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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (January 17, 2014)

January 17, 2014, Friday, 17:09 GMT | 13:09 EST | 22:39 IST | 01:09 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- Equity markets are laboring under the pressure of some weak earnings reports this morning, although much of the bad news is being shrugged off in mid-morning trade. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.32%, the S&P500 is down 0.15% and the Nasdaq is down 0.15%
- December US housing starts fell 9.8% y/y following a surge in November to the highest level of the year at 1.1 million unit annualized rate. The decline was certainly striking, but analysts like to point out that December's rate was still 2013's third highest rate. Unseasonably cold weather last month drove starts lower. The major homebuilders are down a point or two on the news.
- Shares of Morgan Stanley are up 4% after the company put in the best December quarter earnings performance of the big US banks. The firm's net income fell to $181 million from $594 million a year earlier, but excluding DVA and legal charges and adding in a tax benefit, EPS was $0.50, topping expectations. Revenue grew at a healthy clip, in line with expectations. The bank's ongoing shift from trading to wealth management is proceeding very well, with the unit generating $3.7 billion and a pretax margin of 19% versus $3.5 billion and 17% a year ago.
- UPS and Amazon are recovering from losses seen after UPS cuts its FY14 guidance and offered sub-par Q4 guidance before the open. UPS said the reduced guidance was due to higher costs incurred in deploying more resources than estimated to deal with a heavier-than-expected holiday shipping surge, including an "unprecedented" level of last-minute online shopping. Recall that just after Christmas, both Amazon and UPS said they would offer refunds to customers who did not receive orders on time. More than one analyst has connected weak physical retail sales with the surging levels of online buying seen this year.
- General Electric offered an inline fourth-quarter earnings report, with its FY14 outlook left unchanged. The company's profits were up 20% y/y, attributed mostly to big gains at the firm's newly important oil and gas unit. The firm offered numerical FY14 revenue guidance for the first time that did not exactly meet expectations, but also the same as that offered on a percentage basis back in December. GE is down 2.5%.
- Intel reported a decent fourth quarter, with earnings and revenue meeting expectations in the quarter, while the first quarter guidance was also in line. Intel saw strength in the data center, held PC revenue flat and said it saw back-half growth in tablets. Intel is down 3.8% and AMD is down 3.2% in sympathy.
- US ADRs of Nintendo are down more than 18% after the firm slashed its full-year shipment forecasts for the Wii U to 2.8 million units from 9 million prior and the 3DS to 13.5 million units from 18 million units prior. With sales collapsing, Nintendo said it would incur a ¥35 billion loss for the year, down from a prior forecast of a ¥100 billion profit. Elsewhere in the gaming space, shares of Electronic Arts are up more than 10% on thanks to very good December sales per NPD data.
- Royal Dutch Shell released a severe profit warning this morning, advising that Q4 earnings are expected to come in at $2.2 billion versus $7.3 billion a year ago. Full year earnings will be down almost 40% to $16.8 billion. Upstream earnings were down 45% y/y and downstream earnings fell 58% y/y. Shell cited weak refining margins in Asia and Europe, high maintenance expenses and a deteriorating security situation in Nigeria. Shells London-traded shares are down slightly, while shares of other global oil majors are not reacting to the news.
***Looking Ahead***
- 12:30 (US) Fed's Lacker speaks on the Economic Outlook in Richmond
- 14:00 (AR) Argentina Nov Economic Activity Index M/M: No est v -0.3% prior; Y/Y: 3.1%e v 3.2% prior
- 16:00 (CO) Colombia Nov Retail Sales Y/Y: 4.0%e v 6.6% prior
- 16:00 (CO) Colombia Nov Industrial Production Y/Y: 0.0%e v -0.1% prior
- (CN) China Q4 GDP Q/Q: 2.0%e v 2.2% prior; Y/Y: 7.6%e v 7.8% prior; GDP YTD: 7.7%e v 7.7% prior
- (CN) China Dec Industrial Production Y/Y: 9.8%e v 10.0% prior; Industrial Production YTD: 9.7%e v 9.7% prior
- (CN) China Dec Retail Sales Y/Y: 13.6%e v 13.7% prior; Retail Sales YTD: 13.1%e v 13.0% prior
- (CN) China Dec Fixed Urban Assets: 19.8% e v 19.9% prior
***Economic Data***
- (RU) Russia Nov Trade Balance: $16.6B v $13.6Be; Exports: $46.7B v $44.3Be; Imports: $30.2B v $30.1Be
- (BR) Brazil Nov Economic Activity M/M: -0.3% v +0.1%e; Y/Y: 1.3% v 1.9%e
- (IN) India Forex Reserves w/e Jan 10th: $293.3B v $293.1B prior
- (BR) Brazil Nov CNI Capacity Utilization: 82.0% v 82.1%e
- (PL) Poland Nov Current Account Balance: -€1.0B v -€1.1Be; Trade Balance: €0.0B v -€0.1Be;
- (US) Dec Housing Starts: 999K v 990Ke; Building Permits: 986K v 1.014Me
- (MX) Mexico Dec Unemployment Rate: 4.3% v 4.3%e
- (US) Dec Industrial Production M/M: 0.3% v 0.3%e; Capacity Utilization: 79.2% v 79.1%e; Manufacturing Production: 0.4% v 0.3%e
- (US) Jan Preliminary University of Michigan Confidence: 80.4 v 83.5e
- (US) Nov JOLTs Job Openings: 4.0M v 3.93Me