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Investors Taking Profits

Investors Taking Profits Investors Taking Profits

A day after the S&P 500 recorded its second-best session of the year, markets were sharply lower as investors took profits. Into early afternoon the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down triple digits. Investors remain concerned over how soon the Fed will begin to trim the stimulus program. During Friday, the dollar extended losses against the yen, putting it on course for its worst week since July 2009 as volatile stock markets had investors unwinding bets against the yen. Investors are now focused on Federal Reserve policy meeting next week on June 18 -19 and comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke since he raised concerns over near term stimulus cooling off period. Back on May 22nd Bernanke hinted that the Fed is seriously considering winding down its market-friendly monthly purchases of bonds that have kept interest rates low and helped inflate stock prices. Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said he wants the central bank to begin cutting back on its bond buying as soon as its next policy meeting. “Labor market conditions warrant scaling back the pace of purchases as soon as our next meeting,” Plosser said in the text of a speech to be delivered in Stockholm. He added “unless we see a significant reversal in current trends that jeopardizes my forecast of near 7% unemployment rate by the end of this year, then I anticipate that we could end the program before year-end.”

Eurostat - European Union's statistics agency - reported that during Q1, the number of people working in the 17 nations that use the euro, fell 0.5% compared with Q4 2012 for the biggest quarterly drop since Q2 2009. The decline left 145.1 million people employed for the lowest level since Q4 2005. Greece reported the worst employment results where the number of people in work fell 2.3% quarter-on-quarter. Cyprus, Italy and Spain all saw declines in excess of 1%. Eurostat confirmed its inflation readings for May, showing the annual rise in consumer prices across the euro zone accelerated to 1.4% in May from 1.2% in April.

Producer Price Index
Labor Department said Friday that U.S. wholesale prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5% during May to mark the first increase in three months. The rise was reportedly spurred by higher costs for eggs, gasoline and light trucks. Excluding volatile categories of food and energy, so-called core wholesale prices rose a much smaller 0.1%. Energy prices rose 1.3% and food costs rose 0.6%. Over the past 12 months wholesale prices have risen an unadjusted 1.7% and core PPI rose 1.7%.

Current Account Deficit
The U.S. Commerce Department reported Friday that during Q1, U.S. current account deficit rose by $3.8 billion to $106.1 billion or 2.7% of gross domestic product on an annualized basis. During Q1 the deficit is much lower than consensus due to a drop in surplus on income and an increase in outflows of net unilateral transfers as these factors were partially offset by a narrowing in the deficit on goods and services.

U.S. Industrial Output
The Federal Reserve announced on Friday that industrial production remained unchanged during May for the second straight weak monthly report. Auto-related production rose 0.7% in May and excluding the auto sector, output remained unchanged. Industrial output has risen 1.6% over the past year. Capacity utilization fell to 77.6% during May.

Treasury International Capital
During April, sum total of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities and banking flows was a monthly net TIC inflow of $12.7 billion.  Net foreign private inflows were $42.1 billion and net foreign official inflows were negative $29.4 billion. Foreign residents decreased their holdings of long-term U.S. securities in April with net sales at $24.8 billion.  Net sales by private foreign investors were $17.8 billion and net sales by foreign official institutions were $6.9 billion. U.S. residents increased their holdings of long-term foreign securities, with net purchases of $12.6 billion. Net foreign purchases of long-term securities were negative $37.3 billion when taking into account transactions in both foreign and U.S. securities. The overall net foreign acquisition of long-term securities is estimated to have been negative $57.1 billion in April while including adjustments such as estimates of unrecorded principal payments to foreigners on U.S. asset-backed securities. Foreign residents decreased their holdings of U.S. Treasury bills by $15.1 billion and, holdings of all dollar-denominated short-term U.S. securities. Other custody liabilities decreased by $30.1 billion. Banks’ own net dollar-denominated liabilities to foreign residents increased by $99.9 billion.

Michigan Consumer Sentiment
University of Michigan/Reuters preliminary June reading consumer-sentiment index fell to 82.7 from a final May reading of 84.5.

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June 14, 2013

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