Futures are ~25bps higher this morning on better-than-expected
U.S. earnings (on the aggregate; Bloomberg is reporting that 85% of companies reporting thus far have beat analysts estimates), positive economic data out of Europe, and news that will begin tapping into the IMF/EU bailout funds. In economic news, the headline March Durable Goods Orders was weaker than expected, at -1.3% vs. the +0.2% estimate. However, Durable Goods Orders Ex Transportation was +2.8%, blowing away the +0.7% estimate. The read through has to be that weakness in cars or planes (Boeing?) dragged down the headline number appreciably, while other Durable Goods Orders were quite impressive. Positive earnings news this morning comes from credit card giants AXP (profit doubles as consumers spend; +2.5%) and COF (profit doubles, decreased bad loan losses; +5%), while AMZN (missed estimates; -4%), TRV (lower profit; -3%) and MSFT (revenue miss; -1.5%) trade to the downside. Additionally, warehouse retailer COST raised its dividend, mining giant BUCY falls 7% premkt on lighter than expected quarterly results, and energy giant SLB trades higher on in-line results but bullish guidance. Regarding Greece Europe, Eurozone Feb IP, German IFO, French Consumer Spending and Italian Retail sales were all stronger, while UK Q1 GDP disappointed. Additionally, Portugal approved tax hikes in order to help plug its budget deficit, and in the second debate among PM candidates, the Conservative party’s Cameron scored a narrow victory over Brown/Clegg. Regarding UK , I will borrow from JPM’s summary this morning since it neatly captures the relevant news: Greece
If you are looking for a little more on
, here is Gartman: Greece
IT’S UNANIMOUS; THE WORLD WANTS US DOLLARS for in one of the very rarest of circumstances, the US dollar is this morning higher relative to every currency we mark here each morning. It is not materially higher in all instances, for the dollar has only risen 0.2 Yen in the course of the past twenty four hours, but the sheer unanimity of the move has… and should have… our attention this morning. Further, the weakness is most pronounced, as it should be, relative to the EUR for the problems of
Greece… and Portugal and Spain, and Italy, et al…are back upon the centre stage given the downgrades yesterday by the ratings organisation of ’s sovereign debt, with the understanding that more such downgrades almost certainly shall be following hard upon. Greece
The situation in
Greece is devolving into street battles and open protests on the part of Greek unionists who are openly antagonistic toward the material reforms that the Papandreou government is going to have to put into effect if is to remain within the political and economic unions there. Things have fallen nearly out of control with very intense selling pressure against the EUR when it was reported that the Union itself now projects the Greek budget deficit to be a stunning 13.6% of GDP this year, more than 6 times what it is supposed to be at its worst and far, far above even the most bearish expectations on the part of most market participants. Greece
We can look forward to weeks of this sort of anti-IMF, anti-American, anti-reform street actions by the left-ofcentre unions in
Greece, for the unions know that their position is tenuous at best and that their elite positions ahead of everyone else in shall soon come to a crashing end. Long holidays that are far beyond the numbers and frequencies of what harder working Germans get; fewer working hours per week… far fewer than what hard working Germans have to work; early retirements in their 50’s by Greek public workers compared to retirements in their 60’s by German workers… all of these things are going to be tossed into some fiery pyre if Greece is going to bring itself into compliance with Maastricht’s demands, and the Greek trade unionists know they are fighting a rear guard action. Rear guard actions are rarely pleasant sights. Greece
We note, for the record, that the Greek 5 year CDS went out to a 625 bp premium to
yesterday, the widest in history. This is out from 480 bps the day before and out from 350 bps only a week ago. Panic is in the air in Germany , and well it should be. Greece
Speaking of panic, note that three people died from a grenade attack during a “peaceful protest” in
. It seems to be getting ugly over there: Thailand
BANGKOK (AP) — The Thai capital's main financial district was partially crippled Friday following deadly grenade attacks and a tense standoff between die-hard, anti-government demonstrators and a government that has yielded vital areas of Bangkok to them.
Many banks, offices, restaurants and a major shopping complex were closed along
Silom Road, known as 's Wall Street. Traffic was light in the normally jammed four-lane thoroughfare, and even many small-time food vendors had left their patches of pavement. Thailand
The late-night attacks involved five M-79 grenades shot from near where anti-government Red Shirt protesters have been encamped for weeks, and the blasts struck areas where counter-demonstrators gathered, but the government stopped short of directly blaming the Red Shirts.
The late-night attacks killed at least one person and wounded 86, according to the government's
, which handles victim counts in crises and disasters. Erawan Emergency Center
The head of a key security agency, Tharit Pengdit, urged the general public to avoid the area near the protests and warned that anyone involved in "terrorism" will face the death penalty.
Thousands of mostly rural Red Shirts have been entrenched on
Bangkok's streets since March 12 in a campaign to dissolve Parliament and hold immediate elections, and 's powerful military has warned them that time is running out to clear the streets or face a crackdown. Thailand
, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern that the situation could escalate and called for dialogue, his spokesman said. New York
U.S. State Department advised American citizens to avoid travel to . Earlier in the week, the Bangkok had recommended against visiting the Thai capital but did not go as far to advise against it. U.S.
Finally, for those seeking a Goldman Sachs fix, note that the Washington Post reported that the two Republicans on the SEC sharply questioned senior investigators about whether there was enough evidence to bring charges against Goldman. The Commissioners warned that if investigators moved forward with a flawed case that failed to succeed it could damage the agency. Interesting…
VZ downgrade at GSCO. NOK cut at JEFF. DBAB ups SON. GSCO ups Q. OPCO ups STP. BARD ups WDC, CPHD. DBAB cuts WNS. GSCO cuts JNS. OPCO cuts ASBC, CTL, CSIQ. UBSS cuts ASBC. AMZN beats by 5c and guides in-line. BUCY misses by 12c. ARMH CEO talks down AAPL acquisition chatter. AXP beats by 9c. CAKE beats by 5c. CRBC misses by 7c. DV beats by 7c. EMN beats by 22c. ERIC misses but trades higher. GVA misses. MSFT beats by 3c. NCR misses by 4c. RMBS higher on earnings. SYNA beats by 5c. WDC beats by 16c. XRX beats by 5c. OPCO ups YGE.
S&P 500 PreMarket 8:30am (last/% change prior close/volume):
XEROX CORP 11.23 +7.46% 78130
EASTMAN CHEMICAL 72.00 +7.27% 1750
CAPITAL ONE FINA 48.10 +5.6 % 57364
AMAZON.COM INC 143.34 -4.5 % 343025
INGERSOLL-RAND 37.25 -4.49% 40225
COS IN 52.11 -3.12% 1850
DISCOVER FINANCI 16.18 +2.28% 100
SCHLUMBERGER LTD 69.70 +2.23% 49427
MBIA INC 10.22 +2.2 % 29630
JOHNSON CONTROLS 35.76 +2.14% 15080
AMERICAN EXPRESS 47.77 +2.14% 23830
Today’s Trivia: The most widely watched television series in the world (142 countries and 1.1 billion viewers) debuted on this date in 1989 before ending in 2001. What is it?
Yesterday's Answer: Earth Day was founded in 1970, thus yesterday marked its 40th anniversary.
Best Quotes: “Good Morning - The Obama scalding was fully priced into he tape by the time he spoke. Once finished the focus shifted right back to earnings performance, and supply and demand. Shorts got squeezed, and the chase was on.
this morning asking for the help. Stocks in Greece Europe rose, and the Euro snapped declines that took it to one year lows against the dollar. Earnings season is 50% complete and companies have exceeded estimates by 82% on average. Corporate bond spreads have now recovered to 2007 levels as corporate bonds are now seen safer than many sovereigns. 12210 still the key level to break through to the upside. I think we break on through. Have a great weekend.” --BofAMLCO trader note