open for the cash market was also in response to the hefty gains seen in Asia (Tokyo's Nikkei +1.5%) and Europe (Germany's DAX +1.2%)... Follow-through interest from Friday's late-day rally has also played a role in the positive tone.
U.S. stock-index futures rose. Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, gained, following advances by European and Asian technology shares. Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures expiring in December added 2.70 to 1126.60 as of 7:55 a.m. in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 24 to 10,325, and Nasdaq-100 Index futures advanced 5.50 to 1423.50. An index of European technology shares had the second- biggest gain among 18 industry groups in Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index. The group, which has rallied 15 percent in the last month, has been the worst performing of the Stoxx 600's groups this year, dropping 5.1 percent.
European stocks advanced, paced by technology shares amid speculation recent declines aren't warranted by the industry's earnings prospects. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index rose 0.6 percent to 239.38, as of 12:41 p.m. in London, its highest since July 1. The Stoxx 50 added 0.4 percent and the Euro Stoxx 50, a measure for the 12 countries using the euro, gained 0.7 percent. Benchmarks rose in all 18 Western European markets except Austria, Norway. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index added 0.2 percent. France's CAC 40 Index gained 0.8 percent and Germany's DAX Index climbed 1.1 percent. September futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.7 percent.
Asian stocks rose, led by technology shares, after Texas Instruments Inc.'s chief executive said he is optimistic about demand for chips used in mobile phones. Morgan Stanley Capital International Inc.'s Asia-Pacific Index, which tracks about 900 companies, rose 0.6 percent to 90.25 at 12:20 p.m. Tokyo time. The measure tracking technology shares accounted for 40 percent of the benchmark's advance. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.9 percent to 11,184.10 and the Topix index jumped 0.8 percent to 1135.09. Both benchmarks gained for the first day in four. South Korea's Kospi index rose 1.6 percent and Taiwan's Taiex index added 1.4 percent.
- DAX Index - the DAX index has been to as high as 3937 and focuses at 3950 - 3970. But this may be temporary and we see still a heightened risk of pulling back further towards the 3775 region down the road. The index should then initiate another rally that can be sustained at well above 3800. and may be aimed at 4000 resistance. Further break should go on and challenge the 4175 top further out, and perhaps go on and focus at a 4500 upside target later in the year.
- FTSE 100 Index - the FTSE may be poised to test the 4605 top, but this is probably transitory, and we still see a heightened risk that the index will pull back towards the 4430 area in a corrective phase. After this, the index mounts another rally which can be sustained at levels well above 4400. Further break of 4500 may kick off a new upside sequence which will go on and challenge the 4600 top, and perhaps extend gains further towards 4750 later in the year.
- S&P 500 - the index may yet rise further to 1130/1135, but this is not as technically important anymore as it was last week -- keep an eye out for a corrective decline towards the 1095/85 area, after which the uptrend resumes. Then and only then will we see whether or not the index has staying power above 1110. That should give us an indication if the new bull market hypothesis finally has legs to sustain the rally or not.
- Dow Jones Ind Ave. - the Dow may yet extend gains to 10,450 - 10,500 area -- but this is not an important technical move anymore. Instead, watch out for a subsequent pull back to circa 10,050 - 10,000, after which the uptrend resumes. it should then whether or not it has staying power above 10,220. Subsequent market action should finally determine whether or not the bull market scenario has any leg to stand on.
- NDX 100 - the index may extend gains to 1425, but chances are higher that the index will see resistance at those levels, and may fall back to 1360/50 area from here, as basing action +test of the low+. The rally should resume thereafter, and we should see this time if the uptrend has staying power. The price activity thereafter should see if the new bull market hypothesis will finally have a leg to stand on.
- Nikkei - the Nikkei did see a downmove to 10,900 and has been stronger since then. The general idea remains the same -- a new bull market has initiated, and the the next uptrend, which has likely restarted, should target the 12,200 resistance further out. We still believe in the bulls' case -- a new uptrend may have already initiated from the 10,450 low in May, which may have 15,000 - 15,500 as the major goal late in the year.
- Hang Seng - the index corrected back to 12,900. But the uptrend has resumed, and we should see further upmoves down the road, which may be focused at the 14,000 top.
News, data, references and commentaries compiled from Bloomberg, Reuters, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, CBSMarketWatch, Briefing.com, and Economy.com
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