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Actionable news in NXPI: NXP Semiconductors N.V.,

Morning Call For Tuesday, Feb. 20


Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH18 -0.63%) this morning are down -0.60% as the 10-year T-note yield moves above 2.90%. U.S. government debt prices are under pressure on supply concerns as the Treasury gets ready to auction $151 billion of T-bills and $28 billion of 2-year T-notes today. Also, losses in retailer stocks are leading the overall market lower with Walmart down nearly 3% in pre-market trading after it reported weaker-than-expected Q4 EPS and after it lowered guidance on 2019 EPS. European stocks are up +0.06%, led by gains in energy stocks with Mar WTI crude oil (CLH18 +0.65%) up +0.78% at a 1-1/2 week high after OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers reported that compliance with production cuts rose to 133% in Jan. Gains in European stocks were contained as bank stocks declined, led by a 4% drop in HSBC Holdings Plc after Europe's largest bank missed estimates for Q4 revenue and profit. Asian stocks settled mostly lower: Japan -1.01%, Hong Kong -0.78%, China and Taiwan closed for holiday, Australia -0.01%, Singapore -0.33%, South Korea -1.19%, India -0.21%.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.58%) is up +0.52%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.48%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.46%.

Mar 10-year T-note prices (ZNH18 -0.23%) are down -8 ticks.

The German Feb ZEW survey expectations of economic growth fell -2.6 to 17.8, stronger than expectations of -4.4 to 20.4.

German Jan PPI rose +0.5% m/m and +2.1% y/y, stronger than expectations of +0.3% m/m and +1.8% y/y.

The UK CBI Feb rends total orders fell -4 to a 4-month low of 10, weaker than expectations of -3 to 11.


Key U.S. news today includes: (1) USDA weekly grain export inspections, (2) Treasury auctions 2-year T-notes.

Notable S&P 500 earnings reports today include: Walmart (consensus $1.37), Home Depot (1.66), Duke Energy (0.92), Medtronic (1.17), Public Storage (2.73), MGM (0.09), Autozone (8.86), Fluor (0.63), Verisk Analytics (0.78), American Water Works (0.66), Devon Energy (0.63), Newfield Exploration (0.63).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: Hart Energy DUG Conference on Tue, CAGNY Investor Conference on Tue-Fri, BMO Capital Markets Seattle Tech Bus Tour Field Trip on Wed, Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference on Wed, Barclays Industrial Select Conference on Wed-Thu, Citi Global Industrials Conference on Wed-Thu, Royal Bank of Canada Health Care Conference on Wed-Thu, Gabelli & Company Valve & Water Systems Symposium on Thu.


WalMart (WMT +1.50%) fell nearly 3% in pre-market trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of $1.33, below consensus of $1.37, and said it sees fiscal 2019 EPS of $4.75-$5.00, weaker than consensus of $5.13.

Snap (SNAP +3.39%) was downgraded to 'Sell' from 'Neutral' at Citigroup with a target price of $14.

Wingstop (WING +1.06%) was downgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Outperform' at Baird.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE -1.13%) was upgraded to 'Overweight' from 'Neutral' at JPMorgan Chase with a price target of $83.

Kraft Heinz (KHC -2.63%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Hold' at DZ Bank AG with a price target of $79.

Dow Jones reported that Qualcomm may raise its bid for NXP Semiconductors (NXPI +1.35%) to $127.50 a share.

Home Depot (HD +0.92%) gained +0.3% in pre-market trading after it reported Q4 U.S. comparable sales increased +7.2%, better than expectations of +6.2%.

CyberArk Software (CYBR -1.94%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at UBS with a price target of $58.

United Parcel Service (UPS -1.76%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Hold' at Edward Jones.

Opexa Therapeutics (ACER +2.72%) was rated a new 'Outperform' at William Blair.

Rite Aid (RAD +2.40%) surged 28% in pre-market trading after the WSJ reported Albertsons plans to buy the rest of the company that is not being sold to Walgreens Boots Alliance.


Mar S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESH18 -0.63%) this morning are down -16.50 points (-0.60%). Friday's closes: S&P 500 +0.04%, Dow Jones +0.08%, Nasdaq -0.36%. he S&P 500 on Friday rallied to a 1-1/2 week high and closed higher on strong housing data that showed a +9.7% increase in U.S. Jan housing starts to a 15-month high of 1.326 million, stronger than expectations of +3.5% to 1.234 million, and an unexpected +7.4% increase in U.S. Jan building permits, a proxy for future construction, to a 10-1/2 year high of 1.396 million, stronger than expectations of no change at 1.300 million. Stocks also garnered support from the unexpected +4.2-point increase in the University of Michigan U.S. Feb consumer sentiment to a 4-month high of 99.9, stronger than expectations of -0.2 to 95.5.

Mar 10-year T-note prices (ZNH18 -0.23%) this morning are down -8 ticks. Friday's closes: TYH8 +4.00, FVH8 +2.75. Mar 10-year T-notes on Friday closed higher on carry-over support from a rally in 10-year German bunds to a 1-week high after ECB Executive Board member Coeure said the ECB won't raise interest rates before they end their asset purchases. Short-covering also fueled gains in T-notes Friday ahead of the 3-day holiday weekend.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.58%) this morning is up +0.463 (+0.52%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.0060 (-0.48%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.49 (+0.46%). Friday's closes: Dollar Index +0.507 (+0.57%), EUR/USD -0.0100 (-0.80%), USD/JPY +0.08 (+0.08%). The dollar index on Friday recovered from a 3-year low and closed higher due to stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data on Jan housing starts and University of Michigan U.S. Feb consumer sentiment. The dollar also found support on weakness in EUR/USD that fell after dovish comments from ECB Executive Board member Coeure who said, "we have a clear expectation in the Governing Council that policy rates won't be hiked before the end of asset purchases."

Mar crude oil (CLH18 +0.65%) this morning is up +48 cents (+0.78%) and Mar gasoline (RBH18 +0.87%) is up +0.0146 (+0.83%), both at 1-1/2 week highs. Friday's closes: Mar WTI crude +0.34 (+0.55%), Mar gasoline +0.0151 (+0.87%). Mar crude oil and gasoline on Friday closed higher with Mar crude at a 1-week high on signs of strength in the economy that may boost fuel demand after U.S. Jan housing starts rose to a 15-month high. Crude oil also found support from the rally in the S&P 500 for a sixth day to a 1-1/2 week high, which bolsters confidence in the economic outlook and energy demand.

Metals prices this morning are lower with Apr gold (GCJ18 -1.15%) -14.0 (-1.03%), Mar silver (SIH18 -1.42%) -0.187 (-1.12%), and Mar copper (HGH18 -1.99%) -0.059 (-1.82%). Friday's closes: Apr gold -2.7 (-0.20%), Mar silver -0.-82 (-0.49%), Mar copper +0.0095 (+0.29%). Metals on Friday settled mixed with Apr gold at a 3-week high and Mar copper at a 1-month high after the dollar index fell to a 3-year low early in the session. Copper rallied on the stronger-than-expected U.S. Jan building permits and housing starts, which is supportive for copper demand, and on the -750 MT decline in LME copper inventories to a 1-week low. A negative factor was the rally in the S&P 500 to a 1-1/2 week high, which curbed safe-haven demand for precious metals.