- US: Dow Futures: 13030.00 (0.25%), S&P 500 Futures: 1373.30 (0.14%), NASDAQ Futures: 2633.75 (0.07%)
- Europe: CAC: 3464.55 (0.31%), DAX: 6913.93 (0.38%), FTSE: 5923.13 (-0.08%).
- Asia-Pacific:Australia: 4298.50 (0.84%),China: 2428.49 (-0.96%),Hong Kong: 21680.08 (0.51%),India: 5385.20 (0.18%),Japan: 9723.24 (0.01%)
- Metals: Gold: 1787.20 (-0.07%), Silver: 37.17 (0.08%), Copper: 3.92 (0.33%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 106.71 (0.15%), Natural Gas: 2.53 (0.52%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.58 (0.11%), Soya Bean: 13.13 (0.10%), Wheat: 6.72 (0.60%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3451 (-0.05%), GBP/USD: 1.5950 (0.31%), USD/JPY: 80.4200 (-0.05%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.932% (-0.010)
Market News Update
U.S. markets set to open higher: U.S. stocks were set for a higher open Wednesday, after the European Central Bank said that it well lend €529.5 billion to European banks, a move aimed to at preventing a credit crunch in Europe. The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and NASDAQ (COMP) futures were up between 0.1% and 0.3% ahead of the opening bell. http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/29/markets/premarkets/index.htm
European stocks advance: Stocks inEuropeadvanced, extending their monthly gains, as euro-area banks tapped the European Central Bank for more three-year cash than economists forecast.
ECB’s Second Major Liquidity Injection Tops Forecast: Banks grabbed 530 billion euros at the European Central Bank’s second offering of cheap three-year funds on Wednesday, fuelling hopes that more credit will flow to businesses and government borrowing costs will ease further.
Asia end higher: Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Wednesday on hopes a fresh cash injection by the European Central Bank will help further temper market tension and underpin risk appetite. Japan’s Nikkei average ended flat and failed to top the key 9,800 level. The Shanghai Composite closed at 2,428.5 points, snapping eight sessions of gains. It rose 5.9 percent in the month of February, the highest monthly gain in 16 months.
Oil rises: Oil rose, heading for its best month since October inNew York, amid signs of economic recovery and concern that tension withIran threatens global crude supplies. Crude for April delivery increased as much as 88 cents to $107.43 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Company News Update
- First Solar Inc. (FSLR) reported an unexpected fourth-quarter loss Tuesday as a hefty accounting charge and other costs wiped out gains from rising sales. The company also cut its revenue forecasts for 2012, and shares dropped 5 percent in late trading.
- DreamWorks Animation (DWA) reported mixed fourth-quarter results, announcing earnings-per-share that missed the Street’s view but posting better-than-expected revenue for the quarter.
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) are among banks warned by federal regulators that they may face civil claims tied to sales of mortgage-backed securities.
- General Motors (GM) is likely to spend more than $500 million on employee bonuses and profit-sharing based on the company’s performance last year.
- Moody’s Investors Service cut its rating outlook Tuesday for United Technologies Corp. (UTX) to “negative” from “stable” and said the conglomerate’s ratings face more pressure with its $16.4 billion purchase of airplane parts maker Goodrich Corp. (GR).
- Abbott Laboratories (ABT) agreed to pay Galapagos NV (GLPG) as much as $1.35 billion for the rights to an experimental drug for rheumatoid arthritis. Galapagos shares rose the most in three years.
- PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) plans a 1 billion-euro ($1.34 billion) rights offering to raise cash as part of a partnership with General Motors Co. (GM), according to people familiar with the matter.
- Standard Chartered Plc (STAN), theU.K.’s second-largest bank by market value, said profit last year climbed 12 percent, marking its eighth annual record earnings on growth in corporate and consumer banking.
- International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) said profit doubled in the first year of its formation via a merger of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia, spurred by demand for business travel on BA’sNorth Atlantic routes.
- Taylor Wimpey Plc (TW.L), theU.K.’s second-largest homebuilder by volume, reported a 2011 profit on increased margins and rising home completions.
- SAP AG (SAP) co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Hagemann Snabe predicts subscription-based services, fueled by mobile and cloud-computing products, will account for a third of the business-software maker’s revenue in 2015.
- CVC Capital Partners is to buy Nordic construction products and machinery distributor Ahlsell from Cinven and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners (GS.N) for 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion), inEurope’s biggest private equity deal since last summer.
- Ziggo BV, the Dutch cable-television company owned by Warburg Pincus LLC and Cinven Ltd., filed for an initial public offering on the Amsterdam exchange. The IPO, managed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS), will consist of a sale of part of the shares held by the founding shareholders, Utrecht-based Ziggo said in a statement today, without giving details.
- Chinese car maker BYD said on Tuesday that its net profit in 2011 fell by 44 percent from a year earlier due to fierce competition in the world’s largest auto market and a sharp fall in photovoltaic product prices.
- Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), the world’s second-largest handset maker, will “significantly” increase investment to bolster its own mobile-phone operating system, pitching it as an alternative to Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android.
- India’s state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp will launch a share auction on Thursday that is expected to raise at least $2.5 billion as part of the federal government’s divestment program. ONGC and state-run GAIL India may join a bidding war for Africa-focused gas explorer Cove Energy (COVE.L), becoming the second Asian state-run group seeking to trump Shell‘s (RDSA.L) $1.6 billion offer.
Economic Calendar for Wednesday, February 29, 2012:
07:00 A.M. ET: MBA Mortgage Index
07:00 A.M. ET: MBA Mortgage Purchase Index
08:30 A.M. ET: GDP – Second Estimate
08:30 A.M. ET: GDP Deflator – Second Estimate
09:45 A.M. ET: ChicagoPMI
10:30 A.M. ET: Crude Inventories
02:00 P.M. ET: Fed’s Beige Book
03:00 P.M. ET: Farm Prices