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Thursday January 8, 2015 - 17:01:31 GMT
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| | Email US Mid-Session Update: Global Equities Rally on US Jobs Data, FOMC Minutes, Potential ECB Action

Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:48 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (IE) Ireland Nov Retail Sales Volume M/M: +0.2 v -0.4% prior; Y/Y: 4.7 v 5.2% prior
- (ZA) South Africa Nov Electricity Consumption Y/Y: -0.8% v -1.0% prior; Electricity Production Y/Y: -2.0% v -1.0% prior
- (BR) Brazil Nov Industrial Production M/M: -0.7% v +0.5%e; Y/Y: -5.8% v -4.0%e
- (CL) Chile Dec CPI M/M: -0.4% v -0.3%e; Y/Y: 4.6% v 4.8%e; CPI Core M/M: 0.3% v 0.2%e
- (UK) BOE left both Interest Rate and Asset Purchase Target (APT) unchanged at 0.50% and 375B respectively (as expected)
- (IE) Ireland Nov Consumer Confidence Index: 90.5 v 85.5 prior
- (US) Dec Challenger Job Cuts: +32.6K v +35.9K prior; Y/Y: +6.6% v -20.7% prior
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 294K v 290Ke; Continuing Claims: 2.452M v 2.36Me
- (CA) Canada Nov New Housing Price Index M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 1.7% v 1.6% prior
- (BR) Brazil Dec Vehicle Production: 203.8K v 264.8K prior; Vehicle Sales: 370.0K v 294.7K prior; Vehicle Exports: 23.7K v 26.0K prior
- (MX) Mexico Dec CPI M/M: 0.5% v 0.5%e; Y/Y: 4.1% v 4.1%e; CPI Core M/M: 0.2% v 0.3%e
- (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: -131 bcf v -117 to -121 bcf expected

The lower weekly jobless claims numbers plus hopes for another ~250K print in the December non-farm payrolls report tomorrow are helping sustain today's rally. In Europe, signs of deflation in the November PPI data and poor German factory orders may have assisted the run higher, placing even more pressure on the ECB to launch QE right away. With risk on, the 10-year yield is back above 2.0% as yield curve steepens. As of writing, the DJIA is up 1.61%, the S&P500 is up 1.66% and the Nasdaq is adding 1.64%.

Yesterday's FOMC minutes confirmed that if the labor market continues to heal, then the Fed is likely to raise rates in the middle of the year even as they remain "patient" on hikes. Most analysts say higher rates are likely to happen even if there is little progress on inflation, and one aptly pointed out that the 2004 tightening cycle began with the core PCE deflator near current levels. The WSJ's Hilsenrath argued that a case is to be made that lower long-term yields may even push the Fed to hike sooner, given they could be a sign of global funds flowing into the US economy and away from anemic overseas markets, potentially inflating various asset bubbles.

WTI crude is just shy of $49, just below the level seen over the last 24 hours. Analysts continue to predict a recovery in prices in 2015. BoA said WTI would close out the year at $82 and Brent at $87, although the firm was saying just yesterday that Brent could test $40 in near term and WTI could test $35.

The euro weakened further in the US morning after the surprisingly weak November Eurozone PPI data and the huge miss in the German December factory orders. EUR/USD bottomed out at 1.1760 before retaking the 1.1800 handle later in the morning. In a letter to EU lawmakers published today, ECB President Draghi reiterated that new measures under consideration may include sovereign bond purchases.

Retailers issued mixed holiday comp sales reports this morning. The releases were full of positive comments about sales conditions, but it was not hard to discern that sales are not exactly soaring. American Eagle nudged guidance a bit higher, but comps were in the red. L Brands sales decelerated significantly from the November pace. Barnes & Noble was pretty poor. Many retail names gave up gains seen yesterday following JC Penny's decent November-December report.

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals spiked +7% this morning, the biggest gain in the name in months, after it hiked its FY15 guidance and talked about its deals pipeline. The company may have lost on Allergan, but it said it still has plenty of smaller acquisitions in sight. The firm's FY15 guidance was a bit above its initial outlook offered several months ago, which took into account Allergan accretion.

***Looking Ahead***
- 12:00 (US) Fed's Rosengren to speak
- 15:00 (US) Nov Consumer Credit: $15.0Be v $13.2B prior
- 16:00 (CO) Colombia Nov Exports: $4.1Be v $4.2B prior
- 19:30 (AU) Australia Nov Retail Sales M/M: 0.2%e v 0.4% prior
- 20:00 (US) Fed's Kocherlakota on monetary policy
- 20:30 (CN) China Dec PPI Y/Y: -3.1%e v -2.7% prior
- 20:30 (CN) China Dec CPI Y/Y: 1.5%e v 1.4% prior
- 22:35 (JP) Japan to sell 6-Month Bills


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