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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (May 19, 2014)

May 19, 2014, Monday, 17:16 GMT | 13:16 EST | 21:46 IST | 00:16 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- US equities are looking to head higher in the early going today after Friday's ramp up in late trading. Note that trading volumes this morning are somewhat constrained. As of writing, the DJIA is flat, the S&P500 is up 0.15% and the Nasdaq is leading the way higher, up 0.60%. The 10-year benchmark yield, meanwhile, has ducked back below 2.50%.

- USD/JPY continued to hover below some key technical support for 3-month lows which could open the door for a potential test towards 99.00. The pair remained below the 101.30 former pivotal support and its 200-day moving average of 101.24.

- Geopolitical developments continue to haunt global markets. In Libya, a renegade general sent his troops to storm parliament and suspend its work, claiming Islamist politicians had gained too much power in the body. The government is gathering Islamist-leaning militias in Tripoli, setting the stage for possible civil war. Meanwhile in Ukraine, Putin is once again recalling his troops from the border. Both NATO and the Pentagon say there has been little sign Russian troops are leaving positions along Ukraine's borders since Putin's announcement. Front-month WTI crude is at its highest levels since the worst of the Ukraine chaos a month ago, just shy of $103, while Brent is just below $110, not far from one-year highs.

- The Department of Justice said it was planning to bring criminal charges against China's military for cyberspying and economic espionage, setting a real precedent for international relations. Attorney General Holder will formally charge five members of the People's Liberation Army for stealing intellectual property and business secrets from six US companies in the nuclear power, metals and solar products industries, including Westinghouse Electric, US subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG, US Steel, Allegheny Technologies and Alcoa.

- After weeks of talks, AT&T has offered to buy DirecTV for $95/shr in stock and cash in a deal valued around $67.1 billion. DirecTV shareholders will receive $28.50 per share in cash and $66.50 per share in AT&T stock. The price implies a total equity value of $48.5B and a total transaction value of $67.1B. To facilitate the regulatory approval process in Latin America, AT&T said it would divest its holdings in America Movil. The agreement includes no break-up fee or penalty that AT&T would have to pay if regulators shut down deal, while DirecTV agreed to pay a $1.4B fee to AT&T if it leaves deal for a higher bid.

- AstraZeneca rejected Pfizer's final offer of £55/shr, and suggested the board could have considered a bid above £58.85. The deal is effectively dead as this point, as a best and final deal really means something under UK law, which require a certain level of transparency. Pfizer has said it has no intention of launching a hostile bid. Note that political opposition to the deal has been building on both sides of the Atlantic since the two companies' discussions became public, and the bar for clearance has gotten quite high for what would have been the largest industry combination in history.

***Looking Ahead***
- 11:30 (US) Treasury to sell $48B in 3-Month and 6-Month Bills
- 12:10 (US) Fed's Williams and Fisher in Dallas
- 12:50 (US) Former Fed Chairman Bernanke in Dallas
- 13:30 (BR) Brazil May CNI Industrial Confidence: No est v 49.2 prior
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Q1 Unemployment Rate: 6.8%e v 6.4% prior
- 21:30 (AU) RBA Minutes of May Meeting

***Economic Data***
- (PT) Portugal Apr PPI M/M: +0.1 v -0.2% prior; Y/Y: -0.6 v -1.5% prior
- (BR) Brazil May IGP-M Inflation 2nd Preview: 0.0% v 0.1%e
- (PL) Poland Apr Employment M/M: 0.0% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 0.7% v 0.8%e
- (PL) Poland Apr Average Gross Wages M/M: -1.0% v -0.8%e; Y/Y: 3.8% v 4.0%e
- (CL) Chile Q1 GDP Q/Q: 0.7% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 2.6% v 2.4%e
- (CL) Chile Q1 Current Account Balance: -$795M v -$150Me