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TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP - January 3, 2011

As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 14 points or -0.69% downside to 1249 and 0.43% upside to 1263.   Equity futures are pointing towards a higher open ahead of the ISM Manufacturing index to be released at 10 am.

OTHER DATA AND NEWS EVENTS TODAY:

  • ISM Manufacturing - estimate is 57.0
  • Construction Spending - estimate up 0.2%
  • U.S. to sell $29b 3-mo. bills, $28b 6-mo. Bills
  • Facebook raised $500m from Goldman Sachs Group and a Russian investor in a deal that values the company at $50b, the NYT said, citing unidentified people involved in the transaction.
  • Fiat, the Italian carmaker that owns 20% of Chrysler Group, may boost the holding to >50% before a planned IPO by the U.S. carmaker this year
  • Amazon.com is close to buying Lovefilm International in a transaction that would value the DVD and online film-rental company at $312m, the Sunday Times said
  •  Dollar Financial (DLLR) agreed to buy U.K. Payday Loan Provider for $195m; sees deal adding immediately to EPS, will update FY2011 outlook
  • Expedia (EXPE) removed American Airlines’ airfares from its travel website on Jan. 1, saying the carrier’s pricing model makes it harder for passengers to compare ticket prices and options with other airlines
  • Goldman Sachs (GS) may rise should there be a “pick-up” in equity trading, underwriting and asset management, offseting weak bond sales, Barron’s reported in its “The Trader” column. 
  • Torchmark (TMK) closes United Investors Life sale to Protective Life Insurance for $343m; Torchmark to see added free cash flow $250m-$320m in 2011

PERFORMANCE:

  • One day: Dow +0.07%, S&P (0.02%), Nasdaq (0.38%), Russell (0.77%)
  • Last Week: Dow +0.03%, S&P +0.07%, Nasdaq (-0.48%), Russell (-0.67%)
  • Month-to-date (December): Dow +5.19%, S&P +6.53%, Nasdaq +6.19%, Russell +7.79%
  • Quarter-to-date (4Q10): Dow +7.32%, S&P +10.2%, Nasdaq +12%, Russell +15.9%
  • Year-to-date (2010): Dow +11.02%, S&P +12.78%, Nasdaq +16.91%, Russell +25.31%
  • Sector Performance mixed (5 sectors up, 4 down ) - Energy +0.15%, Financials +0.13%, Industrials +0.11%, Consumer Staples +0.03%, Utilities 0.031%, Healthcare (0.03%), Materials (0.08), Tech (0.12%), and Consumer Discretionary (0.21%)

 EQUITY SENTIMENT:

  • ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: 249 (+222)  
  • VOLUME: NYSE 592.43 (+16.62%)
  • VIX:  17.75 +1.31% YTD PERFORMANCE: -18.10%
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: 1.97 from 2.31 (-14.77%)  

CREDIT/ECONOMIC MARKET LOOK:

Treasuries were stronger with the curve flattening slightly.

  • TED SPREAD: 18.62 0.304 (1.662%)
  • 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: 0.12%   
  • YIELD CURVE: 2.72 from 2.71

COMMODITY/GROWTH EXPECTATION:

  • CRB: 332.80 +1.74% - (up 1.04% last week)
  • Oil: 91.38 +1.71% - trading up 0.56% in the AM (down -0.14% last week)
    • Oil Rises to Near 27-Month High on Bets Economic Recovery May Boost Demand  
  • COPPER: 444.70 +1.94% - trading up +0.79% in the AM (up 4.43% last week)
    • Copper Gains to Record For Third Straight Session on Tight Supply Concern  
  • GOLD: 1,418.75 +0.98% - trading up +0.05% in the AM (up 2.53% last week)
    • Gold May Gain as European Debt Crisis Spurs Demand; Silver at 30-Year High

OTHER COMMODITY NEWS:

  • Oil's Top Forecasters See Third Year of Gains as China Leads 2011 Recovery
  • Wheat Advances as Dry Weather in U.S. Threatens to Hurt Crops; Corn Drops
  • Australia Calls in Military as `Biblical' Floods Ravage Queensland's Towns, Mines and Crops
  • Palm Oil Gains to 33-Month High on Concern Cooking Oil Supplies to Decline
  • Ivernia Says it Receives `Stop Order' on Lead Exports From Magellan Mine
  • Surging Onion, Lentil Prices Push Swap Gap to Two-Year High: India Credit
  • India Considers Allowing Commodity Portfolio Managers, Standard Reports
  • India's Gold Imports May Have Reached 700 Tons in 2010, Bullion Group Says
  • Gold May Increase This Week on Demand for Wealth Protection, Survey Shows
  • India's Onion Production May Drop 12% in 2010-2011 on Rains, Express Says

CURRENCIES:

  • EURO: 1.3284 +0.91% - trading down -0.62% in the AM (up 2.00% last week)
  • DOLLAR: 79.028 -0.62% - trading up +0.53% in the AM (down 1.8% last week)

EUROPEAN MARKETS:

  • European Markets: FTSE 100: closed; DAX +1.36%: closed; CAC 40: +2.03% (as of 04:56 ET)
    European indices started the year trading higher helped by a positive Eurozone final Manufacturing PMI.
  • The UK market is closed today and will resume trading tomorrow.
  • Eurozone Dec Final Manufacturing PMI 57.1 vs preliminary 56.8 and prior 55.3
  • Germany Dec Final Manufacturing PMI 60.7 vs preliminary 60.9 and prior 58.1
  • France Dec Final Manufacturing PMI 57.2 vs preliminary 56.3 and prior 57.9

ASIAN MARKTES:

  • Asian Markets: Nikkei (closed); Hang Seng +1.7%; Shanghai Composite (closed)
  • Asian markets that were open rose today.
  • In light trade, Hong Kong rose. Hutchison Whampoa gained 5% on announcing it would buy port and property assets from China Resources for HK$5.7B, which will allow the company to increase its percentage interest in Hong Kong International Terminals and other investments.
  • Coal shares rose on disruptions in supply from Australia: Yanzhou Coal added 3%, and China Shenhua went up 2%.
  • Casino stocks jumped on news that 2010 revenues in Macau soared 58%.
  • South Korea went up 0.93%.
  • Singapore gained 1.43% after the government reported the economy grew 14.7% last year.
  • Taiwan rose 0.59%, with Cathay Financial gaining 3% when its Cathay Insurance unit got permission from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission to set up a branch in Shandong.
  • Japan, China, Australia, and Thailand were closed for New Year’s.

Howard Penney
Managing Director

THE DAILY OUTLOOK - 1