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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (March 07, 2014)

March 7, 2014, Friday, 17:22 GMT | 12:22 EST | 21:52 IST | 00:22 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- European markets are closing right above their lows this morning after Gazprom raised the possibility of shutting off Ukraine gas supplies (but later confirmed this wouldn't hurt Western European gas transit). The jobs report was very good, but markets are selling off in the early going. As of writing, DJIA is flat, the S&P500 is down 0.27% and the Nasdaq is down 0.58%.

- The February jobs report took markets by surprise this morning after a week of jitters that the report would be terrible. Interestingly, the employment report showed clear signs of weather disruptions. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7% from six-year low of 6.6% in January. The biggest surprise in the data was a 0.4% increase in average hourly earnings, the largest increase since last June. The next FOMC decision is on March 19th. Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Hatzius said he is still forecasting the first Fed rate rise in early 2016 or possibly late 2015. EUR/USD moved back within its six-year downtrend resistance line, which looks to be re-drawn at 1.3915 after today's price action.

- Traders are closely watching metals futures prices this morning. Dr. Copper appears to be leading the move, with the industrial metal down 3.5% or so this morning alone in a slow bleed lower through the US morning. Silver is down 3.1% and gold is down 1.3%, with the precious metals making a sharp move lower after the jobs report (recall that gold saw a four-month high on Monday). AUD/USD has given up its overnight gains along with the move in precious metals to trade below 0.9080. Many analysts have cited the Chaori default as involved with the move in copper.

- China has now witnessed its first corporate default in history. Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy is looking to sell overseas assets to make up its missed bond payment and neither banks nor government entities are stepping in to help. Chaori's default took place during the annual People's Congress session, reinforcing the signal that Beijing is letting market forces play a stronger role in the economy. However analysts point out this is only the beginning given that the number of Chinese companies whose debt is double their equity has surged since the financial crisis began.

- Safeway announced a formal merger deal with Cerberus's Albertsons after a long courtship. The $40/shr price values Safeway at more than $9 billion. Note that there have been reports that Kroger is still mulling a higher offer. A Deutsche Bank analyst wrote that Kroger should bid and that Safeway could fetch a price above $40. After running up nearly 30% over the last five weeks, shares of SWY are down 2.5% this morning to trade around $38.

- Discount retailer Big Lots has given up some of its gains in mid-morning trading but remains up nearly 16%. The firm's profits were down 30% y/y, revenue fell and comps slid 3%, however earnings modestly topped expectations. FY earnings and SSS guidance was pretty poor.

***Looking Ahead***
- 12:00 (US) Fed's Dudley to speak at Brooklyn College in New York
- 12:30 (US) Former Fed Chairman Bernanke speaks at Energy Industry Conference in Houston
- 15:00 (US) Jan Consumer Credit: $14.0Be v $18.8B prior

- (CN) China Feb PPI Y/Y: -1.8%e v -1.6% prior
- (CN) CN) China CPI Y/Y: 2.1%e v 2.5% prior

***Economic Data***
- (AT) Austria Jan PPI M/M: No est v -0.1% prior; Y/Y: No est v -1.0% prior
- (AT) Austria Feb Wholesale Price Index M/M: % v -0.1% prior; Y/Y: % v -1.9% prior
- (DE) Germany Jan Industrial Production M/M: 0.8% v 0.8%e; Y/Y: 5.0% v 3.9%e
- (IE) Ireland Jan Industrial Production M/M: +0.9 v -2.2% prior; Y/Y: -1.1 v -6.9% prior
- (CL) Chile Feb CPI M/M: 0.5% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 3.2% v 2.9%e; CPI Core M/M: 0.4% v 0.2%e
- (CL) Chile Feb Trade Balance: $1.2B v $750Me; Total Exports: $6.6B v $5.7B prior; Total Imports: $5.3B v $5.9B prior
- (CL) Chile Feb Copper Exports: $3.8B v $2.3B prior
- (IN) India Forex Reserves w/e Feb 28th: $294.4B v $293.4B prior
- (PL) Poland Feb Official Reserves: $104.4B v $106.3B prior
- (US) Feb Change in Nonfarm Payrolls: +175K v +150Ke; Change in Private Payrolls: +162K v +145Ke; Change in Manufacturing Payrolls: +6K v +5Ke
- (US) Feb Unemployment Rate: 6.7% v 6.6%e; Underemployment Rate: 12.6% v 12.7% prior; Change in Household Employment: +42K v +638K prior; Labor Force Participation: 63.0% v 63.0% prior
- (US) Feb Average Hourly Earnings M/M: 0.4% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: 2.2% v 2.0%e; Average Weekly Hours: 34.2 v 34.4e
- (US) Jan Trade Balance: -$39.1B v -$38.5Be
- (CA) Canada Jan Int'l Merchandise Trade: -C$0.2B v -C$1.2Be
- (CA) Feb Net Change in Employment: -7.0K v +15.0Ke; Unemployment Rate: 7.0% v 7.0%e
- (MX) Mexico Feb CPI M/M: 0.3% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: 4.2% v 4.2%e; CPI Core M/M: 0.3% v 0.3%e