US open: Yield curve steepening continues

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LONDON (ShareCast) - - Durable goods orders ahead of forecasts
- Pending home sales figures misleading, NAR says
- Interest rate curve continues steepening, 10 year above 2 per cent

Dow Jones Industrials: -0.02%
Nasdaq Comp.: 0.33%
S&P 500: -0.16%

US equity benchmarks are now trading in a 'mixed' fashion. That follows the release of what at first glance might be taken - erroneously apparently - for similarly mixed economic indicators.

Also worth highlighting are the positive comments from ratings agency Fitch as regards the very short-term outlook for the United States´ AAA credit rating. The temporary suspension of the US federal government's debt limit removes the near-term risk to the AAA rating, Fitch said.

Of interest as well, the Financial Times reported today on how shale 'boom' is firing up opposition from environmental groups, but also investors, with US gas flaring nowadays clearly visible from outer space and with a luminosity rivalling that of cities such as Chicago.

Earth moving machinery giant Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT - news) said Monday it expects 2013 earnings per share of between $7 to $9, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.54 a share.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB - news) has lowered its recommendation on AK Steel to 'sell' from `neutral'.

Goldman Sachs is expected to raise $1bn from the sale of a stake in Chinese lender ICBC.

Durable goods orders ahead of expectations

US durable goods orders spiked higher in December, rising at a 4.6% month-on-month clip, versus the 2.0% increase which was forecast.

The critical 'core' series for durable goods, which excludes both Defense and civil aircraft, came in comfortably ahead of economists´ expectations, when revisions to November´s data are taken into account (although they are weak when compared with levels from a year ago).

US pending home sales fell by 4.3 per cent month-on-month in December, coming in far below the 0.0 per cent reading expected.

Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors´s (NAR) Chief Economist, said there is an uneven uptrend. "The supply limitation appears to be the main factor holding back contract signings in the past month. Still, contract activity has risen for 20 straight months on a year-over-year basis," he said. "Buyer interest remains solid, as evidenced by a separate survey which shows that buyer foot traffic is easily outpacing seller traffic," Yun added.

"The broad trend in pending home sales mirrors that of the broader housing market and does not alter our view that the recovery in US housing has sustained momentum," commented analysts at Barclays Research chipped in.

Yield curve continues 'bull steepening'
10 year US Treasury yields are now rising by 4 basis points, to the 1.97% mark.

Front month West Texas crude futures were moving higher by 0.27% to the 96,14 dollar per barrel mark on the NYMEX.



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Hess Corp. (HES) $62.36 +5.87%
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Biogen Idec Inc (NasdaqGS: BIIB - news) . (BIIB) $151.62 +3.71%
Xerox Corp (NYSE: XRX - news) . (XRX) $8.18 +3.09%
TripAdvisor Inc (NasdaqGS: TRIP - news) . (TRIP) $47.35 +3.02%
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (NYSE: CMG - news) . (CMG) $312.52 +2.98%
Apple Inc (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) . (AAPL) $452.33 +2.83%
Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC (Taiwan OTC: 4744.TWO - news) ) $15.59 +2.57%
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Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) $38.95 +2.23%

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PPG Industries Inc (NYSE: PPG - news) . (PPG) $138.66 -3.85%
Southwestern Energy Co (NYSE: SWN - news) . (SWN) $33.48 -3.32%
Whirlpool Corp (NYSE: WHR - news) . (WHR) $106.14 -3.23%
United States Steel Corp (NYSE: X - news) . (X) $23.79 -3.02%
CONSOL Energy Inc (NYSE: CNX - news) . (CNX) $31.13 -2.96%
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NasdaqGS: BBBY - news) . (BBBY) $58.12 -2.78%
LyondellBasell Industries (NYSE: LYB - news) (LYB) $61.04 -2.73%
Alpha Natural Res (ANR) $8.97 -2.58%
Weyerhaeuser Co (NYSE: WY - news) . (WY) $30.25 -2.26%
Gannett Co. Inc (NYSE: GCI - news) . (GCI) $19.70 -2.23%

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Intel Corp. (INTC) $21.08 +0.57%
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McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $94.17 +0.48%
Cisco Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CSCO - news) . (CSCO) $21.25 +0.47%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $56.30 +0.46%
AT&T Inc. (T) $34.17 +0.44%
Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE: PG - news) . (PG) $73.55 +0.41%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Alcoa Inc (NYSE: AA - news) . (AA) $8.92 -1.22%
Boeing Co (NYSE: BA - news) . (BA) $74.30 -0.97%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $90.92 -0.88%
JP Morgan Chase (Other OTC: JFTTL - news) & Co. (JPM) $46.81 -0.74%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $47.98 -0.72%
American Express Co. (AXP) $59.09 -0.69%
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) $11.54 -0.69%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $77.82 -0.68%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $67.38 -0.65%
Merck & Co. Inc (Xetra: A0YD8Q - news) . (MRK) $43.25 -0.48%

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Facebook Inc (NasdaqGS: FB - news) . (FB) $32.49 +3.01%
Apple Inc. (AAPL) $452.33 +2.83%
Baidu Inc (NasdaqGS: BIDU - news) . (BIDU) $110.87 +2.65%
NetApp Inc (NasdaqGS: NTAP - news) . (NTAP) $36.91 +2.10%
Maxim Integrated Products Inc (Stuttgart: 876158 - news) . (MXIM) $32.29 +2.09%
Staples Inc (NasdaqGS: SPLS - news) . (SPLS) $13.23 +2.00%
Nuance Communications Inc (NasdaqGS: NUAN - news) . (NUAN) $23.99 +1.74%
Microchip Technology Inc (NasdaqGS: MCHP - news) . (MCHP) $33.88 +1.73%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $48.90 +1.71%

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Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) $58.12 -2.78%
Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN) $277.76 -2.20%
Priceline.Com Inc. (PCLN) $706.40 -1.73%
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $46.08 -1.64%
Catamaran Corp (CTRX) $52.37 -1.62%
Perrigo Company (NasdaqGS: PRGO - news) (PRGO) $101.80 -1.28%
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NasdaqGS: REGN - news) . (REGN) $172.51 -1.13%
Akamai Technologies Inc (NasdaqGS: AKAM - news) . (AKAM) $40.69 -1.12%
Celgene Corp. (CELG) $98.71 -1.05%
Equinix Inc (NasdaqGS: EQIX - news) . (EQIX) $223.16 -0.93%

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