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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (April 09, 2014)

April 9, 2014, Wednesday, 18:02 GMT | 13:02 EST | 22:32 IST | 01:02 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- Yesterday saw the S&P500 move higher after briefly trading below its 50-day moving average around 1,840. Most global equity indices also bounced higher in Asia and European trading, although US indices have been choppy in the early going today. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.18%, the S&P500 is up 0.30% and the Nasdaq is up 0.51%.

- The minutes from the March FOMC meeting are a main focal point today. Note that analysts are eager to hear more color on the FOMC statement that the pace of rate hikes after the initial tightening would likely be more gradual than in the past. Various justifications from governors for the flat rate-hike trajectory are likely to be on display. Another point to watch for will be color on Yellen's emphasis on the lags in monetary policy, as some believe this means the Fed is laying the groundwork for rate hikes before any actual inflation pressure is visible.

- Greece formally confirms that it will return to the bond market with a five-year issuance in the immediate future. Athens will look to sell €2.5B in bonds and also said it was considering a potential 12-month T-bill sale. The company said it was seeing strong demand for the bond sale. Many commentators suggest Draghi's repeated verbal intervention and the resulting lower yields across the Eurozone is at least partially the reason for Greece's move, although economic data out of Athens have improved greatly over recent months.

- US wholesale inventories rose at a slower 0.5% pace in February, in line with expectations, after a revised 0.8% gain in January, which could support views that restocking will not help the economy in the first quarter.

- Alcoa gained 2% after the close yesterday and is up to +4.5 at its highs in mid-morning trading today. The company widely beat earnings expectations and reaffirmed that global aluminum demand growth would be flat y/y at +7%, although it also said demand in aerospace and auto industries would grow.

- Morgan Stanley downgraded General Motors to Underweight from Overweight in a research note out this morning. The firm highlighted a host of headwinds facing the company, including SAAR peaking, competition from Japanese companies and Tesla disrupting the sector and called for GM to reinvent itself. The firm cut both 2014 and 2015 EPS to around 20% below consensus. Shares of GM are down 2% this morning on the note.

- Private consumer goods giant Mars said it would buy Procter & Gamble's pet food brands Iams, Eukanuba and Natura for $2.9 billion in major markets to beef up its pet food business. Mars will buy the rights to the three brands in North America, Latin America and other regions excluding Europe. The regions included in the deal account for about 80% of P&G Pet Care's global sales.

- Coal names are giving up all of yesterday's gains and more this morning after UBS cut both Alpha National Resources and Arch Coal to Sell from Neutral. ACI is down 6% and ANR is down more than 9%, both names are at their lows as of writing. BTU is down 2% in sympathy.

***Looking Ahead***
- 11:30 (BR) Weekly Brazil Currency Flows
- 12:00 (US) USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE)
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $21B in 10-Year Notes Reopening
- 14:00 (US) Fed Minutes from March 18-19 FOMC meeting
- 14:00 (FR) ECB's Coeure (France) in Washington DC
- 15:30 (US) Fed's Evans speaks at Conference in Washington
- 17:00 (KR) South Korea Mar Export Price Index M/M: No est v 0.7% prior; Y/Y: No est v -3.6% prior
- 17:00 (KR) South Korea Mar Import Price Index M/M: No est v 0.8% prior; Y/Y: No est v -4.8% prior
- 19:00 (US) Fed's Tarullo speaks at Conference in Washington
- 21:00 (KR) Bank of Korea (BoK) Interest Rate Decision: expected to leave 7-Day Repo Rate unchanged at 2.50%
- 21:00 (AU) Australia Apr Consumer Inflation Expectation: No est v 2.1% prior
- 21:30 (AU) Australia Mar Employment Change: +2.5Ke v +47.3K prior; Unemployment Rate: 6.1%e v 6.0% prior

***Economic Data***
- (PL) Poland Central Bank (NBP) left its Base Rate unchanged at 2.50%, as expected
- (PT) Portugal Feb Trade Balance: -€794M v -€956M prior
- (EU) OECD Feb Unemployment Rate: 7.6% v 7.5% prior
- (BR) Brazil Apr IGP-M Inflation 1st Preview: 0.7% v 0.8%e
- (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Apr 4th: -1.6% v -1.2% prior
- (BR) Brazil Mar IBGE Inflation M/M: 0.9% v 0.9%e; Y/Y: 6.2% v 6.1%e
- (MX) Mexico Mar CPI M/M: 0.3% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 3.8% v 3.8%e; CPI Core M/M: 0.2% v 0.2%e
- (US) Feb Wholesale Inventories M/M: 0.5% v 0.5%e; Wholesale Trade Sales M/M: 0.7% v 1.0%e
- (US) DOE Crude: +4.03M v +1Me; Gasoline: -5.19M v -1Me; Distillate: +240KM v 0Me