- US: Dow Futures: 13015.00 (0.35%), S&P 500 Futures: 1372.80 (0.40%), NASDAQ Futures: 2619.00 (0.42%)
- Europe: CAC: 3457.99 (0.48%), DAX: 6881.08 (0.46%), FTSE: 5926.15 (0.18%).
- Asia-Pacific:Australia: 4262.72 (-0.11%),China: 2451.86 (0.20%),Hong Kong: 21568.73 (1.63%),India: 5375.50 (1.79%),Japan: 9722.52 (0.91%)
- Metals: Gold: 1781.10 (0.35%), Silver: 35.88 (1.00%), Copper: 3.92 (1.13%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 108.44 (-0.11%), Natural Gas: 2.58 (-0.81%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.51 (0.89%), Soya Bean: 13.10 (1.32%), Wheat: 6.60 (1.75%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3449 (0.3857%), GBP/USD: 1.5854 (0.1902%), USD/JPY: 80.5680 (-0.0490%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.922% (-0.005)
Market News Update
U.S. Stock Index Futures rise: U.S. stocks were poised to edge higher at Tuesday’s open, tracking gains in global stock markets, as oil prices pull back following a seven-day run-up that sent crude 9% higher. The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and NASDAQ (COMP) futures were up about 0.4%. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET. http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/28/markets/premarkets/index.htm?iid=Lead
European shares rise: European shares rose on Tuesday on optimism the European Central Bank’s (ECB) move to inject cheap cash would help banks manage their balance sheets, with equities seen gaining about 5 percent in three to six months on improving liquidity and economic data.
S&P downgrades Greece: Standard & Poor’s downgraded Greece’s credit rating Monday to “selective default” after the government took legal steps to impose losses on all holders of Greek government bonds. The move, which had been expected, was prompted by Greece’s decision last week to insert “collective action clauses” into the contracts of most Greek government bonds, S&P said in a statement. http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/27/markets/greece_standard_poors_selective_default/index.htm?iid=HP_LN
European Economic Confidence Beats Estimates: Economic confidence in the euro area improved more than forecast in February, adding to signs the economy is stabilizing after a fourth-quarter contraction.
Nikkei reverses losses: Japan’s Nikkei average hit a fresh seven-month closing high on Tuesday as investors reassessed the impact of Elpida Memory Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on the chip sector and bought back some of the stocks they sold earlier in the day. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/28/us-markets-japan-stocks-idUSTRE81Q2A920120228
Oil drops for the second consecutive day: Oil dropped for a second day in London on growing speculation that demand may be curbed by a rally that has driven prices to a nine-month high.
Company News Update
- Morgan Stanley (MS) said it will have to post another $6.52 billion in collateral to counterparties and clearinghouses if Moody’s follows through on a warning that it might cut the Wall Street bank’s long-term debt rating by up to three notches.
- General Motors Co. (GM), having regained global sales leadership from Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), is planning new Cadillac models to more than double sales and surpass the Japanese automaker’s Lexus brand as the No. 4 luxury line.
- Bank of America Corp (BAC) won a victory when aU.S. appeals court ruled that a proposed $8.5 billion settlement with investors in mortgage-backed securities should be reviewed inNew York state court, not federal court.
- Travel-booking website Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) saw its shares soar nearly 6% in late trading Monday, as the company posted fourth-quarter result that were well ahead of estimates.
- Europe’s biggest bank by assets, Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), is entering exclusive talks withU.S. money manager Guggenheim Partners LLC to sell the German lender’s asset-management divisions, said two people with knowledge of the matter.
- Bayer AG (BAYN) cut its forecast for sales growth this year amid a disappointing performance for its plastics business.
- Telefonica SA (TEF) plans to keep its 3 billion-euro ($4 billion) stake in China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. even as a sale could helpSpain’s largest telephone company cut debt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cesar Alierta said.
- PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) may announce as soon as this week plans to sell a stake of about 7 percent in the French carmaker to General Motors Co. (GM) as part of a development alliance, people familiar with the matter said.
- Londonbased Barclays (BARC) has been blocked from implementing two “highly abusive” tax schemes that could have cost the Treasury 500 million pounds ($792.3 million), despite the bank’s commitment to a new code of practice in which it pledged not to engage in tax avoidance.
- Banco Santander SA (SAN), Spain’s biggest lender, agreed to buy KBC Groep NV (KBC)’s Kredyt Bank and combine it with its Polish division to create the country’s third-biggest lender valued at about 5 billion euros ($6.7 billion).
- Persimmon Plc (PSN),U.K.’s largest homebuilder by market value, gained the most since October 2008 inLondon trading after announcing a plan to return 1.9 billion pounds ($3 billion) to shareholders by 2021.
- TomTom NV (TOM2),Europe’s biggest maker of portable navigation devices, dropped the most in eight months inAmsterdam trading after saying revenue and earnings per share will decline this year on shrinking demand for the devices.
- Q-Cells SE (QCE), once the world’s largest solar-cell maker, soared inFrankfurt trading after the German company won more time to pay back about 200 million euros ($269 million) of bonds.
- Noble Group Ltd. (NOBL),Asia’s biggest listed commodities trader by sales, reported a 57 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit, in line with analyst estimates, as margins in agriculture, metals and minerals narrowed.
- Samsung Electronics‘ mobile chief said it aimed to nearly double its smartphone sales in 2012 from last year, stepping up its battle with arch rival Apple (AAPL).
- Sina (SINA), the operator ofChina’s largest Internet portal, posted a quarterly profit in line with analysts’ estimates, but forecast a disappointing first quarter, sending its shares down 5 percent in aftermarket trade
- Singaporepalm oil company Wilmar International (WLIL) said on Tuesday it has acquired a 10.1 percent stake in Goodman Fielder (GFF),Australia’s largest listed food company, for $124 million and added its brands were a good fit.
- Australia’s most valuable insurer QBE Insurance posted a 45 percent fall in full-year net profit after unprecedented weather events in 2011 sent claims soaring, hurting the insurer’s bottom line.
- Banco BTG Pactual SA, the Brazilian bank led by billionaire Andre Esteves, has chosen Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) to work on an initial public offering, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Economic Calendar for Tuesday, February 28, 2012:
07:45 A.M. ET: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales
08:45 A.M. ET: Durable Goods Orders
09:00 A.M. ET: S&P Case-Shiller HPI
10:00 A.M. ET: Consumer Confidence
10:00 A.M. ET: RichmondFed Manufacturing Index
10:00 A.M. ET: State StreetInvestor Confidence Index
11:30 A.M. ET: 4-Week Bill Auction