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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (May 21, 2014)

May 21, 2014, Wednesday, 16:20 GMT | 12:20 EST | 20:50 IST | 23:20 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- Both Asia and European equity indices started in the red and closed at or near their highs, up modestly, although there have been few if any easily identifiable catalysts for a second morning in a row to explain the global rally. US markets have followed the trend and the S&P500 is right at one-week highs. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.86%, the S&P500 is up 0.56% and the Nasdaq is up 0.50%.

- WTI crude has moved firmly into the $103 handle this morning in the wake of the weekly DOE inventories report, which saw a surprising draw-down in crude. The front-month contract pushed out to multi-year highs, hitting levels last seen in spring 2011.

- After failing to reach a deal yesterday, China and Russia finally signed a $400 billion gas supply deal today, giving Russian President Putin a lovely photo op with his Chinese counterpart and preventing a major embarrassment before flying home to Moscow on Thursday. However, the pricing terms of the deal were not clear and many analysts believe the Russians were forced to take a much lower price than they originally wanted.

- Few expect any earthquakes in this afternoon's FOMC minutes. Most observers are looking for clues about how the Fed intends to use its new tools, such as reverse repos and interest on reserves, to help manage the process of exiting extraordinary policy. FOMC comments so far have suggested the process is in the early stages of determining specifics, and the evolving regulatory environment will make it difficult to predict exactly how the various tools will affect market behavior.

- Shares of Target are more or less unchanged in the early going, after giving up some gains. Target met all expectations in its first quarter while also cutting its FY14 forecast. Executives warned that the quarter was "unusually challenging" as it helped customers recover from last year's massive data breach, but also said that sales trends have improved substantially.

- Shares of PetSmart are down 7.5% this morning after the company trimmed its FY14 guidance. The firm's first quarter earnings beat expectations, however sales growth was way below the expected level in the quarter. Executives claimed the challenging and volatile consumer environment and stiff competition held the company back.

***Looking Ahead***
- 11:30 (BR) Weekly Brazil Currency Flows
- 12:00 (CA) Canada to sell 2-Year Bonds
- 12:50 (US) Fed's George speaks on the Economy and Banking in Washington
- 13:00 (UK) BOE's Haldane
- 13:30 (US) Fed's Kocherlakota speaks on Monetary Policy in Minneapolis
- 13:00 (BR) Brazil Apr Total Formal Job Creation: +160.0Ke v +13.1K prior
- 13:00 (MX) Mexico Central Bank Inflation Report
- 14:00 (US) Fed Minutes from April 29-30 FOMC Meeting
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Apr Trade Balance: $973.0Me v $41M prior
- 21:45 (CN) China HSBC May Preliminary Manufacturing PMI: 48.3e v 48.1 prior

***Economic Data***
- (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e May 16th: 0.9% v 3.6% prior
- (BR) Brazil May IBGE Inflation IPCA-15 M/M: 0.6% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 6.3% v 6.3%e
- (RU) Russia Apr PPI M/M: 0.7% v 0.8%e v 2.3% prior; Y/Y: 7.2% v 6.9%e
- (MX) Mexico Mar Retail Sales Y/Y: +1.7% v -0.9%e
- (EU) Euro Zone May Advance Consumer Confidence: -7.1 v -8.3e
- (US) DOE Crude: M v +1Me; Gasoline: M v 0Me; Distillate: M v 0Me; Utilization: % v %