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: 12397.00 (0.50%), S&P 500 Futures: 1295.30 (0.35%), NASDAQ Futures: 2481.00 (0.52%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3009.93 (0.06%), DAX: 6299.73 (0.45%), FTSE: 5291.55 (0.45%).
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4073.60 (0.67%), China: 2348.08 (0.16%), Hong Kong: 18922.32 (-0.16%), India: 4906.05 (0.30%), Japan: 8633.89 (0.26%).
  • Metals: Gold: 1588.10 (-0.24%), Silver: 28.22 (-1.71%), Copper: 3.48 (0.42%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 91.72 (0.26%), Natural Gas: 2.74 (-2.76%)
  • Commodities: Corn: 6.36 (1.97%), Soya Bean: 12.98 (-1.25%), Wheat: 6.93 (5.87%)
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2733 (-0.38%), GBP/USD: 1.5787 (-0.20%), USD/JPY: 79.3100 (0.37%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.726% (0.003)

Financial and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures edge higher: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a higher open on Monday but Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), following a sloppy debut on Friday, turned lower in early morning trade. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ futures were all trading close to half a percent higher.

European markets trading in the green: European markets rebounded from five-months lows and are up in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.5 percent higher at 6299.73, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) up 0.4 percent at 5291.55, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) trading 0.06 percent higher at 3009.93. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.3 percent lower.

Asian markets end marginally higher: After witnessing heavy losses last week, Asian markets closed higher on Monday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) up 0.3  percent to 8,633.89. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) ended down 0.16 percent at 18,922.32, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) ended up 0.16 percent at finished at 2,348.3 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index rose 0.7 percent to 4,073.6. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index rose 0.2 percent to finish at 16,183.26 points.

 

Company News Update

 

U.S.

 

  • After closing 0.7 percent higher on market debut, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has slipped below its initial public offer price of $38 in pre-market trading, down 4.2 percent at $36.67.
  • China’s largest e-commerce provider Alibaba Group has entered into an agreement to repurchase half of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)‘s 40 percent stake in the company for at least $7.1 billion. Yahoo would get $6.3 billion in cash and around $800 million in newly issued Alibaba preferred stock, and plans to hand most of the sale proceeds to its shareholders.
  • DaVita Inc. (NYSE:DVA), the biggest US operator of dialysis clinics, in which Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) is the biggest share-holder, has agreed to buy the doctor network operator HealthCare Partners for about $4.42 billion in cash and stock.
  • Home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) posted first quarter earnings excluding certain items of 44 cents a share, two cents above estimates, but reduced its full-year profit forecast. The stock plunged 6 percent in early morning trade.
  • Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) reported third quarter earnings excluding items of 56 cents a share, topping the 52 cents a share average analysts’ estimate, and stood by its full-year forecast.
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD) reported first quarter adjusted earnings of 14 cents a share that easily beat the 8 cents a share that analysts were expecting, while revenue stood at $108.5 million, trailing street estimates. The stock was up 4 percent in pre-market trading.
  • The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)’s “The Avengers” raked in $55.1 million over the weekend in North American ticket sales to hold the number one spot for the third straight weekend.
  • Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded a $1.7 billion dollar NATO order for five Global Hawk drones and transportable ground stations.
  • BB&T Capital has downgraded Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) to “hold” from “buy.”
  • Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN) will buy electrical equipment supplier Cooper Industries plc (NYSE:CBE) for $11.8 billion.

 

Europe

 

  • British bank Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) is planning to sell its entire 19.6 percent stake in US asset management firm BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) for $6.1 billion. Barclays acquired the stake three years ago, when it sold Barclays Global Investors to BlackRock for about $15.2 billion.
  • Man Group Plc (LON:EMG), the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund, has agreed to acquire Jersey-based Financial Risk Management Holdings, a fund of hedge funds, with assets under management of approximately $8 billion. The acquisition will see group assets rise to over $67 billion.
  • Ryanair Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:RYAAY), Europe’s biggest discount airline, reported full-year net profit of 503 million euros ($643million), up 25 percent from a year earlier, while revenue increased 19 percent to 4.3 billion euros. The Dublin-based carrier however warned profits in the current financial year could be lower because of a slowing European economy and higher fuel prices.
  • Germany’s largest cable network operator Kabel Deutschland Holding AG (FRA:KD8) has agreed to buy east German-focused peer Tele Columbus Group for 603 million euros ($770 million) including debt, in a sign of consolidation in the domestic cable-television market.
  • Bankia, Spain’s biggest domestic lender is reportedly planning to seek an aid of more than 10 million euros from the government-backed Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring.   
  • Italian lender Banco Popolare Societa Cooperativa (BIT:BP) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at BofA Merrill.


Asia-Pacific

 

  • One of China’s largest theatre owners, Wanda Group, has agreed to acquire U.S. movie theater chain AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion including debt, in the biggest Chinese takeover of an American company to date.
  • RBC Capital Markets said in a report that BHP Billiton Limited (ADR) (NYSE:BHP), the world’s largest mining company may start a new share buyback program. Melbourne-based BHP had completed a $10 billion buyback in June last year. The stock ended 2 percent higher in Sydney.
  • Embattled Australian airline Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) will cut 500 jobs at its heavy maintenance and engineering facilities at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport as part of a restructuring to cut costs.
  • Sydney-listed building products maker James Hardie Industries SE (ASX:JHX) posted a 20 percent jump in full-year operating profit to 142.46 million Australian dollars ($140.4 million), topping analysts’ estimates of $137.7 million, and said it would buy back up to 5 percent of issued capital.
  • Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that industrial robot maker Fanuc Corp (TYO:6954) is planning to expand production capacity for numerical control equipment by 30 percent by the end of fiscal 2012. Numerical control equipments are a high profit margin segment for the company, and its stock ended 1.5 percent higher on the back of the news.

Economic Calendar for Monday, May 21, 2012:

 

08:30 A.M. ET:      Chicago Fed National Activity Index (April)

11:00 A.M. ET:      4-Week Bill Announcement

11:30 A.M. ET:      3-Month Bill Auction

11:30 A.M. ET:      6-Month Bill Auction