Day Traders Diary


U.S. equity futures are modestly lower. The S&P 500 futures are off by 0.1%, while Nasdaq futures are down 0.5%. Note that the futures market will close at 9:15 ET, and the equity markets will remain closed due to the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. The Treasury market is closed as well.

Overnight, the world markets rebounded from yesterday's general weakness. However, trading volume was noticeably lower. In Asia, The Bank of Japan increased its asset purchase program by JPY11 trillion, to JPY91 trillion. Meanwhile, the Central Bank kept its key rate unchanged at 0-0.1%. The reaction was not favorable as the Nikkei gave up its early gains and headed into negative territory to settle lower by 1.0% on the day. The USD/JPY initially spiked on the news, but the yen ended up gaining over 50 pips against the dollar once the move was fully priced-in. In addition, India's Central Bank cut its cash reserve ratio, while keeping its key rates unchanged. The Central Bank also left the door open for further policy easing early next year. Elsewhere, China's Shanghai Composite added 0.2% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.4%.

In Europe, markets have been rising since the open. Earnings out of Europe this morning have been regarded as favorable with the likes of UBS, Deutsche Bank and BP reporting upbeat results. Spain's Flash GDP reading indicated the economy contracted by 0.3% during the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Bank of Spain confirmed that the "bad bank" will have a maximum size of EUR90 billion with an initial transfer of EUR 45 billion from the Spanish banks. Nearing midday, France's CAC is higher by 1.1%, Germany's DAX is advancing 1.0%, and UK's FTSE is adding 0.9%.

As mentioned earlier, U.S. equity markets remain closed today. After making landfall in New Jersey, Sandy has lost its hurricane status, and is now classified as a storm. The system is now inland as it continues to move north. Winds have subsided slightly, but gusts over 65 mph are still being observed. As a result, as many as eight million customers are without power. Many are expected to remain without electricity for days as substantial flooding has occurred and will pose a challenge to repair crews. The New York City subway has filled with water, and authorities have said restarting the service may take up to a week.

In U.S. corporate news, Ford Motor (F 10.36, 0.00) reported mixed quarterly results. During the third quarter, the car maker earned $0.40, which was $0.10 better than the Capital IQ consensus estimate. Meanwhile, the company's revenue of $30.2 billion fell short of analyst estimates. The revenue figure also represented a 2.9% year-over-year decrease. The company's management commented on the upcoming quarter by saying that it doesn't expect strong European sales.

MetroPCS (PCS 10.59, 0.00) also reported its earnings. The cellular service provider earned $0.38 on revenue of $1.26 billion. The earnings report was largely positive as the company beat the Capital IQ earnings estimate, while its revenue was in-line with expectations.

Herbalife (HLF 50.60, 0.00) reported third quarter earnings of $1.04 on $1.02 billion in revenue. Both figures exceeded the Capital IQ consensus estimates. In addition, the manufacturer of nutritional products issued upside fourth quarter and full-year earnings guidance.

In today's economic data, the August Case-Shiller 20-city Index will be reported at 9:00 ET. The October consumer confidence, which was originally scheduled for a 10:00 ET release, has been postponed until November 1.

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