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Retail Sales In-Line With Expectations


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

It was another quiet day in terms of trading with low volume and low volatility. The S&P 500 closed down 1.69 points and the Nasdaq-100 closed marginally higher, up 7.33 points. Treasuries sold off sharply as the Treasury auctioned $24 billion in new 10-year notes. The auction drew a maximum rate of 2.046%, slightly weaker than the pre-offered yields. Earlier in the day, Treasuries had seen sharp selling as chatter suggested that the G7 would impose restrictions on the amount of US Treasuries that Japan could buy.

January advance retail sales was the main data point for the day, showing a 0.1% monthly gain. This was in-line with economist estimates and down from 0.5% in December. Though this was in-line with expectations, it is more likely that we would have seen a negative report as consumer confidence had dropped sharply in January.

American Airlines (AMR) and US Airways (NYSE:LCC) finalized its merger deal with board approval to create the world's largest air carrier.

In Switzerland, the Swiss government and national bank are enforcing higher capital requirements to help control the boom in mortgage loans occurring within the country. Specifically, the banks will be required to carry a risk buffer so that any losses can be averted should property prices begin to decline.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

Tomorrow the only economic data in the US is weekly jobless claims. Economists are expecting a slight decline to 360,000 claims from last week's 366,000. For continuing claims, economists are forecasting a slight decline to 3.21 million from the prior week's 3.224 million.

Overnight is the Bank of Japan rate decision. As the Japanese fiscal and monetary authorities have continued to talk down the price of the yen, each meeting brings with it suspense over whether the central bank will initiate new measures to weaken the currency. Over the past three months, the USDJPY has risen from a 6-month average in the high 70s to its current price of 93.45. The other major global economic report is eurozone growth. In the fourth quarter, eurozone growth is expected to have declined to -0.4% from -0.1% in the prior quarter.

Tomorrow's earnings reports include Davita Pharmaceutical (DVA), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), Pepsi (PEP), Discovery Communications (DISCA), Apache (APA), General Motors (GM), Agilent (A), CBS (CBS), Brocade (BRCD), Molson Coors (TAP), and DirecTV (DTV).

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