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Thursday October 18, 2007 - 17:22:18 GMT
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Trade the News - U.S. Market Update

 U.S. Market Update

Dow -31 S&P -14 NASDAQ -5.5

- U.S. equity markets opened on a decidedly negative tone after a weak Bank of America earnings report sent the futures careening ahead of the NY open. The XLF is trading of 1.6% with broad weakness seen many of the financials. BAC -2.8% WM -6% JPM -1. 5% EBAY reversed course from the initial gains posted in yesterday's after market when sellers stepped in following disappointing guidance that noted operating margin headwinds into 2008. Other internet names are softer led by AMZN -1%, while GOOG trades down marginally ahead of this afternoons earnings release. Retailers are lower across the board led by WMT -1% after the company announced plans to cut prices on more than 15K items ahead of the holiday period. Steel and rail stocks are offsetting a good portion of today's weakness after earnings reports from UNP +4.8% NUE +3.5% and RS +2.7%. Oil names are also posting some gains with the crude future holding above $88.50, up another 1%. The OIH is higher by nearly 1% as well. The flight to quality trade that advanced U.S. Treasury prices yesterday has again found some support. Initial jobless claims were reported 25K ahead of expectations keeping bids firm and yields lower. The benchmark yield looks to be consolidating just above 4.5% while the 2-year briefly drifted below 3.90%. Traders are awaiting the release of the Oct Philadelphia Fed Index at the top of the hour, but expectations of a rate cut at the Halloween meeting continue to inch higher. The Nov Fed Funds contract projects more than a 70% chance of a cut after being closer to 30% just two days ago while the January contract fully prices in a 4.5% fed funds rate and sees more than a 40% odds of an additional 25BP cut to 4.25%. December gold remains bid at $768 after trading back above $770 earlier in the session when the EUR/USD moved out to new all-time highs again. Front month copper has been under a little pressure after Chinese officials overnight reiterated that they would continue to use macro policy tools to absorb liquidity and reaffirmed Q3 GDP growth in line with first half results.

- The USD saw broad weakness in today's session as higher commodity prices coupled with a poor corporate earnings release from Bank of America weighed upon sentiment. The USD broke away from is October consolidation range in most currency pairs. The EUR/USD hit fresh all-time highs above the 1,4300 level in the aftermath of the Bank of America results. More verbal concerns about the USD weakness were mentioned by non- government officials. European Businesses stated that the downward pressure on USD needs to subside and says it issues such as inflexible currency regimes and US deficits need to be addressed. The USD/JPY was lower as well after the China's central bank pledged a free-floating Yuan. The Chinese comment s were well timed ahead of the G7 summit but falling short of offering a timetable for the shift in any CNY policy. The PBoC did reiterate that it would use broad macro economic tools to prevent the economy from overheating. Yen related pairs managed to hold some key chart points on chatter that the Japanese Postal Service was selling JPY. EUR/JPY support is seen at 164.80, USD/JPY support seen at 115.10 area. GBP/USD tested above the 2.0450 level after some better UK retail sales for September. The Bank of Canada noted in its monetary policy report that the combined effect of a weaker U.S. outlook and a higher assumed level for the Canadian dollar implies that net exports will exert a more significant drag on the economy in 2008 and 2009 than previously expected. European Interest rates futures were broadly higher. Dec Bunds up 51 ticks at 112.57, Dec Gilts up 41 ticks at 107.00 DEX -0.8% at 7925, CAC -0.8% at 5,770, FTSE -0.8% at 6625


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