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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (April 14, 2014)

April 14, 2014, Monday, 16:50 GMT | 11:50 EST | 20:20 IST | 22:50 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- European equities sank lower ahead of the US session as things heated up in Eastern Ukraine, however they are back to unchanged as of writing. US stocks have moved higher in the wake of decent Citigroup numbers and very good retail sales data, although volume is low and the VIX remains elevated. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.80%, the S&P500 is up 0.70% and the Nasdaq is up 1.19%.

- The March US advanced retail sales numbers were very strong, likely reflecting a burst of pent-up demand after three solid months of weak numbers that were blamed on poor weather conditions. The March result saw its largest gain in 1.5 years and receipts rose in nearly all categories, while the Feb data was revised to +0.7% from +0.3%. The Feb business inventories rose a bit less than expected, indicating a slow pace of restocking.

- Jawboning by Draghi and then by ECB's Noyer this morning have forced EUR/USD away from the 1.3900 handle, while the US equity rebound plus the better retail sales report have also helped strengthen the dollar. EUR/USD is just off its lows, around 1.3820. USD/JPY found resistance around 102 just before the US equity open and is around 101.80 presently.

- Citigroup's headline results beat expectations, sending shares up nearly 4% in the premarket. Nevertheless, revenue fell about 1% y/y, driven by an 18% decline in fixed income revenue. Net income was up, thanks mostly to the shrinking losses at Citi Holdings, although they were somewhat impaired by legal charges. The CFO said the bank had still not gotten a response from the Fed on remedies for its blocked capital plan.

- Twitter's second big post-IPO lockup expiration is around the corner on May 5th. This morning, co-founders Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, and CEO Costolo disclosed they have no current plans to sell shares ahead of the lockup expiration. The May lockup expiration will make 474.7M shares eligible for sale by insiders, increasing number of tradable shares by approx 80%. Shares of Twitter lost 7% in last week's sell-off and are down more than 35% YTD.

- Shares of Herbalife have bounced higher after Friday afternoon's steep losses. Midafternoon on Friday, the FT reported that the DOJ has initiated a criminal probe into the allegations that Herbalife is a pyramid scheme. The company said it was aware of any investigation, and later CNBC said law enforcement sources said there was no evidence of criminal activity but an investigation was ongoing. HLF is up 6.4%.

- Aspen Insurance Holdings gained around 18% in the premarket after receiving an unsolicited cash-and-stock buyout offer from Endurance Specialty Holdings at $47.50/shr, valuing the company at $3.2B. Aspen rejected the approach and shares of AHL have come well off their highs in mid-morning trade. Healthcare name Chindex International is up 16.3% after receiving a $23/shr offer from an unnamed bidder, topping the definitive $19.50/shr offer it received back in mid-February.

***Looking Ahead***
- 11:30 (US) Treasury to sell $48B in 3-Month and 6-Month Bills
- 12:00 (CA) Canadian Minister Valcourt Speaks at Empire Club
- 17:00 (CO) Colombia Feb Retail Sales Y/Y: 6.2%e v 6.5% prior
- 17:00 (CO) Colombia Feb Industrial Production Y/Y: 1.5%e v 0.1% prior
- 19:01 (UK) Mar BRC Sales Like-For-Like Y/Y: No est v -1.0% prior
- 21:30 (AU) RBA Minutes April Meeting

***Economic Data***
- (IE) Ireland Feb Trade Balance: €3.2B v €3.1B prior
- (BR) Brazil Apr FGV Inflation IGP1- M/M: 1.2% v 1.1%e
- (IL) Israel Mar CPI M/M: 0.3% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: 1.3% v 1.2%e
- (PL) Poland Mar M3 Money Supply M/M: 1.1% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: 5.1% v 4.8%e
- 08:15 Baltic Dry Bulk Index
- (US) Mar Advance Retail Sales M/M: 1.1% v 0.9%e; Retail Sales Ex Auto M/M: 0.7% v 0.5%e; Retail Sales Ex Auto and Gas: 1.0% v 0.4%e; Retail Sales Control Group: 0.8% v 0.5%e
- (CA) Canada Mar Teranet/National Bank HPI M/M: 0.0% v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: 4.6% v 5.0% prior; House Price Index: 160.42 v 160.41 prior
- (US) Feb Business Inventories: 0.4% v 0.5%e