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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (March 25, 2014)

March 25, 2014, Tuesday, 16:24 GMT | 12:24 EST | 20:54 IST | 23:24 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- European equity markets saw robust gains, helping US equity indices to open higher. European indices are looking to close off their best levels and the strength in US stocks has wilted in the first 1.5 hours of trade. As of writing, the DJIA is still up 0.30%, the S&P500 is up 0.35% while the Nasdaq is up 0.1%.

- The Conference Board's March Consumer Confidence survey unexpectedly jumped to 82.3 from February's upwardly-revised 78.3 reading, marking the highest level since January 2008, and also beat consensus expectations. Note that all of the strength was in the expectations side of the index, with the present situation side actually a bit lower m/m. Sales of new single-family homes fell more than expected and hit a five-month low in February and the January figures were revised lower.

- The yield on the 10-year UST snapped a two-day decline this morning as risk assets rallied. Yields are up a scant 1.1 bps to approximately 2.75%. The euro is lower today after yesterday's big EUR/USD ramp up to the 1.3875 level. Traders suggest yesterday's move was prompted by talk that a large sovereign investor may have bought the single currency as part of a reserve management exercise. This morning ECB members have been chatty, with Weidmann saying it was not out of the question for the ECB to buy assets from banks to fight deflation and Makuch saying the ECB is preparing additional non-standard measures to fight deflation. EUR/USD dropped as low as 1.3775 after the comments.

- The Fed's Plosser was on CNBC earlier this morning. Plosser said the Fed did not really change its position on rate hikes at the last FOMC meeting and insisted the six-month time frame was not an unexpected range for a rate hike after taper ends. Plosser said he was surprised by market reaction after Yellen's press conference.

- US-listed shares of Carnival Plc are down more than 3% in the early going after the firm offered weak FY14 guidance with its first quarter results. The cruise company's earnings and revenue were a bit better than expected in its first quarter, and it said January booking volumes for the remainder of the year were running well ahead of last year but at lower prices.

- Shares of Walgreen are up 4.4% after the company said it would close up to 76 underperforming retail stores. Including the closures, the company still plans to have a net increase in store count in 2014 of between 55 and 75 locations. It operates 8,210 drugstores nationwide. The firm's second-quarter results were down slightly on a y/y basis, in line with expectations.

***Looking Ahead***
- 11:30 (US) Treasury to sell $35B in 4-Week Bills
- 12:00 (EU) ECB's Draghi in Paris
- 12:00 (DE) ECB's Weidmann (Germany) in Berlin
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $32B in 2-Year Notes
- 13:00 (BR) Brazil to sell I/L 2019, 2023, 2030, 2040 and 2050 Bonds
- 13:30 (BR) Brazil Feb Total Debt (BRL): No est v 2.046T prior
- 16:00 (US) Fed's Lockhart in Atlanta
- 16:30 US) API Weekly Oil Inventories
- 18:30 (AU) RBA's Lowe speaks at CIFR Conference in Sydney
- 19:00 (KR) South Korea Q4 Final GDP Q/Q: No est v 0.9% prelim; Y/Y: No est v 3.9% prelim
- 19:00 (US Fed's Plosser speaks on Economy and Monetary Policy in New York
- 20:30 (AU) RBA Financial Stability Review

***Economic Data***
- (UK) Mar CBI Industrial Reported Sales: 13 v 28e
- (US) ICSC Chain Store Sales w/e Mar 22nd: w/w -1.5%; y/y: +1.7%
- (BR) Brazil Feb Tax Collections (BRL): 83.1B v 85.1Be
- (US) Redbook Retail Sales w/e Mar 22nd +3.1% y/y, Mar MTD: -0.4% m/m, Mar MTD +2.8% y/y
- (US) Jan S&P/CaseShiller 20 City M/M: 0.85% v 0.60%e; Y/Y: 13.24% v 13.34%e; Home Price Index: 165.50 v 165.73e
- (US) Jan House Price Index M/M: 0.5% v 0.7%e
- (HU) Hungary Central Bank (NBH) cuts Base Rate by 10bps to 2.60%; as expected
- (US) Mar Consumer Confidence Index: 82.3 v 78.5e
- (US) Mar Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index: -7 v +4e
- (US) Feb New Home Sales: 440K v 445Ke
- (MX) Mexico Jan Economic Activity Index Y/Y: 0.8% v 1.4%e