update

Every morning we put out a news report with the latest news in global stock markets, company news, and global economic news.

Morning Market Update  

Market Levels

  • US:  Dow Futures: 12483.00 (-0.06%), S&P 500 Futures: 1316.00 (0.02%), NASDAQ Futures: 2546.75 (0.13%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3059.72 (1.06%), DAX: 6391.85 (0.97%), FTSE: 5362.69 (1.09%).
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4121.00 (1.16%), China: 2373.31 (1.05%), Hong Kong: 19039.15 (0.61%), India: 4860.50 (-0.93%), Japan: 8729.29 (1.09%).
  • Metals: Gold: 1580.30 (-0.53%), Silver: 28.14 (-0.6%), Copper: 3.50 (-0.01%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 92.34 (-0.25%), Natural Gas: 2.66 (-1.08%)
  • Commodities: Corn: 6.27 (-0.87%), Soya Bean: 13.00 (1.14%), Wheat: 6.92 (0.68%)
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2746 (-0.55%), GBP/USD: 1.5772 (-0.40%), USD/JPY: 79.8800 (0.72%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.783% (0.041)

Financial and Economic News Update

 U.S. stock-index futures mixed: U.S. stock index futures gave up earlier gains and are pointing to a mixed open on Tuesday after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said it expects global growth to taper. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ futures are all bouncing on either side of breakeven.

European markets in the green: European markets climbed on Tuesday, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 1 percent higher at 6391.85, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) up 1.1 percent at 5362.69, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) jumped 1.1 percent higher to 3059.72. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 1.2 percent higher.

Asian markets end higher: Asian markets closed higher on Tuesday on investor optimism that China and Europe will take further steps to bolster economic growth. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) climbed 1.1 percent to 8,729.29 as investors picked up beaten down stocks. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) rose 0.6 percent to19039.15, while the SSE CompositeIndex (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) ended up 1.1 percent at 2,373.3… The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index soared 1.16 percent to 4,121. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index was the worst performer in the region, down 1 percent, after the Rupee hit record lows.

Company News Update

U.S.

  • Electronics and appliance retailer, Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) posted first quarter earnings, excluding items, of 72 cents a share, on revenue of $11.61 billion that easily topped the average analysts’ estimate of earnings of 59 cents a share, on revenue of $11.52 billion.
  • Specialty retailer Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) reported fiscal first quarter earnings excluding special items of 34 cents a share, that topped Street expectations of earnings of 32 cents a share. The San Francisco-based company also forecast second quarter earnings in the range of 38 cents to 41 cents, compared to the 40 cents a share that analysts are expectation.
  • Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE:RL) reported fourth quarter earnings per share of 99 cents, on revenue of $1.62 billion, better than the consensus estimate of earnings of 83 cents a share on revenue of $1.6 billion.
  • Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), the world’s biggest maker of heart-rhythm devices, reported fourth quarter earnings excluding one time items of 99 cents a share, on revenue of $4.3 billion that beat the analysts’ estimate of earnings of 98 cents a share on revenue of $4.23 billion.
  • Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was trading 3.3 percent lower at $32.91 in New York pre-market trading after plunging 11 percent yesterday.
  • Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has retained its place as the world’s most valuable brand over the past year, according to the annual BrandZ study by the brands and market research agency Millward Brown. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was the fastest climber in the top 100, and was placed as the 19th most valuable brand.
  • Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), the fourth largest U.S. bank by assets, is looking at doubling its $444 billion asset management unit within seven years by expanding in foreign markets through the addition of foreign stock and bond strategies to its U.S.-based mutual fund unit, according to division chief Mike Niedermeyer.
  • Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) jumped 3.4 percent to $91.80 in pre-market trading after S&P said the company will replace Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (NYSE:MMI) in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) index after the close of trading on May 24.
  • Engineering and construction services company The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW) has agreed to sell all of its energy and chemicals business to French oilfield services group Technip (EPA:TEC) for about $300 million in cash.

 

Europe

 

  • Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD), the world’s biggest mobile operator by revenue, reported a 2.3 percent rise in fourth quarter service revenue that beat analysts’ estimates, but lowered its medium-term target for revenue growth.
  • Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS), U.K.’s biggest clothing retailer reported a 19 percent drop in net profit for the year to the end of March to £513 million ($813 million), while total group sales climbed 2 per cent to £9.9 billion.
  • Paris-based Accor SA (EPA:AC), Europe’s largest hotel operator, has agreed to sell its underperforming, low-cost chain, Motel 6 to a fund managed by The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) for $1.9 billion, to cut debt and focus on more profitable businesses.
  • Louis Vuitton, owned by Paris-based LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (EPA:MC), was named the world’s most valuable luxury brand for the seventh consecutive year by the Millward Brown’s annual BrandZ report.
  • Swiss maker of hearing-aid, Sonova Holding AG reported full year earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations, and forecast profit and sales growth that also lagged estimates.
  • Intermediate Capital Group plc (LON:ICP), the London-based provider of mezzanine finance said net income rose to 188.3 million pounds for the fiscal year ending March 31 from 128.2 million pounds a year earlier.
  • Analysts at Exane BNP reiterated their outperform rating on Carnival plc (LON:CCL), the world’s largest cruise-ship operator, and raised the price target to 2,500 pence a share.

 

 

Asia-Pacific

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (TYO:7201), Japan’s second- biggest carmaker is looking at doubling its market share in Russia to 10 percent, and plans to build low-cost cars under the Datsun brand at its facilities there, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn said.

Embattled Australian carrier, Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) will split its loss-making international operations from its profitable domestic businesses, as part of a plan to transform its fortunes.

Leighton Holdings Limited (ASX:LEI), Australia’s largest construction company, has reiterated its profit forecast for the financial year 2012 and announced plans to restructure its Middle East venture.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (HKG:0293), Asia’s biggest international carrier, has sued World Fuel Services Corporation (NYSE:INT)’s Singapore unit for allegedly supplying tainted fuel to two of its aircraft that led to an emergency landing, tarnishing the Hong Kong carrier’s reputation.

Wynn Macau Ltd (HKG:1128), the unit of billionaire Steve Wynn’s Las Vegas company, has approached banks seeking a loan of about $1 billion to back its new project on Macau’s Cotai Strip, according to people familiar with the matter.

Struggling Japanese chipmaker, Renesas Electronics Corporation (TYO:6723) plans to raise capital and cut about 6,000 jobs, amid tough business conditions surrounding the semiconductor market, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported.

Economic Calendar for Tuesday, May 22, 2012:

 

07:45 A.M. ET:      ICSC-Goldman Store Sales (Week ending Saturday, May 19, 2012)

08:55 A.M. ET:      Redbook (Week ending Saturday, May 19, 2012)

10:00 A.M. ET:      Existing Home Sales (MoM) (April)

10:00 A.M. ET:      Existing Home Sales Change (April)

10:00 A.M. ET:      Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index (May)

11:30 A.M. ET:      4-Week Bill Auction

01:00 P.M. ET:      2-Yr Note Auction