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Barchart Morning Call - 2/15

 Barchart Morning Call

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- Tue Feb 15, 7:00AM CST
Overnight Developments
  • Global stocks are trading mixed with the European Euro Stoxx 50 index up +0.36% and March S&Ps down -0.20 of a point. The dollar and Treasuries are weaker after German investor confidence advanced for a fourth month in Feb. The Feb German ZEW survey of economic sentiment rose +0.3 to a 7-month high of 15.7, although it was weaker than expectations of +4.6 to 20.0. The European economy expanded less-than-expected in Q4 as cold weather curbed output in France and Germany. The Q4 Euro-Zone GDP expanded +0.3% q/q and +2.0% annualized, slightly weaker than expectations of +0.4% q/q and +2.1% annualized. Jan UK consumer prices rose an as-expected +0.1% m/m and +4.0% y/y. The +4.0% y/y increase is a 2-year high and double the BOE's 2.0% target, although BOE Governor King said an acceleration in inflation is only temporary and raising interest rates "quickly" risks undermining the economic recovery.
  • The Asian stock markets today closed mixed with Japan up +0.20%, Hong Kong -0.96%, China -0.05%, Taiwan +0.42%, Australia -0.10%, Singapore -0.77%, South Korea -0.23%, India +0.39%. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Index climbed to a 9-1/4 month high after the BOJ raised its economic assessment for the first time in 9 months. Japan's central bank kept the benchmark interest rate between 0.00% and 0.10% and the size of its asset-purchase program at 5 trillion yen ($60 billion) following its policy meeting and said, "Japan's economy is gradually emerging from the current deceleration phase." Jan China consumer prices rose +4.9% y/y, weaker than expectations of +5.4% y/y, while Jan China new lending climbed +18.3% y/y to 1.04 trillion yuan ($157.7 billion), the third-highest Jan total, although slightly weaker than expectations for new loan growth of 1.2 trillion yuan. In a research report published in the China Securities Journal, China's State Information Center said the PBOC might raise interest rates again in Q1 because of pressure from rising prices.
Overnight U.S. Stock News
  • March S&Ps this morning are trading little changed, down -0.20 of a point. The US stock market yesterday fluctuated between gains and losses and settled mixed as valuation concerns were offset by strength in Chinese exports: Dow -0.04%, S&P 500 +0.24%, Nasdaq Composite +0.28%. The S&P 500 posted a fresh 2-1/2 year high and the Nasdaq posted a 9-3/4 year high. Bullish factors included (1) optimism that the global economic recovery may be sustained after the Jan China trade balance narrowed to a 9-month low as Chinese exports and imports increased more than expected, (2) optimism about Egypt's democratic transition plan after Egypt's ruling army council said it aims to transfer power within 6 months to a democratically elected government, (3) a strong earnings season thus far with 74% of the 348 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results since Jan 10 beating analysts' estimates, and (4) the action by Bank of America to raise its per-share profit estimates for companies in the S&P 500 Index to $95 a share in 2011 from an earlier estimate of $93 and to hike its 2012 estimate to $102 from $99, citing accelerating growth in US and world gross domestic product at the end of last year that's boosting corporate profits.
  • Bearish factors for stocks included (1) concerns that valuations have become stretched as the S&P 500 Stock Index rose to its most expensive valuation since June, (2) renewed European sovereign-debt concerns after Reuters reported that a rescue plan for WestLB AG, the German state-owned bank bailed out during the financial crisis, is faltering, and (2) revised deficit figures from the White House that predict the US deficit for the current fiscal year will climb to a record $1.6 trillion, up from a $1.4 trillion estimate the administration previously estimated.
  • FedEx (NYSE:FDX) fell 1% in European trading after the company cut its fiscal Q3 quarterly earnings forecast to 70 to 90 cents a share, below an earlier forecast of 95 cents to $1.15 as higher-than-expected fuel costs and severe winter weather disrupted delivery operations in the US and Europe.
  • US Steel (NYSE:X) rose 2% in pre-market trading after Goldman Sachs raised its recommendation for the company to "buy" from "neutral."
Today's Market Focus
  • March 10-year T-notes this morning are trading down -9.5 ticks. T-note prices yesterday shook off early weakness and closed higher on dovish comments from the New York Fed President along with Fed purchases of Treasuries: TYH11 +4, FVH11 +2, EDM11 unchanged. Bullish factors included (1) comments from New York Fed President Dudley who said that he backs continued Fed asset purchases to "help ease financial conditions" and stimulate economic growth, (2) a paper from the San Francisco Fed that said there appears to be "little need" to raise the Fed funds rate target anytime soon, given unemployment and inflation aren't meeting the central bank's objectives, and (3) the action by the Fed to purchase $1.497 billion of Treasuries as part of its QE2 asset-purchase program. Bearish factors included (1) revised deficit figures from the White House that predict the US deficit for the current fiscal year will climb to a record $1.6 trillion, up from a previous estimate $1.4 trillion, which may lead to increased Treasury issuance, (2) the rally in the S&P 500 to a fresh 2-1/2 year high, and (2) reduced safe-haven demand for Treasuries on optimism that the global economic expansion may continue after Jan China exports and imports rose more-than-expected and Japan's Q4 GDP contracted less than expected.
  • The dollar index this morning is trading weaker with the dollar/yen +0.35 yen and the euro/dollar +0.47 cents. The dollar index yesterday pushed up to a 3-week high after the euro weakened when Euro-Zone finance ministers ruled out immediate steps to tackle the debt crisis: Dollar Index +0.154, USDJPY -0.122, EURUSD -0.00586. Bullish factors for the dollar included (1) the slump in the euro to a 3-week low against the dollar on renewed concerns over the European sovereign-debt crisis after Reuters reported that a rescue plan for WestLB AG, the German state-owned bank bailed out during the financial crisis, may founder, (2) disagreement among European leaders on debt reduction targets after Ireland's main opposition party said a new Irish government would seek to renegotiate detail's of the country's recent financial bailout and Greece said that demands from the European Union and the IMF that Greece sell state assets to raise as much as 50 billion euros by 2015 to pay down debt were "unacceptable." Bearish factors included (1) strength in the yen against the dollar after Japan's Q4 GDP contracted less than expected, and (2) dollar negative comments from New York Fed President Dudley who said that he backs continued Fed asset purchases to "help ease financial conditions" and stimulate economic growth.
  • March crude oil prices this morning are trading up +41 cents a barrel and March gasoline is up +0.31 of a cent per gallon. Crude oil and gasoline prices yesterday fluctuated and settled mixed as the dollar strengthened and undercut crude but a fire at a St. Croix refinery lifted gasoline as it threatens to limit US gasoline supplies: CLH11 -$0.77, RBH11 +5.22. Mar crude fell to a 2-1/2 month low and Mar gasoline climbed to a 2-1/3 nearest futures high. Bearish factors included (1) the rally in the dollar index to a 3-week high, which reduces investment demand for commodities, (2) reduced concern that civil unrest in the Middle East will disrupt crude supplies after Egypt's ruling army council said it aims to transfer power within 6 months to a democratically elected government, and (3) comments from the UAE oil minister who said the oil market is "well supplied" and that OPEC is ready to provide more crude to consumers as demand grows. Bullish factors included (1) strength in gasoline prices as a fire in the 525,000 barrel a day Hovensa LLC refinery in St. Croix threatens to limit US gasoline supplies, (2) the +27% y/y increase in Jan China crude oil imports to a 4-month high of 21.5 MMT, which signals strong demand, (3) the larger-than-expected increase in Jan China exports and imports, which suggests growing demand in the world's largest energy-consuming country, and (4) the warning from JPMorgan Chase that the departure of Egyptian President Mubarak "inspires" protesters in the Middle East and that "the prospect of regional contagion impacting a key oil supplier appears elevated.
Today's U.S. Earnings Reports

Earnings reports (confirmed releases, sorted by mkt cap) DELL-Dell (BEST earnings consensus $0.37), MMC-Marsh & McLennan (0.39), OMC-Omnicom Group (0.81), HCP-HCP Inc. (0.35), CTL-CenturyLink (0.77), HST-Host Hotels & Resorts (0.00), Q-Qwest Communications International (0.10), ADI-Analog Devices (0.65), CIT-CIT Group (0.44), WPI-Watson Pharmaceuticals (0.93), NBR-Nabors Industries Ltd. (0.38), SIRI-Sirius XM Radio (0.00), ROVI-Rovi (0.54), NXPI-NXP Semiconductor NV (0.47), FOSL-Fossil (1.35), MCP-Molycorp (-0.10).

Global Financial Calendar

Tuesday 2/15/11
United States
0745 ET ICSC (Int?l Council of Shopping Centers) weekly retailer sales.
0830 ET Feb Empire manufacturing index expected +3.1 to 15.0, Jan +2.0 to 11.9.
0830 ET Jan import price index expected +0.8% m/m and +4.4% y/y, Dec +1.1% m/m and +4.8% y/y.
0830 ET Jan retail sales expected +0.5% and +0.5% less autos, Dec +0.6% and +0.5% less autos.
0855 ET Redbook weekly retailer sales.
0900 ET Dec net long-term TIC flows expected +$32.5 billion, Nov +$85.1 billion.
1000 ET Dec business inventories expected +0.7%, Nov +0.2%.
1000 ET Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto speaks on ?Regional and National Economic Conditions? at the Annual Meeting of the Women?s Boards of Summa Health System.
1000 ET Feb NAHB housing market index expected unchanged at 16, Jan unchanged at 16.
1130 ET Weekly 4-week T-bill auction.
1630 ET API weekly energy inventory report.
1700 ET ABC U.S. weekly consumer confidence, previous -5 to -46.
Japan
0100 ET Revised Jan Japan machine tool orders, previous +89.4% y/y.
1850 ET Dec Japan tertiary index expected ?0.6% m/m, Nov +0.6% m/m.
n/a BOJ announces interest rate decision (expected no change to 0.00% to 0.10% benchmark rate).
France
0130 ET Q4 French GDP expected +0.6% q/q and +1.7% y/y, Q3 +0.3% q/q and +1.7% y/y.
Germany
0200 ET Q4 German GDP expected +0.5% q/q and +4.1% y/y, Q3 +0.7% q/q and +3.9% y/y.
0500 ET Feb German ZEW survey of economic sentiment expected +4.6 to 20.0, Jan +11.1 to 15.4. Feb ZEW current situation expected +0.2 to 83.0, Jan +0.2 to 82.8.
United Kingdom
0430 ET Dec UK DCLG house prices expected +2.8% y/y, Nov +4.0% y/y.
0430 ET Jan UK CPI expected +0.1% m/m and +4.0% y/y, Dec +1.0% m/m and +3.7% y/y.
0430 ET Jan UK core CPI expected +3.1% y/y, Dec +2.9% y/y.
0430 ET Jan UK RPI expected +0.2% m/m and +5.0% y/y, Dec +0.7% m/m and +4.8% y/y. Jan RPI ex mortgage interest payments expected +5.0% y/y, Dec +4.7% y/y.
1901 ET Jan UK nationwide consumer confidence expected ?3 to 50, Dec +8 to 53.
Euro-Zone
0500 ET Q4 Euro-Zone GDP expected +0.4% q/q and +2.1% y/y, Q3 +0.3% q/q and +1.9% y/y.

 

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