* US: Dow Futures: 12912.00 (0.48%), S&P 500 Futures: 1370.70 (0.50%), NASDAQ Futures: 2673.00 (0.35%)
* Europe: CAC: 3252.53 (1.47%), DAX: 6709.35 (1.27%), FTSE: 5716.02 (0.88%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4288.80 (-0.31%), China: 2334.98 (-0.94%), Hong Kong: 20562.31 (-0.24%), India: 5289.70 (1.22%), Japan: 9464.71 (-0.06%).
* Metals: Gold: 1656.80 (0.43%), Silver: 31.70 (1.04%), Copper: 3.63 (0.07%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 103.77 (0.82%), Natural Gas: 1.99 (-1.09%)
* Commodities: Corn: 6.15 (0.29%), Soya Bean: 14.34 (0.70%), Wheat: 6.26 (0.76%)
* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3134 (-0.06%), GBP/USD: 1.5951 (0.32%), USD/JPY: 80.7000 (0.36%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 2.003% (0.023)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures trading higher: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a higher open on Tuesday after a slew of better than expected earnings report. The Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and NASDAQ futures were trading around half a percent higher.
European markets edge higher: European markets edged higher on Tuesday as an improvement in German economic confidence helped boost investor sentiment. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) was up 1 percent at 6694.04, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was up 0.8 percent at 5710.25 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) was 1.4 percent higher at 3250.03.
German investor confidence rises in April: German investor confidence unexpectedly rose in April for the fifth straight month. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its economic expectations index rose to 23.4 from 22.3 in March. Economists had forecast a drop to 19.
Asian markets end lower: Asian markets ended lower on Tuesday as renewed concerns about Europe’s sovereign debt crisis continued to undermine sentiment. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closed marginally in the red. The Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) was among the worst performers in the region, down 0.9 percent, while the HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed 0.2 percent lower.
China FDI declines for fifth straight month: Foreign direct investment in China fell for a fifth straight month in March, the Ministry of Commerce said today in Beijing. Inbound investment fell 6.1 percent in March from a year earlier to $11.8 billion. For the first quarter, foreign direct investment was down 2.8 percent from a year earlier at $29.5 billion.
Company News Update
* Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, posted first-quarter earnings excluding items of $3.92 per share, which was better than the $3.55 a share which analysts were expecting. Revenue stood at $9.95 billion, a decrease from $11.89 billion a year ago.
* The Coca Cola Company (NYSE:KO) reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analysts’ forecasts. The beverages giant posted first-quarter profit of $2.05 billion, or 89 cents per share, up from $1.90 billion, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier.
* U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), the nation’s fifth- largest lender by deposits, recorded a 28 percent jump in first-quarter profit as credit costs reduced and revenue showed a better than expected growth.
* Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), the world’s second-biggest health care company, reported first quarter earnings of $1.37 per share, better than the analyst estimate of $1.35. Revenue came in at $16.1 billion versus the average analysts’ estimate of $16.26 billion.
* First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) is planning to cut approximately 2,000 jobs, or about 30 percent of its global workforce, which should help reduce costs by $30-60 million this year.
* Lincare Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LNCR), the Florida- based oxygen supplier reported first-quarter earnings of 54 cents a share, topping the average analyst estimate by 1 cent.
* Real estate investment trust Extra Space Storage, Inc. (NYSE:EXR) will sell 7 million shares in a public offering, proceeds from which will be used to fund future acquisitions.
* British telecoms operator Vodafone Group plc (LON:VOD) (NASDAQ:VOD) said it has issued a notice to the Indian government under Bilateral Investment Protection Treaty over India’s proposal to retrospectively tax overseas transactions.
* U.K.’s largest clothing retailer, Marks & Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS), recorded a surprise 0.7 percent decline in sales at UK stores over the three months to March 31, and posted revenue that missed analysts’ estimates.
* London-based Rio Tinto plc (LON:RIO) (NYSE:RIO) reported a lower-than estimated 9 percent increase in first quarter iron ore production as bad weather hit mining operations.
* Glencore International Plc (LON:GLEN), the world’s largest publicly traded commodities supplier dismissed media reports that it paid $1.8 million to paramilitaries in Colombia.
* French food major Groupe Danone SA (EPA:BN) reported first-quarter revenue growth of 7.6 percent, driven by strong sales in Asia. The maker of Evian water confirmed its 2012 targets of a 5-7 percent increase in sales.
* Volkswagen AG’s (FRA:VOW) Audi premium-car division agreed to buy Italian motorcycle maker Ducati Motor Holding SpA for about 860 million euros ($1.1 billion).
* Toshiba Tec Corporation (TYO:6588), a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation (TYO:6502), has agreed to acquire International Business Machines Corp.’s (NYSE:IBM) retail point-of-sale terminal business for 70 billion yen ($870.86 million), the Japanese daily Nikkei reported.
* Social gaming company, Gree,Inc. (TYO:3632), was a big gainer in Tokyo trading today, rising 9.1 percent, after Bank of America Merrill Lynch increased its price target on the firm and maintained its “buy” rating, citing a better than expected growth in domestic revenue.
* Hong Kong-listed shares of Southgobi Resources Ltd (HKG:1878) plunged 10 percent after the Mongolian government suspended exploration and mining activity permits for its Ovoot Tolgoi coal mine, raising fears the move may thwart a takeover bid by Aluminium Corporation of China Limited (HKG:2600) (NYSE:ACH) The company also said in a statement today, Deloitte & Touch LLP has resigned as an auditor.
* Tonghua Golden-Horse Pharm. Industry Co. (SHE:000766), a listed company on the Shenzhen stock exchange in mainland China, dropped 3.4 percent after the State Food and Drug Administration suspended sales of 13 drugs which were reportedly packed into capsules made from industrial gelatin, which contains a much higher degree of chromium than edible gelatin.
* The world’s fourth largest uranium producer, Energy Resources of Australia Limited (ASX:ERA), which is majority owned by Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) (NYSE:RIO), said it is looking at cutting costs by A$150 million over the next two years. Bank of America- Merrill Lynch has upgraded the stock to “buy” from “underperform.”
Economic Calendar for Tuesday, April 17, 2012:
07:45 A.M. ET: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales (Week ending Saturday, April 14, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Housing Starts (MoM) (March)
08:30 A.M. ET: Building Permits (MoM) (March)
08:55 A.M. ET: Redbook (Week ending Saturday, April 14, 2012)
09:15 A.M. ET: Industrial Production (MoM) (March)
09:15 A.M. ET: Capacity Utilization (March)
11:30 A.M. ET: 4-Week Bill Auction