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Wednesday February 11, 2015 - 17:02:37 GMT
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| | Email US Mid-Session Update: Crises in Greece and Ukraine in the Spotlight

Wed, 11 Feb 2015 11:48 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (IL) Israel Jan Trade Balance: -$0.5B v -$1.2B prior
- (PT) Portugal Jan CPI M/M: -1.4% v -1.2%e; Y/Y: -0.4% v -0.4%e
- (PT) Portugal Jan CPI EU Harmonized M/M: -1.5% v -1.3%e; Y/Y: -0.4% v -0.2%e
- (BR) Brazil Dec Retail Sales M/M: -2.6% v -0.6%e; Y/Y: 0.3% v 2.4%e
- (BR) Brazil Dec Broad Retail Sales M/M: -3.7% v -1.0%e; Y/Y: -2.2% v +1.0%e
- (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Feb 6th: -9.0% v +1.3% prior
- (US) Baltic Dry Bulk Index -0.5% at 553 points to an all-time record low
- (MX) Mexico Dec Industrial Production M/M: -0.3% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: 3.0% v 2.8%e; Manufacturing Production Y/Y: 5.7% v 6.0%e
- (US) DOE Crude: M v +4.0Me; Gasoline: M v +0.5Me; Distillate: M v -1.5Me

US and European stock indices are under pressure this morning as yesterday's optimism about Greece evaporates and no good US economic data is on tap to calm nerves. Note that the yield on the 10-year UST is firmly above 2% again this morning after moving above the psychologically important level yesterday for the first time in a month. As of writing, the DJIA is down 0.17%, the S&P500 is down 0.11% and the Nasdaq is up 0.35%.

The Greece situation has taken a turn towards stalemate today, dispelling recent hopes that Greece's conciliatory proposals could lead to a rapid agreement with the Europeans. German officials said they did not expect the EU to offer Athens any concessions and warned there was little chance of a deal at today's Euro Group meeting or the upcoming EU leaders' summit on Feb 12th. German Finance Minister Schaeuble warned that if Greece refuses to accept the final 7 billion tranche of the current bailout program then "it's over." Meanwhile in Minsk, French President Hollande, German Chancellor Merkel, Russia President Putin and Ukraine's Poroshenko are meeting in a last-ditch effort to conclude a ceasefire deal for eastern Ukraine. EUR/USD continues to pivot around 1.1300.

WTI crude is back below $50 for the first time in four sessions this morning after the weekly DoE report showed yet another big build in inventories. This morning the Kuwaiti oil minister weighed in on the subject, asserting that crude prices to strengthen in the second half of 2015 and might even reach $60/barrel by the end of the year.

Yesterday shares of Apple closed at just over $122 each, making the firm the first publicly-quoted US firm to achieve a market capitalization of more than $700 billion. Apple CEO Cook made remarks at a tech conference, noting that his company would buy about $850 million of power from a new First Solar plant, guaranteeing that all of its California facilities ran completely on solar power. Shares of FSLR gained about 13% on the news.

Rite Aid is getting into the pharmacy benefits manager business, via the acquisition of Envision Pharmaceutical Services for $2 billion in cash and stock. EnvisionRx is a national PBM with about $5 billion in projected annual revenue. The acquisition will also give Rite Aid access to more prescriptions and help source drugs at lower prices. Shares of RAD are up nearly 10% on the news, while ESRX is up 2.5% in sympathy.

In earnings, Pepsico beat expectations, hiked its dividend and added a big chunk to its stock buyback. PEP is up 2.0%. Shares of Mosaic are up nearly 3% after the firm beat expectations and said demand for fertilizer would remain strong throughout 2015. Time Warner is giving up its earlier gains after a solid quarterly report after telling investors on the conference call that subscription revenue growth would keep slowing down all year. Finally KBH is up 3% after offering strong preliminary first quarter metrics.

***Looking Ahead***
- 14:00 (US) Jan Monthly Budget Statement: -$19.0Be v -$10.3B prior
- 16:30 (NZ) New Zealand Jan Manufacturing PMI: No est v 57.7 prior
- 19:00 (AU) Australia Feb Consumer Inflation Expectation Survey: No est v 3.2% prior
- 19:30 (AU) Australia Jan Employment Change: -5.0Ke v +37.4K prior; Unemployment Rate: 6.2%e v 6.1% prior
- 23:00 (MY) Malaysia Q4 GDP Y/Y: 5.0%e v 5.6% prior; Annual 2014 GDP: 5.9%e v 4.7% prior
- 23:00 (MY) Malaysia Q4 Current Account (MYR): 9.8Be v 7.6B prior


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