Thu Mar 20 2014
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Live Index – Thu, 20 Mar 2014 Premarket

PREMARKET WORLD NEWS

June E-mini S&Ps (ESM14 -0.22%) this morning are down -0.35% and European stocks are down -1.05% after Fed Chair Yellen signaled a faster timetable for raising interest rates when she said that borrowing costs could start to rise “around six months” after the Fed stops asset purchases. Asian stocks closed lower: Japan -1.65%, Hong Kong -1.79%, China -1.60%, Taiwan -1.06%, Australia -1.15%, Singapore -0.76%, South Korea -1.05%, India -0.42%. China’s yuan slid to a 1-year low of 6.2334 per dollar after the PBOC lowered the daily fixing rate for the currency to the lowest in 4-months as it tries to engineer yuan short-term weakness and force out speculators who have bet on yuan appreciation. Commodity prices are mostly lower on dollar strength. Apr crude oil (CLJ14 -0.42%) is down -0.29%. Apr gasoline (RBJ14 -0.18%) is down -0.09%. Apr gold (GCJ14 -1.37%) is down -1.13% at a 2-1/2 week low. May copper (HGK14 -1.82%) is down -1.86%. Agriculture and livestock prices are mixed. The dollar index (DXY00 +0.32%) is up +0.38% at a 2-week high. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.50% at a 2-week low. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.18%. June T-note prices (ZNM14 -0.04%) are down -5 ticks.

Greece had its first bond sale from a Greek bank since the country’s banking system was bailed out by the EU and IMF in 2009 after Piraeus Bank SA sold 500 million euros ($ 697 million) of 3-year bonds. The bond sale officially reopens the financial market for Greek banks, a sign that Greece’s recovery from the European sovereign-debt crisis is gaining momentum.

UK Mar CBI trends of total orders rose +3 to 6, slightly better than expectations of +2 to 5. Mar CBI trends selling prices fell to 12 from 17 in Feb, the lowest in 3-months.

German Feb PPI was unch m/m, less than expectations of +0.1% m/m, and on a year-over-year basis fell -0.9% y/y, right on expectations.

U.S. STOCK PREVIEW

Today’s weekly initial unemployment claims report is expected to show an increase of +7,000 to 322,000, reversing most of last week’s decline of -9,000 to 315,000. The initial claims series fell to a new 3-month low of 315,000 last week but was still +21,000 above the 8-year low of 294,000 posted in September 2013. Today’s Feb existing home sales report is expected to show a -0.4% decline to 4.60 million, adding to the sharp -5.1% decline to 4.62 million seen in January. Today’s March Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index is expected to show a +9.5 point increase to 3.2, recovering some of the sharp -15.7 point decline to -6.3 seen in February. The Treasury today will sell $ 13 billion of 10-year TIPS in a opening of the 5/8% 10-year TIPS maturing May 2024 that was first sold in January 2014.

There are 5 of the Russell 1000 companies report earnings today: IHS (consensus $ 1.25), Lennar (0.28), ConAgra Foods (0.60), NIKE (0.72), and TIBCO Software (0.18). Equity conferences during the remainder of this week include: ISI Retail Summit on Wed-Thu, Gabelli & Company Specialty Chemicals Conference on Thu, Bloomberg Mexico Economic Summit on Thu, and Capital Link Invest in International Shipping Forum on Thu.

PREMARKET U.S. STOCKS

Ameren (AEE -1.48%) was downgraded to ‘Sell’ from ‘Neutral’ at Goldman Sachs.

Under Armour (UA -1.95%) was downgraded to ‘Neutral’ from ‘Buy’ at Sterne Agee due to valuation.

Burlington Stores (BURL +0.86%) reported Q4 EPS of $ 1,07, better than consensus of $ 1.03.

J.B. Hunt (JBHT +0.01%) was downgraded to ‘Neutral’ from ‘Buy’ at BofA/Merrill.

JPMorgan Chase kept its ‘Overweight’ rating on First Solar (FSLR +20.57%) as it raised its price target on the stock to $ 75 from $ 64.

Ulta Salon (ULTA +2.67%) was upgraded to ‘Buy’ from ‘Neutral’ at Goldman Sachs.

Williams (WMB +0.12%) was downgraded to ‘Hold’ from ‘Buy’ at Jefferies.

Lennar ({=LEN reported Q1 EPS of 37 cents, better than consensus of 28 cents.

Credit Suisse reported a 6.04% passive stake in Relypsa (RLYP -4.91%) .

Cintas (CTAS -1.06%) reported Q4 EPS of 69 cents, right on consensus.

Jabil Circuit (JBL -0.76%) reported Q2 EPS of 10 cents, lower than consensus of 11 cents.

Guess (GES -1.74%) slumped over 7% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 83 cents, higher than consensus of 79 cents, but then lowered guidance on fiscal 2015 EPS to $ 1.40-$ 1.60, well below consensus of $ 2.01.

Herman Miller (MLHR +0.10%) reported Q3 adjusted EPS of 34 cents, right on consensus, but reported Q3 revenue of $ 455.9 million, better than consensus $ 457.6 million.

MARKET COMMENTS

June E-mini S&Ps (ESM14 -0.22%) this morning are down -6.50 points (-0.35%). The S&P 500 on Wednesday closed lower. Stocks fell back after the FOMC raised its forecast for the federal funds rate to 1.00% at the end of 2015 from 0.75% forecast in Dec, which implied that the Fed might start raising rates as soon as early-2015. Closes: S&P 500 -0.61%, Dow Jones -0.70%, Nasdaq -0.64%.

Jun 10-year T-notes (ZNM14 -0.04%) this morning are down -5 ticks. Jun 10-year T-note futures prices on Wednesday fell sharply to a 1-1/2 month low and closed lower. T-notes fell after the FOMC lowered its 2014 jobless rate projection to 6.1-6.3% from 6.3-6.6% forecast in December and raised its federal funds rate forecast for the end of 2015 to 1.00% from a Dec projection of 0.75%, which spurred speculation the Fed is closer to raising interest rates. Closes: TYM4 -1-00/32 point, FVM4 -25.00.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.32%) this morning is up +0.303 (+0.38%) at a 2-week high. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.0069 (-0.50%) at a 2-week low. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.18 (+0.18%). The dollar index on Wednesday climbed to a 1-week high and closed higher. Bullish factors included (1) the report that the U.S. Q4 current account deficit shrank to -$ 81.1 billion, the smallest deficit in 14 years, and (2) the action by the FOMC to raise its federal funds rate forecast to 1.00% at the end of 2015 from a Dec projection of 0.75%. Closes: Dollar index +0.581 (+0.73%), EUR/USD -0.0101 (-0.73%), USD/JPY +0.896 (+0.88%).

Apr WTI crude oil (CLJ14 -0.42%) this morning is down -29 cents (-0.29%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ14 -0.18%) is down -0.0026 (-0.09%). Apr crude and gasoline prices Wednesday settled mixed. Crude prices rose to a 1-week high after (1) crude supplies at Cushing, OK fell for a seventh week as they slid -989,000 bbl to a 2-year low of 29.8 million bbl, and (2) the -3.097 million bbl plunge in weekly EIA distillate inventories, nearly five times expectations, to 110.8 million bbl, a 5-3/4 yr low. Crude prices fell back from their best levels and Apr gasoline posted a 5-week low after weekly EIA crude stockpiles rose for the ninth consecutive week when they jumped +5.85 million bbl, more than double expectations, to a 3-1/2 month high of 375 million bbl. Closes: CLJ4 +0.67 (+0.67%), RBJ4 -0.0340 (-1.17%).

GLOBAL EVENT CALENDAR03/20/2014
US0830 ETWeekly initial unemployment claims expected +7,000 to 322,000, previous -9,000 to 315,000. Weekly continuing claims expected +25,000 to 2.880 million, previous -48,000 to 2.855 million.
0830 ETUSDA weekly Export Sales.
1000 ETMar Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index expected +9.5 to 3.2, Feb -15.7 to -6.3.
1000 ETFeb existing home sales expected -0.4% to 4.60 million, Jan -5.1% to 4.62 million.
1000 ETFeb leading indicators expected +0.2%, Jan +0.3%.
1100 ETTreasury announces amount of 2-year T-notes (previous $ 32 billion), 2-year floating-rate notes (previous $ 13 billion), 5-year T-notes (previous $ 35 billion), and 7-year T-notes (previous $ 29 billion) to be auctioned Mar 25-27.
1300 ETTreasury auctions $ 13 billion 10-year TIPS.
1600 ETFed releases results of the Dodd-Frank Act supervisory stress test results.
GER0300 ETGerman Feb PPI expected +0.1% m/m and -0.9% y/y, Jan -0.1% m/m and -1.1% y/y.
UK0700 ETUK Mar CBI trends total orders expected +2 to 5, Feb 3. Mar CBI trends selling prices, Feb 17.
U.S. STOCK CALENDAR03/20/2014
Company NameTickerTimeEvent DescriptionPeriodEstimate
Dow Chemical Co/TheDOW US3:15Strategy Meeting – Day 2Y 2014
DreamWorks Animation SKG IncDWA US3:30Media Briefing w/ CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg
IHS IncIHS USBef-mktQ1 2014 Earnings ReleaseQ1 20141.245
Lennar CorpLEN US6:00Q1 2014 Earnings ReleaseQ1 20140.276
ConAgra Foods IncCAG US7:30Q3 2014 Earnings ReleaseQ3 20140.598
Principal Financial Group IncPFG US8:00Roadshow-Europe-Day 2Y 2014
IHS IncIHS US8:00Q1 2014 Earnings CallQ1 2014
Thomson Reuters CorpTRI CN8:30Investor Day – TorontoY 2014
TIBCO Software IncTIBX USAft-mktQ1 2014 Earnings ReleaseQ1 20140.177

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