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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (March 06, 2014)

March 6, 2014, Thursday, 17:00 GMT | 12:00 EST | 21:30 IST | 00:00 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- Three-month lows in the weekly jobless claims data, improving trends in factory orders, accord among Fed governors and some glimmers of hope among retailers about a Spring pickup are helping to drive some risk appetite in US markets this morning. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.5%, the S&P500 is up 0.4% and the Nasdaq is up 0.2%.

- The ECB resisted calls for more easing or at least a recognition that dis-inflation is a problem at its policy meeting this morning. EUR/USD was steady after the ECB left rates on hold and did not launch any new programs, and then moved sharply high, testing 1.3850, once it was clear that ECB President Draghi would merely reiterates familiar positions at the post-rate decision press conference. Draghi said that recent improvement in the Eurozone are keeping the ECB from wanting to halt SMP sterilization. Key resistance remains the six-year downtrend line at 1.3890 (data points also corresponds to 2013 high at 1.3893).

- The January Factory Orders report showed orders falling for the second consecutive month, although the January decline of -0.7% was a sight better than the revised -2.0% decline in December. Note that the final reading of the January durable goods orders data revised the decent-looking ex-transport component lower from +1.1% to -0.2%.

- In Ukraine news, this morning the Crimean parliament asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to start the procedure of formally allowing Crimea to join the Russian Federation and scheduled a referendum for March 16th. Ukraine PM Yatsenyuk called the moves illegitimate and insisted that Crimea remain an integral part of Ukraine. Ahead of an extraordinary EU meeting on the crisis, European leaders offered vague talk about de-escalation and seemed uninterested in sanctions. The Lithuania and Poland were more concrete, reminding Europe that the Russians were holding military exercises near their borders and were threatening all of the European Union.

- Retail darling Costco is down 3% this morning after missing top- and bottom-line expectations in its second-quarter report. The firm's sales comps held up well, up 2% overall while US comps were up 4%. Earnings fell y/y, dragged down by weak margins in the holiday season and tough FX conditions. Executives said weather in February had a negative 1% impact.

- Pandora is down 3.5% after reporting an 11% y/y gain in active listeners in February. This is the third consecutive month of strong deceleration for the firm, with gains sinking into the low teens after a sustained 30%+ gain in active listeners seen in 2013, or the 40%+ rate seen the year before. Not surprisingly, Pandora said it intends to discontinue its monthly disclosure of key audience metrics.

- In Europe, French conglomerate Bouygues SA reached a deal to acquire Vivendi SA's French telecommunications unit SFR for €10.5 billion, in what analysts say will accelerate consolidation in the French telecom sector and set off a bidding war.

***Looking Ahead***
- 11:30 (CA) Bank of Canada (BOC) Dep Gov Murray speaks in Victoria
- 12:00 (CA) Canada Dep Min Kennedy speaks at C.D. Howe
- 12:00 (US) Q4 Household Change in Net Worth: No est v $1.922T prior
- 12:00 (BR) Brazil to sell 2014, 2016 and 2018 Bills
- 12:00 (BR) Brazil to sell Fixed-rate 2021 and 2025 bonds
- 13:00 (BR) Brazil Feb Trade Balance: -$3.0Be v -$4.1B prior; Total Exports: $14.7Be v $16.0B prior; Total Imports: 18.0Be v $20.1B prior
- 13:00 (US) Fed's Plosser speaks on Monetary Policy in London
- 17:30 (AU) RBA Governor Stevens meets with House Economics Committee
- 18:00 (US) Fed's Lockhart speaks on the Economy in Washington

***Economic Data***
- (DE) Germany Jan Factory Orders M/M: 1.2% v 0.9%e; Y/Y: 8.4% v 7.5%e
- (UK) Bank of England (BOE) left both Interest Rates and Asset Purchase Target (APT) unchanged at 0.50% and £375B respectively, as expected
- (CL) Chile Jan Real Wage M/M: 0.7 v 0.6% prior; Y/Y: 2.7 v 2.4% prior
- (US) Feb Challenger Job Cuts: 41.8 v 45.1K prior; Y/Y: -24.4% v +11.6% prior
- (US) Mar RBC Consumer Outlook Index: 51.8 v 50.4 prior
- (EU) ECB left its Main Refi Rate unchanged at 0.25%, as expected
- (US) Q4 Final Nonfarm Productivity: 1.8% v 2.2%e; Unit Labor Costs: -0.1% v -0.5%e
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 323K v 336Ke; Continuing Claims: 2.907M v 2.97Me
- (CA) Canada Jan Building Permits M/M: 8.5% v 1.7%e
- (US) Jan Factory Orders: -0.7% v -0.5%e
- (CA) Canada Fed Ivey Purchasing Managers Index: 57.2 v 53.1e; PMI Unadj: 57.8 v 53.6 prior
- (MX) Mexico Jan Leading Indicators M/M: -0.1 v 0.0 prior
- (BR) Brazil Feb Commodity Price Index M/M: 4.27% v 1.4% prior; Y/Y: 14.02% v 6.1% prior
- (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: -152 bcf v -135 to -140 bcf expected range