Market Update

{+++}US Market Update

Dow +56 S&P +6 NASDAQ -5
– US equity indices are generally making the first real advances of the week as the blowout Philly Fed data prompts investors to buy stocks. The tech heavy NASDAQ is the notable laggard in front of tomorrow’s quadruple witching and this afternoon’s earnings results from RIMM. The initial jobless claims remain above the 600K level, while the continuing claims have fallen on a w/w basis for the first time in months. Some commentators believe the improvement had more to do with benefits running out for long-term unemployed rather than any uptick in hiring, however. The Philadelphia Fed provided a stark contrast to Monday’s disappointing June Empire Manufacturing data, with its survey of business conditions dramatically better than expected (-2.2 V -17.0E), for the best reading since last September. Front-month crude is back above $71 in early trading.

– The brighter picture on the data front and the Treasury announcement that they would be auctioning off $104B in new coupon supply next week has brought sellers back into the bond market. The benchmark 10-year has popped back above a 4.75% yield with the long bond rate nearing 4.6% once again.

– Financial stocks are bouncing back a bit after three days of declines now that the broad outlines of the new financial regulation proposals have been made clear. However, commentators are showing some doubts about Citigroup, which many assume will not benefit from the new regulatory regime. GE Capital is also likely to face more regulation under the new system. The WSJ points out that GE’s finance arm does not currently fall under the purview of a bank regulator, while under the new regulations GE Capital would likely be classified as a systemically important firm because of its size and be forced to operate under stricter regulatory oversight. Shares of GE fell as much as 5% in early trading, before heading back toward positive territory.

– Major industrial names Caterpillar and Emerson Electric disclosed order data that hardly indicates any recovery is under way for these two companies. Cat’s three-month retail sales in North America fell 57%, compared with declines of 51% and 41% in April and March, respectively. Retail sales for the rest of the world fell 35% over the period, also at a faster pace than in the prior two months. Emerson said order trends improved sequentially in May from the month before, but continued to show weakness across its global markets. Emerson’s three-month order rate was down 25% in May, compared with declines of 25-30% in March and April.

– In earnings, J.M. Smucker crushed analyst estimates in its Q4 report and also guided full-year earnings above expectations. The company also managed impressive y/y margin and US retail growth. Carnival Cruise Lines came in ahead of expectations in its Q2, despite higher fuel prices and disruptions from H1N1. The firm guided slightly below par for next quarter, and cut its full-year forecast slightly. Discover Financial reported a profitable Q2 thanks to a big payout from its lawsuit victory against Visa and MasterCard. Before this special item, TTN analysis suggests that the firm lost $0.15 per share in the quarter, compared to analysts estimates for a $0.30/shr loss.

– In currencies, rising risk appetite helped EUR/USD and EUR/CHF move higher following the US weekly claims data, which saw the first w/w drop in continuing claims since Jan 2nd and the largest weekly decline since Nov 2001. Overall, risk appetite improved as participants took the data at face value. The better Philly Fed and leading indicators also cemented the view that the worst of the economic crisis has past. EUR/USD tested the alleged “Chinese” 1.4000 option barrier but encountered some stiff selling nonetheless.

– The sharp move in Swiss Franc-related pairs prompted renewed chatter of currency intervention, with the Bank of International Settlements cited as the intermediary. Dealers are noting it remains unclear whether 1.50 is the clear “line in the snow” for SNB intervention. The market has significant long EUR/CHF positions, and the cross was testing the 1.5000 in early New York trading where plenty of option barriers seemed vulnerable. SNB’s Jordan commented that the SNB had no fixed FX threshold. Nonetheless, the cross soared to 1.5140 on rumors of intervention, with the BIS, the SNB and the ECB all having “no comment” on whether actual intervention had occurred. Dealers are now focusing on the key resistance level of 1.5230, which corresponds to the downtrend line from the 1.6330 highs made in late July 2008.

– Oil and metals encountered a choppy session and the price movement was reflected in the AUD and CAD pairs that mirrored the commodity price action. USD/CAD tested the 1.1360 area before moving back to 1.1250. The pair was also aided by the higher-than-expected Canadian CPI data. AUD/USD is back above the 0.80 handle as rising risk appetite put oil back in positive territory.Trade The News Market Update System.

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