Market Recon Tuesday

Good Morning,
                        It’s Super Tuesday, again.  Yes, I believe that this is Super Tuesday III.  I don’t think anybody in their wildest imaginations ever thought that primaries this late in the season would matter to this degree.  Regardless, this is where media focus will be, but we’ve got a job to do, and unless you live in one of these five states, and are a registered member of one the two main political parties, then this is little more than a spectator sport.
                      The FOMC goes into their cute little huddle today.  We won’t hear from them until tomorrow afternoon.  How to raise rates in an economy that probably isn’t strong enough to sustain a rate hike ???  Oh, how it’s got to hurt when you know that you missed your window… by a few years.
                      Truth is, gang…that there is peripheral noise out there today, and a lot of macro piled on top of that, but earnings are what you’ll focus on.  Tons of them.  We just saw a smattering yesterday, but today through Thursday will bring you quarterly numbers for more than a third of the S&P 500.  So far, as someone who follows this stuff on the nerd level…. I don’t think earnings season has been as dreadful as many thought coming in.  Then again, we really haven’t heard much from the energy sector as of yet.  Then, on the other hand, what are we expecting from that sector ??  I know, it’s hardly scientific, and it’s across many industries, but of the stocks (way less than all of them) that I track, going back to last Monday, 25 of 45 firms reported positive year over year growth.  35 of those firms beat EPS expectations, while 24 beat revenue projections.  Beating EPS expectations is easily engineered, but revenue ??  That’s a different story.  I’m just a weird guy who writes everything down in a bunch of marble notebooks.  That’s obvious, but this is better than I expected, and it’s better than what I saw at this point last quarter.  Good news….by the end of this week, overall data on earnings results will be meaningful, and we can rely a little less on my marble notebooks.
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Macro
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08:30 ET
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Durable Goods Orders (March):  Remember, we did see “some” life in “some” of the manufacturing data back in March.  If it sounds like I’m hedging, I am.  We also saw lousy data for Industrial Production in March.  This one today seems a bit on the unpredictable side to me.  Consensus view for the headline print is for an increase of 1.7% m/m, with a range spanning from flat to 4.0%.  Omit transportation orders, and we still look for growth, though … a far smaller number.  Projections are for 0.5% m/m.  The low end of the range is above the flat-line, so we do have that.  Both the headline, and core releases are coming off of negative growth for February.
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08:55 ET
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Redbook (Weekly): Last week, we were looking for a y/y print of 0.5%, and that’s exactly what we got.  I’d go so far as to look for a repeat, but with a lot of “not so hot” consumer data hitting the tape of late, that might be tough.
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09:00 ET
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Case-Shiller HPI (February): In January, home prices moved higher by 5.7% y/y, which is at the top of the range that we’ve been in for five months now.  Remember that the headline number here is the non-seasonally adjusted, 20 city line, as there are many to look at.  Most economists are looking for something like a 5.5% y/y print today, which though a cooling of the pace, will still be well within a range that will not upset market participants.
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09:45 ET
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Markit Services Flash PMI (April):  Expectations here are for improvement to something in the area of the low 52’s.  Normally a low profile release, and given everything else out there, this one will matter less to you folks than an eighth grade basketball game.
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10:00 ET
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Consumer Confidence (April):  This data-point rebounded to 96.2 from 94 in March.  That said, the University of Michigan print rolled off of  table mid-month.  We’ll hear from those guys this Friday.  The pros are looking for slight contraction here today to something like 95.9.  I’m skeptical.  We’ll see.  The low end of the range is in the 92’s.
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Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index (April):  Richmond is the star of the manufacturing universe right now.  They’ve printed in expansion in three of the last four months, and ripped the cover off of the ball in March with a +22 tag on the strength of New Orders.  Consensus view is for a print of +12, which would be just fine.  By the way, last month’s reversal in this space was the greatest one month improvement in the history of this index.
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Tuesday’s Earnings Highlights
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Before the Open: MMM (1.92), AKS (-.11), ABX (.11), BAX (.29), BP (-.01), DD (1.04), FCX (-.16), HSY (1.07), LMT (2.61), PG (.82), WHR (2.69)
After the Close: AAPL (2.00), T (.69), BWLD (1.78), CMG (-1.05), EBAY (.45), PNRA (1.50), TWTR (.10), X (-1.25)