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S&P 500 Closes Above 2,000 For First Time


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

Global markets continued to march higher again today as more forecasters upgraded their calls for easing at the ECB meeting next Thursday. JPMorgan followed Nomura's call yesterday for a rate cut to make the new long-term loans provided by the ECB more appealing for banks. The S&P 500 (SPX) closed above 2000 for the first time by a scant four pennies. Energy stocks put in another strong performance today - the best sector in the index. Trading volumes continue to be light. The prior two days of trading on the NYSE were the lowest non-holiday sessions of the year by a wide margin and today only barely surpassed those levels.

Burger King (BKW) announced the final terms for its $11.4 billion acquisition of Tim Horton's (THI). The new company would be headquartered in Canada to avoid US corporate tax laws. Members of Congress were not thrilled with this evolution and had some choice words to say about the deal. Warren Buffett provided $3 billion in preferred financing at a 9% rate. The rest of the deal was closed in cash and common BKW stock.

July durable goods orders rose 22.6% from the prior month thanks to the largest single month change in aircraft orders. Last month the Farnborough airshow in the UK featured a record number of aircraft orders for Boeing and Airbus, and it was reflected in this month's report. Economists had been expecting a gain of 8%.The prior month's 0.7% gain was revised up following the Commerce Department's quarterly revision. After excluding these orders, durables fell 0.8% versus +0.5% expected. The Conference Board gauge of consumer confidence rose to 92.4 (versus 89.0 expected) the highest its been since late 2007.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

There are no major US economic reports scheduled for tomorrow in the US. The MBA will release its weekly index of mortgage applications in the morning. In the early afternoon the Treasury will sell $13 billion of 2-year floating-rate and $35 billion 5-year notes.

The only economic events on the calendar for the rest of the world is the German GfK household consumer confidence survey and a similar one from MNI in China. In conjunction with the rising tensions between the EU and Russia, where Germany is the most economically exposed, confidence is expected to drop.

Earnings tomorrow are mostly from retailers. Express (EXPR), Michaels Co (MIK), Lannett (LCI), Workday (WDAY), and Tiffany's (TIF) will report.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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