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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (March 28, 2014)

March 28, 2014, Friday, 15:57 GMT | 12:57 EST | 21:27 IST | 23:57 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- US equities are sustaining decent gains this morning after the S&P500 closed out yesterday flat on a YTD basis. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.84%, the S&P500 is up 0.81% and the Nasdaq is up 1.18%.

- The EUR saw a brief sell-off earlier this morning after the March regional German CPI data came in lower than expectations, adding fuel to expectations for ECB easing next week. Germany March preliminary CPI data out at 09:00ET held no surprises after the regional reports. However, traders pushed EUR/USD higher through the US premarket, with the pair testing as high as 1.3773. There was little momentum seen from the US PCE or spending/income data.

- Spot gold is firmly below the psychologically important $1,300 level this morning after testing below the level yesterday for the first time since mid-February. A stronger dollar and technical weakness after bullion broke through its 200-day moving average at $1,296 an ounce has accelerated selling. Note that the yellow metal broke as low as $1,287 just before the open of cash equity trading, although it is back in the $1,290s as of writing.

- Tesla announced that it has added an underbody shield to the design of its Model S vehicle and offered to retrofit existing models with shield. With this improvement, the NHTSA announced that it would close its investigation into the fire accidents that have impacted Model S vehicles and made for volatile trading in shares of Tesla. The NHTSA found that the design changes to underbody will help cut fire risks. Shares of TSLA gained 2% on the news.

- Alcoa said this morning that it would take more aluminum smelting capacity off line. Alcoa said it would curtail 147K tons of capacity at its So Lus and Poos de Caldas smelters in Brazil due to challenging global market conditions and increased costs. Including this move, over the last year Alcoa has taken approximately 800K tons of smelting capacity offline, comprising more than 20% of its total capacity. Shares of AA are flat on the session after yesterday's 5% gain that arrived after the firm introduced a new aluminum automobile wheel.

- Fading smartphone maker Blackberry is making progress in restructuring itself into a niche mobile communications firm. In its fourth quarter report the firm managed to greatly reduce its quarterly losses (ex-charges) and hike its profit margins. Revenue fell approximately 18% to below $1 billion for the first time in years. New CEO Chen pledged to return to profitability in 2016. Shares gained nearly 6% in the first 30 minutes of cash trading, however trading in the name has been very choppy since.

- Red Hat is losing more ground this morning. The firm's fourth quarter results were a bit above consensus, however its initial FY15 guidance was below expectations. The company cited higher FX impacts and lower margins as it invested in the system for growth. RHT is down 6.3% in the early going and at its lows.

***Looking Ahead***
- (EE) Estonia Sovereign Debt Rating May Be Published by Moody's
- (DK) Denmark Sovereign Debt Rating May Be Published by Moody's
- 12:45 (US) Fed's George Speaks on U.S. Economic Outlook in Kansas
- 16:30 (MX) Mexico Feb YTD Budget Balance (MXN): No est v -4.9B prior
- 17:30 (CN) China President Xi Jinping speech
- 17:45 (US) Fed's George on US economic outlook in Kansas City

***Economic Data***
- (EU) Euro Zone Mar Business Climate Indicator: 0.39 v 0.38e; Consumer Confidence: -9.3 v -9.3e; Economic Confidence: 102.4 v 101.4e; Industrial Confidence: -3.3 v -3.5e; Services Confidence: 4.2 v 3.7e
- (DE) Germany Mar CPI Baden Wuerttemberg M/M: No est v 0.5% prior; Y/Y: No est v 1.1% prior
- (RO) Romania Central Bank Leaves Interest Rates unchanged at 3.50%
- (IE) Ireland Feb Retail Sales M/M: -1.5% v +1.9% prior; Y/Y: 5.0 v 9.4% prior
- (BR) Brazil Mar FGV Inflation IGPM M/M: 1.7% v 1.5%e; Y/Y: 7.3% v 7.2%e
- (IN) India Forex Reserves w/e Mar 21st: $298.6B v $297.3B prior
- (ZA) South Africa Feb Budget Balance (ZAR): 14.5B v 9.5Be
- (US) Feb Personal Income: 0.3% v 0.3%e; Personal Spending: 0.3% v 0.3%e
- (US) Feb PCE Deflator M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 0.9% v 0.9%e
- (US) Feb PCE Core M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 1.1% v 1.1%e
- (DE) Germany Mar Preliminary CPI M/M: 0.3% v 0.4%e; Y/Y: 1.0% v 1.1%e
- (DE) Germany Mar Preliminary CPI EU Harmonized M/M: 0.3% v 0.4%e; Y/Y: 0.9% v 0.9%e
- (BR) Brazil Feb Nominal Budget Balance (BRL): -9.5B v -24.2Be; Primary Budget Balance: +2.1B v -0.4Be
- (US) Mar Final University of Michigan Confidence: 80.8 v 80.5e