Dow -171 S&P -16.3 NASDAQ -20 **Economic Data*** - (BR) Brazil Nov Capacity Utilization: 81.4% v 80.8%e - (BR) Brazil Dec Total Outstanding Loans (BRL): 1.4T v 1.4T prior; Private bank Lending: 824M v 815M prior - (PD) Poland Dec Producer Prices M/M: -0.2% v -0.3%e; Y/Y: 2.1% v 2.2%e - (PD) Poland Core Inflation M/M: -0.2% v 0.0% prior; Y/Y: 2.6% v 2.7%e - (PD) Poland Dec Sold Industrial Output M/M: -5.4% v -1.0%e; Y/Y: 7.4% v 11.7%e - (CA) Canada Nov Wholesale Sales M/M: 2.5% v 0.5%e - (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 482K v 440Ke; Continuing Claims: 4.599M v 4.598Me - (US) Nov RPX Composite 28-day Y/Y: -4.19% v -7.46% prior - (US) Jan Philadelphia Fed: 15.2 v 18.0e - (US) Dec Leading Indicators: 1.1 v 0.7%e
- Indices were trading around even this morning as strong earnings reports from various quarters, chiefly Goldman Sachs, managed to offset the higher than expected weekly initial jobless claims number. But a miss on the Philadelphia Fed's regional manufacturing survey and jitters ahead of President Obama's banking regulation press conference has created some uncertainty. Note that some of the usual suspects are also aiding the risk adverse theme to the session. Greek 10-year spreads widened out towards all time highs above 300 basis points, while Chinese GDP and inflation data spurred talk the government is going to be getting serious sooner about reigning in growth. Commodities are lower and the Dollar has managed to consolidate and even add to its recent gains. Treasury prices opened lower but have rallied nicely with the weaker data and stock market. The US long bond yield has made its way back down to 4.5% and the 10-year is approaching 3.6% which continues to produce a slightly flatter curve.
- Goldman Sachs crushed estimates this morning, disproving the naysayers who had consistently downgraded estimates over the course of the quarter. For the full year, Goldman earned more than $13B, almost as much as $15B earned by the five other big national banks combined. Investment banking revenue, which hobbled JP Morgan last week, grew strongly on both a q/q and y/y basis. Regional banks Fifth Third and KeyCorp are both up nearly 10% after beating earnings expectations - both banks' quarterly losses were smaller than expected. FITB's loan loss provisions are finally declining, although Key doesn't seem to be over the hump quite yet. Financial services names PNC and Legg Mason are both off about 5% a piece. PNC's charge-offs and non-performing assets both spiked q/q, spooking investors. Legg missed earnings estimates.
- Starbucks beat Q1 estimates and hiked its earnings outlook for the full year yesterday after the close. After several quarters of disappointing results, executives are hopeful that the coffee king's business is turning around, insisting that recent comp sales improvements are sustainable and predicting positive comps for the year. SBUX is up 4% in early trading. Note that consumer name Estee Lauder raised its guidance for Q2 to well above the consensus estimate on strong sales in the US holiday period and in Asia. EL is more than 7%. Airlines Continental and Southwest are both up after reporting Q4 earnings results that were well ahead of expectations.
- Ebay is up *% after moderately better than expected results in its Q4 report and strong guidance for the next quarter and the full year, boosted by the sale of its Skype business and growth in PayPal. Seagate Technology crushed expectations on bullish demand for storage products and strong revenue guidance for next quarter. STX was up as much as 14% immediately after the open, although the name is back around +10% in mid morning trade. Semi name Xilinx and networking name F5 Networks both beat thanks to very strong demand. FFIV has traded off from +6% to around even, while XLNX is up 4% and heading higher.
- After consolidating its earlier gains from the European, the risk aversion sentiment picked up some momentum over concerns the US might pass a bank tax. Earlier today stronger than expected China inflation data fueled concerns that the PBoC may have to do more to stop its economy from overheating. The European peripherals also continued to weigh on euro sentiment as the Greek 10-year spread widened above the 300bps against the Bund. EUR/USD is retesting the lower third of its session range as the pair moved back below the 1.4050 area. The euro has not seen a 1.39 handle since last July.
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