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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (March 12, 2014)

March 12, 2014, Wednesday, 16:02 GMT | 12:02 EST | 20:32 IST | 23:02 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- Asia continues to set the tune this week. Overnight, Japan and China equities saw big losses as markets interpreted comments from the BoJ that more accommodation will not be forthcoming and traders braced for more trouble in China. European indices are off their lows and US stocks are limping higher. As of writing, the DJIA is flat, the S&P500 is down 0.1% and the Nasdaq is up 0.26%.

- Copper is lower for a fourth straight session, around $6,376/ton on the LME at its worst levels since summer 2010 before recovering slightly. Front-month WTI crude dropped below $100 during yesterday's session and tested as low as $98.25 this morning. Mid morning there were reports that the government would release 5 million barrels from the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) in test sale to ensure proper operations and infrastructure, which goosed the front-month contract higher. Note that the Energy Department said the release was a pre-planned exercise.

- The greenback continued to be on the defensive. USD/CHF edged below 0.8750, the lowest level in the pair since October 2011, before moving back up to 0.8755. Earlier EUR/USD peaked above 1.3900 handle, re-approaching its six-year crisis downtrend line, but dropped back to around 1.3885. The ECB continues to vocally reiterate its forward guidance. However, dealers note that given the very slow but steady eurozone recovery, there's no reason to bet the ranch on further ECB easing.

- The Western powers, in the form of the G7, issued another toothless statement on the situation in Ukraine. The G7 statement called on Russia to halt attempts to change the status of Crimea and said it would not recognize the outcome of the Crimea referendum. The statement called on Russia to de-escalate the conflict and withdraw troops in Crimea back to pre-crisis levels, and said annexation of Crimea by Russia would violate the UN charter.

- Freddie and Fannie are down another ~10% a piece this morning as the release of a bipartisan Senate plan to wind down the GSEs and replace them with a new government insurer continues to reverberate through markets. The new organization, the Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation (FMIC), would operate in a manner similar to the FDIC and wrap covered loans with a government guarantee.

- Verifone is ringing bells this morning after the firm topped expectations in its first quarter report and raised its FY14 outlook. After collapsing yesterday, buyers are stepping in to acquire discounted shares of fuel cell names Plug Power and FuelCell Energy. Yesterday FCEL fell 40% or so and PLUG dropped 50%, this morning FCEL is up 12% and PLUG is up 15% or so.

***Looking Ahead***
- 11:30 (BR) Brazil weekly Currency Flow
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $21B in 10-Year Notes Reopening
- 14:00 (US) Treasury Sec Lew testifies on budget to House
- 16:00 (NZ) New Zealand Central Bank (RBNZ) Interest Rate Decision: Expected to raise Official Cash Rate by 25bps to 2.75%
- 17:00 (CO) Colombia Jan Trade Balance: $207.5Me v $556.6M prior; Total Imports: $4.8Be v $4.9B prior
- 20:00 (AU) Australia Mar Consumer Inflation Expectation: No est v 2.3% prior
- 20:30 (AU) Australia Feb Employment Change: +15.0Ke v -3.7K prior; Unemployment Rate: 6.0%e v 6.0% prior
- 21:00 (KR) Bank of Korea (BoK) Interest Rate Decision: Expected to leave 7-Day Repo Rate unchanged at 2.5%
- (CO) Colombia Central Bank's Economists Survey

***Economic Data***
- (GR) Greece Jan Industrial Production Y/Y: 1.1% v 0.5% prior; second straight rise
- (EU) Euro Zone Jan Industrial Production M/M: -0.2% v +0.5%e; Y/Y: 2.1% v 1.9%e
- (BR) Brazil Mar Preliminary IGP-M Inflation: 1.2% v 1.0%e
- (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Mar 7th: -2.1% v +9.4% prior
- (PT) Portugal Jan Trade Balance: -€925M v -€889M prior
- (PT) Portugal Feb CPI M/M: -0.3% v +0.1%e; Y/Y: -0.1% v +0.3%e
- (PT) Portugal Feb CPI EU Harmonized M/M: -0.3% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: -0.1% v 0.0%e
- (IN) India Jan Industrial Production Y/Y: +0.1% v -0.9%e; first rise in four months
- (IN) India Feb CPI Y/Y: 8.1% v 8.3%e; hits 25month low
- (BR) Brazil Feb IBGE Inflation IPCA M/M: 0.7% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: 5.7% v 5.6%e
- (CA) Canada Feb Teranet/National Bank HPI M/M: 0.3% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 50.% v 4.9%e: House Price Index: 160.41 v 159.93 prior
- (US) DOE Crude: +6.2M v +2Me; Gasoline: -5.2M v -1.5Me; Distillate: -530K v -0.5Me