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: 12466.00 (0.43%), S&P 500 Futures: 1307.10 (0.45%), NASDAQ Futures: 2513.25 (0.34%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3006.52 (-0.18%), DAX: 6304.08 (-0.08%), FTSE: 5293.82 (-0.84%).
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4046.50 (-2.67%), China: 2344.52 (-1.47%), Hong Kong: 18951.85 (-1.31%), India: 4891.45 (0.44%), Japan: 8611.31 (-3.08%).
  • Metals: Gold: 1587.30 (0.79%), Silver: 28.30 (0.98%), Copper: 3.50 (0.60%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 92.43 (-0.14%), Natural Gas: 2.75 (2.84%)
  • Commodities: Corn: 6.29 (0.64%), Soya Bean: 13.03 (-0.27%), Wheat: 6.63 (0.84%)
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2704 (0.05%), GBP/USD: 1.5821 (0.15%), USD/JPY: 79.3400 (0.08%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.729% (0.029)

Financial and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures edge higher: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a higher open on Friday ahead of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)‘s widely-anticipated trading debut. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ futures were all trading close to half a percent higher.

European markets fall: European markets are down in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.1 percent lower at 6304.08, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was the worst performer in the region, down 8 percent at 5293.82, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) was losing 0.2 percent to 3006.52. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.1 percent higher.

Asian markets end lower: Asian markets closed lower on Friday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) down 3 percent at 8,611.31. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) ended down 1.3 percent at 18,951.85, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) ended down 1.4 percent at 2,344.52 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index fell 2.7 percent to 4,046.5. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index rose 0.78 percent to 16,195.81 points.

Company News Update


  • Social networking site Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) debuts today on the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) after pricing its initial public offering at $38 a share.
  • Cloud-based software provider salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) reported fiscal first quarter profit excluding certain items of 37 cents per share on revenue of $695 million, topping analysts’ estimates. The San Francisco-based company also raised its full year outlook on strong growth across all regions.
  • Athletic footwear and apparel retailer Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL) reported first quarter profit of 83 cents per share, topping analysts’ forecast of 74 cents a share. Quarterly sales increased 8.7 percent to $1.58 billion, while same-store sales jumped 9.7 percent from the year ago period.
  • Sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sports, Inc. (NASDAQ:HIBB) reported first quarter profit of 98 cents per share, seven cents above analysts’ estimates, while sales increased 14 percent to $232.9 million, also topping expectations. The company raised its full year guidance.
  • Chip maker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL) posted fiscal first quarter adjusted earnings and revenue that topped expectations. The company also boosted its share repurchase plan by $500 million and initiated a quarterly dividend.
  • Software maker Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) reported first quarter revenue of $589 million that exceeded analysts’ expectations, but current quarter forecast fell below Street estimates.
  • Medical products maker Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX) has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the Epic Vascular Self-Expanding Stent System that is designed to open blocked arteries in patients with iliac artery stenosis.
  • Energy producer Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) will replace El Paso Corp (NYSE:EP) in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) index on May 24 after Kinder completes its acquisition of El Paso.
  • Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at UBS, citing limited downside.


  • Moody’s Investors Service has cut the long-term debt and deposit ratings of the 16 Spanish banks, that include Banco Santander, S.A.  (NYSE:STD), euro zone’s largest bank, and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (ADR) (NYSE:BBVA), Spain’s second largest lender.
  • London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LON:LSE) said profit for the full year increased 30 percent to 442 million pounds ($699 million) while revenue rose 10 percent to 680 million pounds, helped by a gain related to the stake in FTSE.
  • British pub and restaurant operator Mitchells & Butlers plc (LON:MAB) posted six month profit of 36 million pounds or 8.7 pence per share, 1 million pounds lower than a year ago. Revenues grew by 2.4 percent to 969 million pounds ($1.5 billion), from 946 million pounds in the preceding year.
  • British bus and rail operator Stagecoach Group plc (LON:SGC) has agreed to buy nine Coach America Inc. businesses out of bankruptcy protection, that include operations in Texas and California, for $134 million, to help it grow its rapidly expanding North America operation.
  • Bristol-based financial service company Hargreaves Lansdown PLC (LON:HL) was cut to “hold” from “add” at Numis Securities. The stock is trading percent lower.





  • Tokyo Electric Power Co Incorporated (TYO:9501), the operator of the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, is planning to sell as much as 370 billion yen ($4.7 billion) of private placement bonds, as part of a financing plan agreed under Japan’s 1 trillion yen bailout for the utility.
  • Chinese property developers, China Vanke Co., Ltd. (SHE:200002) and Poly Real Estate Group Co., Ltd (SHA:600048), were big losers in trade today after home prices fell in nearly two-thirds of China’s major cities in April.
  • Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest mobile handset maker, has received 9 million pre-orders from more than 100 global carriers for its third-generation Galaxy S smart phone, according to a report in the Korea Economic Daily.
  • Hong Kong-listed AIA Group Ltd (HKG:1299), Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET), Prudential Financial Inc (NYSE:PRU) and Manulife Financial Corp are among some of the world’s biggest insurers expected to make offers in the first round of bids on Friday to buy ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING)’s Asian life-insurance arm in a deal worth about $6.5 billion to $7 billion.
  • Chinese sportswear maker Anta Sports Products (HKG:2020) warned that it had received fewer orders for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year, amid rising competition. Credit Suisse has also cut the earnings per share estimates for Anta by more than 10 percent, citing greater margin pressure.
  • London-based high end jeweller Graff Diamonds has set a price range of HK$25-HK$37 a share for its proposed Hong Kong initial public offer.
  • India’s largest lender State Bank of India (NSE:SBIN), beat market expectations with a sharp rise in its fourth quarter net profit to 40.50 billion rupees ($738 million), from 209 million rupees a year earlier. Net non-performing assets at the Indian government controlled lender stood at 1.82 percent of total loans at end of March compared with 1.63 percent in the year ago period. SBI was downgraded by Moody’s Investors Services in October last year because of its worsening asset quality.