- E-mini S&Ps are trading slightly higher by +3.00 points while commodity prices are generally trading lower. Gold prices are down $8.50 and June crude oil prices are down 39 cents. Grain, meat and softs prices are mixed. The U.S. markets are awaiting this morning's weekly initial unemployment claims report, which is expected to show an 11,000 decline to 377,000. European stocks are moderately higher today with the Euro Stoxx 50 up +0.82%. Bullish factors for European stocks include positive earnings news from Societe Generale and BMW and successsful bond auctions today in Spain and France. Spain today sold 2.52 billion euros of bonds, more than the maximum target. The successful auction caused the Spanish 5-year bond yield to drop by 7 bp to 4.70% and 10-year bond yield to drop by 3 bp to 5.82%. This was Spain's first bond auction since S&P last week cut Spain's bond rating by two notches to BBB+ from A. Today' March Eurozone PPI report of +0.5% m/m and +3.3% was weaker than expectations of +0.6% m/m and +3.4% y/y, which was positive for the Eurozone inflation outlook. The consensus was that French President Sarkozy in his debate last night with challenger Socialist Party chief Francois Hollande failed to land a knockout blow and now risks losing Sunday's presidential election since he is trailing by about 6 points in the polls. The markets are awaiting word on the outcome of today's ECB meeting. The unanimous market consensus is that the ECB at today's meeting will leave its refinancing rate unchanged at 1.00%. Japan was closed for a holiday today. Asian stocks today closed mostly lower on yesterday's lackluster U.S. stock market session and the weaker-than-expected ADP report: Hong Kong -0.28%, China +0.30%, Taiwan -0.23%, Australia -0.16%, Singapore -0.17%, South Korea -0.21%, India -0.87%. Treasury Secretary Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are in China today and Friday for annual talks.
- June E-mini S&Ps this morning are trading +3.00 points on a boost from the 0.82% rally in European stocks on the successful Spanish bond auction. Today is a big earnings day with reports from companies such as Kraft, AIG, Apache, and GM. U.S. stock indexes on Wednesday consolidated below Tuesday's highs and closed mixed: S&P 500 -0.25%, Dow Jones -0.08%, Nasdaq 100 +0.29%. The main bearish factor on Wednesday was the U.S. April ADP employment of +119,000, which was substantially weaker than market expectations of +170,000 and down from March?s revised +201,000. In addition, there was weak European economic data as the Eurozone unemployment rate moved higher to a 15-year high of 10.9% from 10.8% in February and as the final April Eurozone manufacturing PMI was revised slightly lower to 45.9 from 46.0. March factory orders fell -1.5% but that was in line with market expectations. The stock market continues to see support from favorable earnings reports, but the market is nervous going into Friday's payroll report after Wednesday's disappointing ADP report.
- June 10-year T-notes this morning are down 2 ticks on the higher trade in E-mini S&Ps and reduced safe-haven demand with the successful Spanish bond auction. T-note prices on Wednesday settled mildly higher: TYM2 +7, FVM2 +2.25. T-notes received a boost from the much weaker than expected ADP report of +119,000, which had negative implications for Friday's payroll report. Another weak payroll report in April on top of March's +120,000 could give T-notes a new head of steam to the upside. The Treasury on Wednesday at its quarterly refunding announcement said it was deferring a decision on whether to start selling floating-rate notes.
- The dollar index this morning is trading slightly higher by +0.113 points on some carry-over technical strength from yesterday's rally. USD/JPY is up 0.23 yen and EUR/USD is down 0.22 cents. The dollar index on Wednesday closed moderately higher: dollar index +0.268, USD/JPY +0.05, EUR/USD -0.0079. The dollar index yesterday rallied on short-covering after the 2-week decline and weakness in the euro tied to the poor European labor and PMI data. The dollar index on Tuesday posted a new 2-month low but Wednesday's rally took the dollar index back within the 4-month trading range.
- Jun crude oil prices this morning are down 39 cents but gasoline is up 0.50 cents. Crude oil is seeing some continued downward pressure from yesterday's rise in crude oil inventories to a 21-1/2 year high. Crude oil and gasoline prices on Wednesday sold off fairly sharply: CLM12 -0.94, RBM2 -0.0214. Bearish factors included the weak ADP report and the 2.84 mln barrel rise in U.S. crude oil inventories to a new 21-1/2 year high. Crude oil inventories are now 6.9% above the 5-year seasonal average, the highest level relative to the 5-year average since last May. The market found little support from news that gasoline and distillate inventories continued to fall and were tighter than expected. Gasoline inventories fell by 2.009 mln bbl (vs expectations of -1 mln bbl) and distillate inventories fell by 1.903 mln bbl (vs expectations of +500,000 bbl). Gasoline prices were also hurt yesterday by technical weakness after falling to a new 2-1/2 month low.
Global Financial Calendar
|0830 ET||Weekly initial unemployment claims expected -11,000 to 377,000, previous -1,000 to 388,000. Weekly continuing claims expected -7,000 to 3.308 million, previous +3,000 to 3.315 million.|
|0830 ET||Q1 non-farm productivity expected -0.5%, Q4 +0.9%. Q1 unit labor costs expected +2.7%, Q4 +2.8%.|
|0830 ET||USDA weekly exports.|
|1000 ET||Apr ISM non-manufacturing composite index expected -0.7 to 55.3, Mar -1.3 to 56.0.|
|1030 ET||Apr ICSC chain store sales, Mar +4.1% y/y.|
|1030 ET||DOE natural gas storage.|
|1100 ET||San Francisco Fed President John Williams and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart speak on a panel discussing the economic outlook as part of the Economic Forecast Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.|
|1330 ET||Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser speaks on the economic outlook at the University of California Santa Barbara economic forecast project 2012.|
|1630 ET||Weekly money supply report and Fed balance sheet.|
|0200 ET||Apr U.K. nationwide house prices expected +0.5% m/m and -0.3% y/y, Mar -1.0% m/m and -0.9% y/y.|
|0430 ET||Apr U.K. PMI services expected -1.2 to 54.1, Mar +1.5 to 55.3.|
|0500 ET||Mar Euro-Zone PPI expected +0.6% m/m and +3.4% y/y, Feb +0.6% m/m and +3.6% y/y.|
|0745 ET||ECB announces interest rate decision (expected no change to the 1.00% 2-week refinancing rate).|
|0830 ET||ECB President Mario Draghi speaks at monthly press conference.|
|n/a||Japanese markets closed for Constitution Memorial Day.|