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OVERNIGHT MARKETS AND NEWS
Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM16-0.04%) are unchanged ahead of the outcome of today's FOMC meeting and press conference from Fed Chair Yellen. Gains in mining stocks and energy producers are supporting the overall market as the price of crude oil and copper gain. European stocks are up +0.12% as a rally in automakers leads the market higher after data from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association showed European new car registrations rose for a 30th month in Feb. Asian stocks settled mixed: Japan -0.83%, Hong Kong -0.15%, China +0.21%, Taiwan +1.02%, Australia +0.15%, Singapore +0.17%, South Korea +0.22%, India +0.53%.
The dollar index (DXY00 +0.25%) is up +0.23%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.20%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.36% as the yen weakened after comments from BOJ Governor Kuroda who said that a negative -0.5% Japanese benchmark rate was a possibility.
BOJ Governor Kuroda told a Japanese parliamentary committee that "looking at Europe, theoretically, there is a lot of room" to cut the negative interest rate further. He added that a cut in the interest rate to -0.5% was a possibility.
Eurozone Feb new car registrations rose +14.3% y/y t0 1.057 million, the 30th consecutive month that new car registrations have increased.
U.S. STOCK PREVIEW
Key U.S. news today includes: weekly MBA mortgage applications (previous +0.2% with purchase sub-index +4.2% and refi sub-index -2.3%), (2) Feb housing starts (expected +4.6% to 1.150 million, Jan -3.8% to 1.099 million), (3) Feb CPI (expected -0.2% m/m and +0.9% y/y, Jan unch m/m and +1.4% y/y) and Feb CPI ex food & energy (expected +0.2% m/m and +2.2% y/y, Jan +0.3% m/m and +2.2% y/y), (4) Feb industrial production (expected -0.3%, Jan +0.9%), and (5) the FOMC post-meeting statement and a press conference by Fed Chair Yellen.
There are 3 of the Russell 1000 companies that report earnings today: FedEx (consensus $2.34), Williams-Sonoma (1.58), Jabil Circuit (0.60).
U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: Hutchison China MediTech (HCM).
Equity conferences during the remainder of this week include: Citi Global Property CEO Conference on Mon-Wed, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Consumer & Retail Tech Conference on Tue-Wed, Barclays Emerging Payments Forum on Tue-Wed, Barclays Capital Global Health Care Conference on Tue-Thu, 3rd Annual Pharma Customer Experience Summit 2016 on Wed, Goldman Sachs Innovation Symposium on Wed, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Industrials & EU Autos Conference on Wed-Thu, Evercore ISI Retail Summit on Wed-Thu, ACI European Food & Beverage Plastic Packaging Conference on Thu, and Citigroup Retail Madness Conference on Thu.
OVERNIGHT U.S. STOCK MOVERS
Oracle (ORCL +0.10%) rallied over 4% in pre-market trading after it reported Q3 adjusted EPS of 64 cents, higher than consensus of 62 cents.
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG-2.47%) is down nearly 6% in pre-market trading after it said it expects a Q1 EPS loss of -$1.00, much weaker than consensus for a 3 cent gain.
Kraft Heinz (KHC +0.27%) and Monster Beverage (MNST +0.02%) were both added to the 'Conviction Buy' list at Goldman Sachs.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX-51.46%) slid 6% in pre-market trading after the stock plunged more than 51% yesterday.
LinkedIn (LNKD-1.45%) dropped nearly 5% in pre-market trading after it was downgraded to 'Equalweight' from 'Overweight' at Morgan Stanley.
Achaogen (AKAO-1.63%) was downgraded to 'Hold' from 'Buy' at Needham & Co.
Casey's General Stores (CASY +0.80%) reported that its February same-store-sales for grocery and other merchandise rose +12% y/y.
Relypsa (RLYP-9.95%) climbed over 3% in after-hours trading after it reported that 812 new patients started taking its Veltassa last month versus 409 in January.
Caleres (CAL-0.79%) dropped over 8% in after-hours trading after it lowered guidance on full-year adjusted EPS to $2.00-$2.10, below consensus of $2.22.
Osiris Therapeutics (OSIR-4.29%) reported that it received a subpoena from the SEC about its accounting practices.
Xcel Brands (XELB +4.58%) jumped nearly 7% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 10 cents, higher than consensus of 7 cents.
Tronox Ltd. (TROX-6.96%) rose over 3% in after-hours trading on signs of insider buying after Tronox SVP Willlem Van Niekerk reported that he bought another 4,600 shares of stock.
Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM16-0.04%) this morning are unchanged. Tuesday's closes: S&P 500 -0.18%, Dow Jones +0.13%, Nasdaq -0.01%. The S&P 500 on Tuesday closed lower on concern about weak consumer spending after the Feb retail sales report of -0.1% and -0.1% ex-autos and the downward revision in Jan retail sales to -0.4% and -0.4% ex-autos from +0.2% and +0.1% ex-autos. There was also weakness in energy producers after crude oil dropped to a 1-week low.
Jun 10-year T-notes (ZNM16 +0.06%) this morning are unchanged. Tuesday's closes: TYM6 -0.50, FVM6 -2.25. Jun T-notes on Tuesday closed little changed. T-notes were undercut by the +17.26 point increase in the Mar Empire manufacturing survey of business conditions to an 8-month high of 0.62 (stronger than expectations of +6.14 to -10.50) and by some position-squaring ahead of Wednesday's FOMC meeting outcome, which could be a bit more hawkish in tone than the market expects. T-notes received support from the weak retail sales report and March NAHB housing index report and by the mildly lower close in stocks.
The dollar index (DXY00 +0.25%) this morning is up +0.223 (+0.23%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.0022 (-0.20%). USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.41 (+0.26%). Tuesday's closes: Dollar Index +0.009 (+0.01%), EUR/USD +0.0006 (+0.05%), USD/JPY -0.64 (-0.56%). The dollar index on Tuesday closed little changed. The dollar received a boost from the stronger-than-expected Mar Empire manufacturing survey business conditions index that rose to an 8-month high and bolstered the case for the Fed to keep raising interest rates. However, the dollar index was undercut by the weak U.S. retail sales report and by some strength in the yen which received a boost after the BOJ left its policy unchanged and refrained from expanding stimulus measures.
Apr WTI crude (CLJ16 +2.09%) this morning is up +72 cents (+1.98%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ16 +0.48%) is up +0.0027 (+0.19%). Tuesday's closes: CLJ6 -0.84 (-2.26%), RBJ6 -0.0146 (-1.03%). Apr crude and gasoline on Tuesday closed lower with Apr crude at a 1-week low. Crude oil prices were undercut by Russian Energy Minister Novak's comment that Iran has "reasonable arguments" for not joining other major producers in freezing production and by expectations for Wednesday's weekly EIA crude inventories to increase by +2.75 million bbl.
GLOBAL EVENT CALENDAR03/16/2016
Weekly MBA mortgage applications, previous +0.2% with purchase sub-index +4.2% and refi sub-index -2.3%.
Feb housing starts expected +4.6% to 1.150 million, Jan -3.8% to 1.099 million. Feb building permits expected 0.2% to 1.200 million, Jan unch at 1.202 million.
Feb CPI expected -0.2% m/m and +0.9% y/y, Jan unch m/m and +1.4% y/y. Feb CPI ex food & energy expected +0.2% m/m and +2.2% y/y, Jan +0.3% m/m and +2.2% y/y.
Feb industrial production expected -0.3%, Jan +0.9%. Feb manufacturing production expected +0.1%, Jan +0.5%. Feb capacity utilization expected -0.2 to 76.9%, Jan 77.1%.
EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report.
FOMC announces interest rate decision; no change expected to the 0.25%-0.50% fed funds rate target.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen holds press conference following FOMC meeting.
Revised Japan Feb machine tool orders.
Japan Feb trade balance expected +400.2 billion yen, Jan -648.5 billion yen. Feb exports expected -3.0% y/y, Jan -12.9% y/y. Feb imports expected -15.8% y/y, Jan -17.8% y/y.
Eurozone Feb new car registrations, Jan +6.2% y/y.
Eurozone Jan construction output, Dec -0.6% m/m and -0.4% y/y.
UK Feb jobless claims change expected -9,100, Jan -14,800. Feb claimant count rate expected unch at 2.2%.
UK Jan avg weekly earnings expected +2.0% 3-month avg y/y, Dec +1.9% 3-month avg y/y.
UK Jan avg weekly earnings ex-bonus expected +2.1% 3-month avg y/y, Dec +2.0% 3-month avg y/y.
UK Jan ILO unemployment rate expected unch at 5.1% for the three months through Jan, previous 5.1% for the 3-months through Dec.