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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (February 18, 2014)

February 18, 2014, Tuesday, 17:38 GMT | 12:38 EST | 23:08 IST | 01:38 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- The DJIA and S&P500 are more or less even on the session, while the Nasdaq is seeing pretty solid gains. As of writing, the DJIA and S&P500 are flat while the Nasdaq is up 0.56%.

- Crude continues to gain ground, and the front-month WTI contract is trading firmly in the $101 handle, at its highest levels in four months. The move higher comes as harsh winter weather continues to pound the East Coast, and further narrows the discount to Brent crude. Note that trading volumes have been very strong today, well above the recent average.

- The February NAHB housing market index out this morning plunged to its lowest level since last May, falling ten points to 46. The m/m decline from January was the largest on record. Obviously the bad weather on the East Coast is the main reason for the weakness in the survey, however analysts note that regions free of drastic winter weather also saw sharp declines in February. Homebuilder names are down on the data by a few percent a piece.

- Carl Icahn scored yet another victory over the weekend, as global generics name Actavis agreed to acquire Forest Labs in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $25 billion. Icahn has been prodding the company to create value since 2009, and was instrumental in getting current CEO Brent Saunders into the top spot. Actavis will acquire Forest for $89.48 per share, or a combination of $26.04 in cash and 0.33 Actavis shares. ACT is up around 7% on the news. Note that Chelsea Therapeutics are up 6% as well this morning, likely on this deal news.

- Shares of Coca-Cola are down 3.5% after the firm offered a disappointing fourth-quarter report. Revenue fell short of consensus expectations and declined nearly 4% y/y, while North America volumes declined 1% y/y in the quarter. Net income also slid lower y/y in the quarter as the firm struggles with FX headwinds.

***Looking Ahead***
- (IR) Iran, World Powers (P5+1) hold Nuclear talks in Vienna
- (IT) Italy Lower House to vote on Election law
- (IT) PD chief Renzi begins talks on forming govt with parties
- (IS) Israel Jan Leading 'S' Indicator M/M: No est v 0.2% prior
- 11:30 (US) Treasury to sell $84B in 3-Month and 6-Month Bills
- 16:00 (CL) Chile Central Bank Interest Rate Decision: Expected to cut Overnight Rate Target by 25bps to 4.25%
- 16:00 (CO) Colombia Dec Trade Balance: 193.8M v $128.1M prior; Total Imports CIF: No est v $5.0B prior

***Economic Data***
- (IS) Israel Feb CPI Forecast: 1.6% v 1.7% prior
- (IS) Israel Jan M1 Money Supply Y/Y: 15.8% v 15.9% prior
- (UR) Ukraine Jan Industrial Production M/M: -16.0% v -12.0%e; Y/Y: -5.0% v -1.4%e
- (TR) Turkey Central Bank (CBRT) left all three key rates unchanged ;as expected;
- (HU) Hungary Central Bank (NBH) cut the Base rate by 15bps to 2.70%; more than expected
- (PL) Poland Jan Average Gross Wages M/M: 9.9% v -10.0%e; Y/Y: 3.4% v 3.2%e
- (PL) Poland Jan Employment M/M: 0.3% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: 0.0% v 0.5%e
- (US) Feb Empire Manufacturing: 4.48 v 8.95e
- (CA) Canada Dec Int'l Securities Transactions: C$ v C$8.7B prior
- (US) Dec Net Long-term TIC Flows: -$45.9B v $30.0Be; Total Net TIC Flows: -$119.6B v -$16.6B prior
- (US) Feb NAHB Housing Market Index: 46 v 56e

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