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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (January 02, 2014)

January 2, 2014, Thursday, 18:06 GMT | 13:06 EST | 22:36 IST | 01:06 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News


- Equity markets are pulling back from highs on the first trading session of 2014. Note that in 2013, the S&P 500 saw its best year since 1997. As of writing, the DJIA is down 0.48%, the S&P500 is down 0.60% and the Nasdaq is down 0.58%.

- December manufacturing PMI data from around the globe have been under the microscope this morning. The official China data was 52, barely above contraction and at a four-month low. In Europe, Germany and Italy saw readings that indicated a solid level of expansion, with both sustaining six months of growth, while France's manufacturing PMI fell to a seven-month low, with sharp declines in both output and new orders. The US reading hit its highest level in a year, with the output index at its best level in nearly two years.

- The greenback has strengthened against major pairs this morning. EUR/USD entered 2014 just below the 1.3750 level and has dropped to around 1.3650 as of writing. GBP/USD fell to 1.6430 from 1.6600 overnight.

- Crude futures have taken a big step downwards this morning. After creeping back above $100 over recent session, front-month WTI dropped more than two bucks to trade around $96.50 as of writing. Traders have identified the restart of Libya's Sharara field after protests were put on ice and the big moves in the dollar as the immediate catalysts behind the move.

- Patent troll Spherix just bought another patent portfolio from Rockstar Consortium US LP. In July 2013, the Company acquired its first Rockstar portfolio when it acquired seven patents from Rockstar in mobile communications. The Company has and commenced several lawsuits, including against Vtec and Uniden, for patent infringement. Shares of SPEX are up 17%.

- Shares of Samsung Electronics fell more than 5 percent in Asia trading this morning, weighed down by the circulation of analysts' forecasts for lower quarterly earnings due to the strong KRW and weaker margins in the display business. Samsung is scheduled to report quarterly earnings next Tuesday.

- Yesterday afternoon, Fiat disclosed that it has reached a $3.65 billion deal with the UAW that will allow it to acquire the remaining outstanding 41.5% stake in Chrysler. The UAW's VEBA retiree healthcare trust will receive $3.65 billion in cash for the stake, $1.9 billion of which will come from Chrysler and $1.75 billion from Fiat.

- Among other movers are Molycorp, which has gained nearly 5% after DA Davidson lifted the price target on the stock to $8.00 from $6.00. DryShips fell more than 5% after the company announced it would resume a $200 million at-the-market equity offer.

***Looking Ahead***
- 12:00 (BR) Brazil Dec Monthly Trade Balance: $1.5Be v $1.7B prior; Total Exports: $20.7Be v $20.9B prior; Total Imports: $19.0Be v $19.1B prior
- 12:00 (IT) Italy Dec Budget Balance: No est v -€7.2B prior
- 12:00 (IT) Italy Dec New Car Registrations Y/Y: No est v -4.5% prior
- 13:00 (MX) Mexico Dec IMEF Manufacturing Index: 51.5e v 50.1 prior; Non-Manufacturing Index: 51.1e v 50.4 prior
- 20:00 (CN) China Dec Non-manufacturing PMI: No est v 56.0 prior


***Economic Data***
- (CZ) Czech Dec Budget Balance (CZK): -80.9B v -79.4B prior
- (BR) Brazil Dec PMI Manufacturing: 50.5 v 49.7 prior
- (PL) Poland Q3 Current Account Balance: -€2.1B v -€2.3Be
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 339K v 344Ke; Continuing Claims: 2.833M v 2.90Me
- (US) Dec Final Markit PMI Manufacturing: 55.0 v 54.7e
- (US) Dec ISM Manufacturing: 57.0 v 56.8e; ISM Prices Paid: 53.5 v 53.0e
- (US) Nov Construction Spending M/M: 1.0% v 0.7%e
- (MX) Mexico Nov Total Remittances: $1.69B v $1.8Be