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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (February 20, 2014)

February 20, 2014, Thursday, 16:46 GMT | 11:46 EST | 21:16 IST | 23:46 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- US equity indices are recouping yesterday's losses this morning. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.42%, the S&P500 is up 0.44% and the Nasdaq is up 0.28%.

- After trading above $6.00 yesterday and before the US data, natural gas is back in the $5 handle. The inventory report was in line with expectations, however the weak Philly Fed report has also helped force down the front-month contract from the five-year highs seen over the last 24 hours. Crude is not moving much off the highs of the last two days, trading just shy of $103.

- The Philly Fed report is only the latest fresh data to be disrupted by the polar vortex. The headline number was drastically off from expectations, falling to its lowest level since last February and seeing its first negative reading since last May. However, analysts are highlighting the very strong gain seen in the future conditions index as reason to stay positive. The Markit flash February PMI climbed three points to a new 45-month high and further confirms that recent data misses have really just been about temporary weather factors.

- Walmart is down 1.5% after offering an uninspiring fourth quarter report. Headline figures met expectations but Q1 and FY15 guidance was well short of consensus. All of the company's sales comps were (slightly) in the red. Executives said the company is focusing on growth and returning to positive comps, although they expect economic factors to continue to weigh on the outlook.

- Shares of Facebook are down 2% as the media obsessively dissect the company's acquisition of hot messaging app for an almost unimaginable $19B. Recall that the company picked up Instagram for a mere $735M. Note that shares of Verizon are up nearly 4% this morning, making some wonder whether there is any advantage for the telecom in the deal.

- Among the big gainers this morning are Basic Energy Services and Trinity Industries, thanks to solid fourth-quarter results and very strong forward guidance. BAS is up 13% and TRN is up 10%. To the downside is Goodrich Petroleum, with a terrible report and lots of negative analyst comments. GDP is down 17%.

***Looking Ahead***
- 15:00 (US) API Monthly Statistical Report
- 18:50 (JP) Bank of Japan (BOJ) January 21-22 meeting minutes

***Economic Data***
- (UK) Feb CBI Industrial Trends Total Orders: +3 v +6e; Selling Prices: +17 v +17e
- (IE) Ireland Jan CPI M/M: -0.5% v 0.0% prior; Y/Y: +0.2 v +0.2% prior
- (IE) Ireland Jan CPI EU Harmonized M/M: No est v 0.1% prior; Y/Y: No est v 0.4% prior
- (IE) Ireland Jan PPI M/M: +0.4% v -2.1% prior; Y/Y: -1.5% v -2.2% prior
- (BR) Brazil Jan Unemployment Rate: 4.8% v 5.1%e
- (PL) Poland Central Bank (NBP) Minutes: Will be able to more fully assess the CPI and GDP prospects after looking at new forecasts in March
- (US) Jan CPI M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 1.6% v 1.6%e
- (US) Jan CPI Ex Food and Energy M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 1.6% v 1.6%e
- (US) Jan CPI Index NSA: 233.916 v 233.770e; CPI Core Index: 235.843 v 235.926e
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 336K v 335Ke; Continuing Claims: 2.98M v 2.98Me
- (US) Feb Preliminary Markit US PMI Manufacturing: 56.7 v 53.7e
- (BE) Belgium Feb Consumer Confidence Index: -4 v -4 prior
- (US) Feb Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook: -6.3 v +8.0e
- (US) Jan Leading Index: 0.3% v 0.3%e
- (EU) Euro Zone Feb Advance Consumer Confidence: -12.7 v -11.0e
- (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: -250 bcf v -245 to -255 bcf expected