Meadows on the Markets 4.10.2012

Gold also saw a modest increase as front-month futures gained 1.1% to $1,662 per ounce. Silver saw similar gains, while Platinum dropped 1.15% to below $1,600 per ounce. This widens the Gold-Platinum spread that has historically seen Platinum prices at a premium to Gold. That relationship changed near November 2011.

Oil prices fell in tandem today as well. Tomorrow’s inventory figures could be the impetus to push oil below $100 per barrel – if we see another “risk off” (we hate that term) day. Last week’s inventory figures showed that output was at a 13-year high. Further output gains or inventory builds could have oil testing year-low levels near the $95 level.

The one question we have about today’s price action, though, is: Why didn’t recent correlations with EUR hold? The currency has not participated in this two-day sell off that has engulfed equity markets. Something has to give – either this is a fake-out on the equity front; or the EUR is in store for a decline below the 1.30 level. Every time it looked like EUR/USD was going to drop today, new buyers came in, leaving the pair at 1.3085. We would not be surprised to see this move higher tomorrow barring negative news on the equity front.

Oh, one last thing, Alcoa (AA) earnings are released after the bell today. Try not to draw too much from that… the stock is not indicative of earnings season.

Halftime Report for 4.10.2012

Despite this sharp decline in equity markets, EUR/USD has been fairly resilient this morning. It is trading flat for the week – compared to a 2% declines in oil and equity markets. Gold prices are up 1.6% over the same period.

Today, oil prices briefly fell below $101 per barrel, hitting a low of $100.75. Support is expected at the $100 figure. Natural gas, which was higher early in the session, has fallen to fresh lows, down 2% to 2.061. Guess you can’t disguise a dog with lipstick.

More News and Numbers:

– Best Buy’s (BBY) CEO resigned today, while Yahoo (YHOO) announced a new structure (Forbes). BBY is trading down 4% after an initial spike; YHOO is down nearly 1%

– Gartner estimates that demand for Apple’s (AAPL) iPad 2 will cause worldwide tablet sales to soar. Tablet sales should be 119 million units in 2012. AAPL is trading down 0.6% to $632

–  Alcoa (AA) is down nearly 2% ahead of earnings report tonight, which expects $0.04 loss on the quarter

What's Coming Up On the Economic Calendar

– 8:30 a.m. ET: Import/Export Prices
– 10:30 a.m. ET: EIA Petroleum Report
– 1 p.m. ET: 10-year Note Auction
– 2 p.m. ET: Federal Reserve Beige Book

– 8:30 a.m. ET: Weekly Jobless Claims
– 8:30 a.m. ET: Producer Price Index
– 8:30 a.m. ET: International Trade
– 10:30 a.m. ET: EIA Natural Gas Report
– 11 a.m. ET: 3-month, 6-month, and 5-year TIPS Announcement

– 8:30 a.m. ET: Consumer Price Index
– 9:55 a.m. ET: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment 

Morning Rage 4.10.2012

Even still, we remain near very key levels on the S&P futures, and a break below 1,368-70 might see additional selling pressure. Commodity markets are also flat this morning, with Oil futures trading just above $102 per barrel and Gold futures in near $1,650 per ouce. Yields on the 10- and 30-year Treasury futures are relatively unchanged.

Alcoa (AA) reports earnings after the bell today, with analysts expecting a quarterly loss in the area of $0.03 per share. Tomorrow morning, Progressive (PGR) reports with earnings expected at $0.39 per share. These are just the warm-up acts to giants like Google (GOOG), JPMorgan (JPM), and Wells Fargo (WFC), which report starting Thursday. 

Meadows on the Markets 4.9.2012

Call it $1 billion Monday… AOL sold patents to Microsoft (MSFT) for $1 billion this morning; Facebook is paying $1 billion for Instagram in cash and stock; and AT&T (T) will sell most of its stake in Yellow Book for nearly $1 billion.

With today’s decline in equity markets, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) hit its highest point in over a month – ending the day 12% higher at 18.81. Despite a mid-day rally on low volume, equity markets closed down by at least 1%, with the S&P futures dropping to support in the mid-1370s. Gold gained 0.7%, natural gas rose 1%, and oil dropped 1%. In the treasury markets, bonds on the long-end were relatively unchanged.  

What’s in store for tomorrow? At this point, hard to think anything different than more of the same. Low volume, tight trading ranges, boring markets. We dare markets to prove us wrong.