Stocks rebound, USD backslides on mixed US GDP report
Overnight trading saw US indices retreating and USD once again steamrolling over everything in its path on the recognition that Elvis has left the building and QE3 really is over with interest rate hikes likely to come sometime next year.
European markets have also been trading lower despite better than expected employment figures out of Germany and expected improvement in Spain. This may be due to concerns improving economies could take some of the pressure off the ECB to take decisive stimulus action.
The first estimates of US GDP appear positive overall. Headline growth of 3.5% was well above expectations and indicates the US was able to pretty much maintain its growth momentum through the summer (some slowing was expected from a red hot rebound Q2). Digging a bit the report was not quite as strong as consumer spending was a bit soft. More importantly, Core PCE inflation a measure the Fed uses dropped back significantly taking some of the pressure off the Fed to raise rates earlier than the current expectation of mid-2015.
Currency and commodity markets have been particularly active overnight and this morning off the Fed and GDP news. Gold took a $20 plunge as USD rallied but has successfully retested $1,200 support and started to rebound with USD easing back on the GDP report.
Other major currencies are also bouncing back a bit with USD relenting for now. CAD and GBP are down the least against the greenback today, with Canada having the potential to benefit over time from US economic growth and the UK the next most likely central bank to start raising interest rates probably around the same time as the Fed next summer.
At the other extreme, NZD has been hit the hardest overnight after the RBNZ’s latest meeting where the central bank dropped any reference to further rate hikes with inflation falling but continued to talk down the dollar although it didn’t threaten outright intervention this time. EUR is underperforming with the ECB still in QE mode while CHF has been dragged down in tandem with the gold price.
Speaking of gold, gold stocks could be particularly active today after a number of the largest Canadian gold miners reported results overnight that were pretty dismal on balance. In the US, technology, credit card companies and integrated oils could attract attention following positive earnings numbers out of Baidu, Akamai, Visa, MasterCard and ConocoPhillips overnight and this morning.
Baidu $1.90 vs street $1.69,
Akamai $0.62 vs street $0.57, guides next Q to $0.61-$0.66 vs street $0.62
Visa $2.18 vs street $2.10
MasterCard $0.87 vs street $0.78
ConocoPhillips $1.29 vs street $1.19
Mosaic $0.56 vs street $0.59
MetLife $1.60 vs street $1.38
Barrick Gold $0.19 vs street $0.17
Yamana Gold ($0.01) vs street $0.06, 60% dividend cut
Agnico-Eagle $0.02 vs street $0.15
Goldcorp $0.09 vs street $0.18
Bombardier $0.12 vs street $0.10
Thomson Reuters $0.45 vs street $0.44
Methanex $0.69 vs street $0.71
Economic reports released overnight and this morning include:
US Q3 GDP 3.5% vs street 3.0% and previous 4.6%
US Q3 consumer spending 1.8% vs street 1.9% and previous 2.5%
US Q3 Core PCE inflation 1.3% vs street 1.4% and previous 2.0%
US jobless claims 287K vs street 285K
Brazil interest rate surprise 0.25% increase to 11.25%
Germany unemployment change (22K) vs street 4K
Germany unemployment rate 6.7% as expected
Spain GDP 1.6% as expected vs previous 1.2%
Spain consumer prices (0.01%) vs street 0.0%
UK nationwide house prices 9.0% vs street 8.5%
NZ interest rate 3.50% no change expected
Australia new home sales 0.0% vs previous 3.3%
Australia export prices (3.9%) vs street (4.7%) vs previous (7.9%)
Economic reports due later today include:
1:00 pm GMT Germany consumer prices street 0.9%
10:30 am EDT US natural gas street 85 BCF