US stocks drove off a cliff in the morning after a surprisingly large drop in US durable goods orders and earnings misses from Caterpillar, Freeport and duPont reminded traders of the impact the recent crash in copper and energy prices may have on some parts of the economy. The big issue facing the US at the moment is that the negative impact of energy prices in terms of reduced energy sector activity and reduced demand for equipment has arrived a lot faster than the potential positive impact lower energy costs may have on consumer and business spending. This transition may remain a big factor behind market moves and potentially increased volatility through much of this year. Today in the afternoon, stocks clawed back some of their losses as traders recognized that better than expected new home sales and soaring consumer confidence mean that while some sectors and regions may take a hit from oil, the wheels aren’t necessarily falling off the whole bandwagon. Speculation that a slower US economy and layoffs could force the Fed to delay raising interest rates from mid-year knocked USD back today and enabled other currencies plus crude oil to stage rebounds. Fed speculation may remain a big driver of trading in currency markets through tomorrow’s meeting. Stocks could be active following huge earnings out of Apple and EA plus big spinoff news out of Yahoo. AUD and NZD, however, have been among the laggards of late, ahead of today’s Australian inflation report and tomorrow’s RBNZ meeting. New Zealand reported soft inflation and inflation pressures in Australia are expected to fall as well. Lower inflation could give the RBNZ and the RBA cover to cut interest rates at their upcoming meetings although none are expected and the declines of the dollars over the last few months may have done much of their easing work for them already. Still, the two dollars could be quite active over the next 24 hours through the RBNZ meeting and then into the RBA meeting early next week. Corporate News Apple Wow! $3.06 vs street $2.60, revenues $74.6B vs street $67.3B. guides next Q sales to $52-55B around street $53.6B Yahoo $0.30 vs street $0.29, announces plan to spin off its remaining shares in Alibaba into a separate public company. Spinoff expected in Q4 after lockups expire. Yahoo will continue its core business and keep its stake in Yahoo Japan. Guides Q1 ex-TAC sales to $1.02-$1.06B below street $1.1B Electronic Arts $1.22 vs street $0.92, sales $1.43B vs street $1.29B, guides next Q to $0.22 vs street $0.26, raises Mar 2015 year guidance to $2.35 from $2.05 Canadian National $1.03 vs street $0.97, looking for 10%+ earnings growth in 2015, raises dividend by 25% Open Text $0.97 as expected Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: China leading index 98.7 vs previous 99.1 US durable goods orders (3.4%) vs street 0.3% US durables ex transport (0.8%) vs street 0.6% US flash service PMI 54.0 vs street 53.8 US new home sales 481K vs street 450K US consumer confidence 102.9 vs street 95.5 US Richmond Fed 6 vs street 5 UK GDP 2.7% vs street 2.8% Upcoming significant announcements include: 10:30 am AEDT Australia leading index previous (0.0%) 11:30 am AEDT Australia consumer prices street 1.8% vs previous 2.3% 9:00 am GMT Norway unemployment rate street 3.7% 10:30 am EST US crude oil inventories street 4.0 mmbbls 2:00 pm EST US FOMC decision 0.25% no change expected 9:00 am NZDT Thu RBNZ decision 3.50% no change expected 10:45 am NZDT Thu NZ trade balance street $75M