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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (December 19, 2013)

December 19, 2013, Thursday, 18:15 GMT | 13:15 EST | 22:45 IST | 01:15 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- US equity markets are giving up a sliver of the big gains that arrived in the wake of the FOMC's taper announcement yesterday afternoon. Note that the US data out this morning has been below expectations. As of writing, the DJIA is down 0.14%, the S&P500 is down 0.28% and the Nasdaq is down 0.31%.

- The taper is on and the Fed is now on a glide path to ending QE bond purchases in 2014, so long as the data continues to reflect an improving economy. "If we're making progress in terms of inflation and continued job gains, then I imagine we'll continue to do probably at each meeting a measured reduction. That would take us to late in the year, not -- necessarily not by the middle of the year," said Chairman Bernanke. Now the FOMC must focus on communication, to convince markets that rates will be held very low until well past the point when the unemployment reaches 6.5%.

- The belly of the curve is getting his this morning: the 5-year yield has backed up noticeably to 1.67%, with the 5/10 spread flattening by seven basis points. 2015 Fed fund futures have also seen some selling, with contracts now fully pricing in a rate hike by the beginning of Q4. The ten-year yield continues to rise, pushing toward 2.93% this morning.

- Existing home sales declined to 4.9M units in November from 5.12M units in October, and declined on a y/y basis for the first time in 29 months. The NAR warned that sales are being hurt by higher mortgage rates, constrained inventory and continuing tight credit. And while the Philly Fed survey didn't quite live up to high expectations, nearly all major components showed solid m/m growth. Jobless claims climbed to a nine-month high, for a second week of higher claims.

- Shares of Oracle are up 4.5% this morning on a solid second-quarter report. The firm's numbers in Q2 and guidance for Q3 were in line with expectations, although investors have been focusing more on solid growth in cloud software bookings, which rose 35% in the quarter, far outstripping growth in conventional software licenses.

- AK Steel is up 10.3% after offering solid guidance for its Q4. After several quarters of struggle, steel names have begun to see some renewed demand. AK Steel confirmed the trend, citing particular strength in carbon sales to the spot market. US Steel is up 4% in sympathy.

- Fast casual dining firm Darden cut its FY14 guidance this morning, citing weak conditions and its continuing realignment program. Darden also announced that it would spin off its flagging Red Lobster chain to shareholders, after pressure from activist investor Barington Capital. Shares of DRI are down 6%.

***Looking Ahead***
- (CN) US-China to again hold Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) talks in Beijing
- 11:00 (CO) Colombia Q3 GDP Q/Q: 0.5%e v 2.2% prior; Y/Y: 4.3%e v 4.2% prior
- 11:00 (BR) Brazil to sell Fixed-rate 2019 and 2023 bonds
- 11:00 (US) Fed to purchase $1.25-1.75B in Notes
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $16B in 5-Year TIPS Reopening
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $29B in 7-Year Notes
- 14:00 (US) Fed to purchase $4.75-5.75B in Notes
- 16:00 (CO) Colombia Oct Retail Sales Y/Y: 4.6%e v 2.3% prior
- 16:00 (CO) Colombia Oct Industrial Production Y/Y: -0.3%e v -1.8% prior
- 19:05 (UK) Dec GfK Consumer Confidence: -11e v -12 prior
- (JP) Bank of Japan (BOJ) Monetary Policy Statement; expected to leave Monetary Base Target unchanged at ¥270T

***Economic Data***
- (IE) Ireland Nov PPI M/M: 0.0% v -0.4% prior; Y/Y: -0.9% v -0.1% prior
- (IE) Ireland Q3 GDP Q/Q: 1.5% v 1.0%e; Y/Y: 1.7% v 0.6%e
- (RU) Russia Gold and Forex Reserve w/e Dec 13th: $512.7B v $511.2B prior
- (BR) Brazil Dec IBGE Inflation IPCA-15 M/M: 0.8 v 0.7%e; Y/y: 5.9% v 5.7%e
- (BR) Brazil Nov Unemployment Rate: 4.6% v 4.9%e
- (EU) OECD Q3 Unit labour costs: 0.0% v 0.1% prior
- (IL) Israel Oct Manufacturing Production: 3.5% v 0.9% prior
- (BR) Brazil Nov Total Outstanding Loans (BRL): 2.647T v 2.610T prior; M/M: 1.5% v 0.5% prior; Private Banks Lending: 1.301T v 1.288T prior; Personal Loan Default Rate: 6.7% v 6.8% prior
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 379K v 332Ke; Continuing Claims: 2.884M v 2.77Me
- (IL) Israel Nov Leading 'S' Indicator M/M: 0.2% v 0.2% prior
- (MX) Mexico Oct Retail Sales Y/Y: -1.1% v -1.6%e
- (US) Dec Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook: 7.0 v 10.0e
- (US) Nov Existing Home Sales: 4.9M v 5.02Me
- (US) Nov Leading Index: 0.8% v 0.7%e
- (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: -285 bcf v -265 to -255 bcf expected range