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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (March 27, 2014)

March 27, 2014, Thursday, 17:46 GMT | 13:46 EST | 22:16 IST | 00:46 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- US equities have filled the gap and retaken their earlier losses, with the leading three indices about flat on the session in heavy volume. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.07%, the S&P500 is up 0.08% while the Nasdaq is down 0.23%.

- The third and final reading of US fourth quarter GDP was +2.6%, a touch higher than the +2.4% second reading out in February but still below the +3.2% advance estimate released in January. The slight upshift versus the second reading reflected greater than estimated personal consumption expenditures but a largely consistent economic picture. The more negative-than-expected February pending home sales numbers are not having much of an impact, with homebuilders nearly all up in line with broader equity markets.

- USTs rose the most in almost two weeks during yesterday's session as the cheapest five-year note auction in almost three years spurred demand. The yield on the five-year UST has gained four basis points today, giving back some of yesterday's gains. Traders are looking forward to the Treasury's sale of $29 billion in seven-year notes later today.

- Citibank is off its worst levels midmorning, down 4% or so after steep post-market losses yesterday. The Fed objected to Citi's capital plan, including a $6.4 billion buyback and increase of dividend to $0.05. Citi was permitted to continue current capital actions through Q1 of 2015, but no timeframe was provided on resubmission.

- Lululemon managed to top diminished expectations in its fourth quarter report this morning. Recall that the firm had slashed its fourth quarter outlook back in mid January and today's numbers reflected that. The firm's first quarter and FY14 guidance was well below consensus. On the conference call, the firm's new CEO highlighted the company's plans to offer a broader fashion line and to amp up marketing spending. LULU is +8% as of writing.

- Gamestop is down more than 6% after missing fourth-quarter expectations and offering weak initial FY14 guidance. Note that the firm's comps were a solid +7.8% and guidance for Q1 and FY14 was for more positive comps.

- Japan's SoftBank is holding talks with Dish Network to form a wireless broadband partnership, according to comments made by Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son at an industry conference. Dish would provide satellite assets and Softbank brings an established network. According to Son, the two firms are already engaged in exploratory tests.

- Pharma giant Baxter said it would spin off its $6 billion vaccines business into a separate company, leaving its $9 billion medical products business under the Baxter name. The transaction is expected to be completed by mid-year 2015. Note that Novartis, Merck and Novo Nordisk are all looking to sell, spin off, swap or rebuild smaller business units they think would be better off on their own.

***Looking Ahead***
- 13:00 (CH) SNB's Zurbruegg holds speech at Zurich Money Market Reception
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $29B in 7-Year Notes
- 13:00 (BR) Brazil to sell 2015, 2016 and 2018 Bills
- 14:00 (FR) ECB's Noyer (France) speaks in London
- 14:00 (PT) ECB's Costa (Portugal) in Lisbon
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Jan Economic Activity Index M/M: No est v 0.1% prior; Y/Y: 1.6%e v 2.7% prior
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Q4 GDP Y/Y: 2.7%e v 5.5% prior
- 19:00 (KR) South Korea Feb Industrial Production M/M: -0.2%e v +0.1% prior; Y/Y: +3.6%e v -3.8% prior
- 19:30 (JP) Japan Feb Jobless Rate: 3.7%e v 3.7% prior
- 19:30 (JP) Japan Feb National CPI Y/Y: 1.5%e v 1.4% prior; CPI Ex Fresh Food Y/Y: 1.3%e v 1.3% prior; CPI Ex Food, Energy Y/Y: 0.8%e v 0.7% prior
- 19:30 (JP) Japan Feb Retail Sales M/M: -0.1%e v +1.4% prior; Y/Y: 3.5%e v 4.4% prior
- 21:30 (US) Fed's Evans to speak in Hong Kong

***Economic Data***
- (RU) Russia Gold and Forex Reserve w/e Mar 21st: $486.6B v $493.2B prior
- (BR) Brazil Feb Unemployment Rate: 5.1% v 5.1%e
- (CZ) Czech Central Bank left its Repurchase Rate unchanged at 0.05% and maintain floor in EUR/CZK at 27.00; both as expected
- (US) Q4 Final GDP Annualized Q/Q: 2.6% v 2.7%e; Personal Consumption: 3.3% v 2.7%e
- (US) Q4 Final GDP Core PCE Q/Q: 1.3% v 1.3%e; GDP Price Index: 1.6% v 1.6%e
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 311K v 323Ke (lowest since Nov); Continuing Claims: 2.823M v 2.88Me
- (ZA) South Africa Central Bank (SARB) left its Interest Rates unchanged at 5.50%, as expected
- (US) Feb Pending Home Sales M/M: -0.8% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: -10.2% v -9.0%e
- (MX) Mexico Feb Preliminary Trade Balance: -$976.3M v -$200Me v -$3.2B prior
- (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: +57 bcf v -52 to -56 bcf expected
- (US) Mar Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity: 10 v 5e