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Thursday February 5, 2015 - 17:29:35 GMT
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| | Email US Market Update: Fourth Straight Day of Equity Gains in US

Thu, 05 Feb 2015 11:56 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (UK) Bank of England (BOE) left both Interest Rates and Asset Purchase Target (APT) unchanged at 0.50% and 375B respectively, as expected
- (CZ) Czech Central Bank (CNB) left both Repurchase Rate and EUR/CZK Floor unchanged at 0.05% and 'around 27.00' respectively, as expected
- (US) Jan Challenger Job Cuts: +53.0K v +32.6K prior; Y/Y: 17.6 v 6.6% prior
- (US) Feb RBC Consumer Outlook Index: 54.7 v 53.3 prior
- (RU) Russia Jan CPI M/M: 3.9% v 2.5%e; Y/Y: 15.0% v 13.5%e; CPI YTD: 3.9% v 13.4%e
- (RU) Russia Jan CPI Core M/M: 3.5% v 2.4%e; Y/Y: 14.7% v 13.3%e
- (US) Q4 Preliminary Nonfarm Productivity: -1.8% v +0.1%e; Unit Labor Costs: 2.7% v +1.2%e
- (US) Dec Trade Balance: -$46.6B v -$38.0Be
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 278K v 290Ke; Continuing Claims: 2.40M v 2.40Me
- (CA) Canada Dec Int'l Merchandise Trade Balance: -C$0.7B v -C$1.1Be
- (DK) Denmark Central Bank cuts CD rate to -0.75% from -0.50%, not expected
- (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: -115 bcf vs. -119 to -123 bcf expected range

US equity markets are seeing their fourth consecutive session of gains this morning, with oil up again and the data supportive ahead of tomorrow's January US jobs report. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.87%, the S&P500 is up 0.85% and the Nasdaq is up 0.70%.

The US trade deficit widened out to its highest level since late 2012 in December, as imports surged over November levels and exports shrank. The rising level of imports could pull down the second reading of Q4 GDP from the advance +2.6% reading out last week. The decline in energy imports was more than made up for by other non-energy components.

Crude continues to be volatile, with WTI down nearly 5% on yesterday's session after a 20% rally higher over the preceding three sessions. Wednesday's EIA inventories were at their highest level ever, driving the decline. Wednesday's losses have been recouped today, with WTI rising 7% to $51.36 from around $48.

Yesterday the ECB stopped accepting Greek government bonds as collateral for loans, sending Greek stocks down nearly 10%. This morning the ECB formally moved funding for Greece to the ELA program, at a cost of 1.5% compared to 0.005% for ECB repos. The decision to fund Greek banks through the ELA effectively grants the ECB the ability to turn off the country's funding and ratchets up pressure on Athens not to exit its commitments too lightly. EUR/USD tested 1.1300 on yesterday's news and is back up to around 1.1430 in trading today.

Michael Kors plummeted 13% in the premarket but has made back the bulk of its losses in cash trading. Kors total SSS rose 8.6%, but the North American comps were only up 6%, missing estimates and marking the fourth quarter of decelerating comps. Nevertheless, the firm grew revenue 30% y/y in the quarter and hiked its FY15 guidance. Soothing comments on the conference call and lots of analyst defense helped Kors regain ground.

Shares of Twitter have gained around 12% over the last five session headed into Q4 earnings. They gained another 3% this morning on press reports that Twitter has reached a deal with Google to make its tweets searchable Goolge searches. The two firms had a similar arrangement from 2009 to 2011. There is no advertising revenue involved in the deal, but it may involve licensing fees to Twitter.

Pfizer has agreed to buy Hospira for $90/shr, in a total deal valued around $15.2 billion. Hospira is a top provider of injectable drugs, including those used for acute care and cancer treatment. The buyout will give Pfizer an entry to the growing market for biosimilars, while Hospira gets access to Europe and emerging markets.

***Looking Ahead***
- 19:00 (CO) Colombia Jan CPI M/M: 0.6%e v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: 3.8%e v 3.7% prior
- 19:30 (AU) RBA Statement on Monetary Policy


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