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Emerging Markets Can't Rescue US Stocks From Downward Reversal


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

One of the morning's big stories focused on comments from ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet, considered the de facto spokesman for President Mario Draghi. Praet stated that the central bank was prepared to lower its main lending rate, offer funding loans to banks, or set a negative deposit rate. Large-scale asset purchases would only be utilized if growth and inflation did not live up to the ECB's projections. In addition, an unnamed source told Reuters that a rate cut was a near certainty for the June 5 meeting.

US Treasuries rallied strongly today after comments from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated that the central bank would likely hold rates low until mid-2015, about a quarter longer than had been expected. This caused the gilt market to reprice toward that later date, and the 5-year gilt yield fell 11.1 basis points. Treasuries were dragged along on this rally, pushing the 10-year yield down as much as eight basis points and out of a trading range it has been stuck in all year. The yield of 2.53% was its lowest level this year.

The major US stock indices opened the day marginally lower and trended down for the remainder of the session. Selling intensified during the last hour, and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) closed down 0.47%, which left it back near the level it opened on Monday. Small-cap stocks noticeably underperformed while most emerging market equities gained. Consumer discretionary, industrials, financials, and consumer staples were all notable laggards in today's session.

The producer price index of final demand for April rose 2.1% from a year ago, well above the +1.7% expected by economists and faster than the 1.4% rate last month. The increase was linked to a sizable jump in food prices and trade services. However, the market's takeaway was that companies wouldn't be able to pass on these recent input price increases and it was actually a negative. Tomorrow's consumer price index will decide whether or not that concern is correct.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

Tomorrow morning, the April consumer price index will be released, which will complete the other half of the inflation picture. Prices are expected to rise 2.0% from a year ago after increasing 1.5% in March. Because the producer price index showed such a dramatic increase in April, market participants will be watching closely to see if companies were able to pass along those price increases to consumers. Also scheduled to be released is the May New York regional manufacturing survey, the first of its kind for the month of May. The last two reports scheduled for tomorrow are March long-term capital (TIC) flows and weekly jobless claims.

The main catalyst for risk assets overnight is the preliminary release of Japan's first-quarter GDP. Its result should have a significant effect on the USDJPY currency pair and, by extension, US equities. Also scheduled to be released are preliminary first-quarter GDPs from the eurozone, France, and Germany. The last piece of data is the final April eurozone consumer price index.

Tomorrow is the busiest day of the week for earnings, with 12 companies reporting. Notable reports include Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Kohl's (NYSE:KSS), J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK), Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), and Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT).

Twitter: @Minyanville

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