Morning Market Update
* US: Dow Futures: 12440.00 (0.07%), S&P 500 Futures: 1307.20 (0.05%), NASDAQ Futures: 2531.00 (0.18%)
* Europe: CAC: 3018.54 (-0.10%), DAX: 6125.55 (-0.11%), FTSE: 5459.63 (0.16%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4013.30 (-0.36%), China: 2222.07 (-0.09%), Hong Kong: 18981.84 (0.44%), India: 5120.80 (0.12%), Japan: 8663.99 (-0.82%).
* Metals: Gold: 1580.90 (-0.52%), Silver: 27.21 (-1.13%), Copper: 3.31 (-0.21%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 79.10 (-0.14%), Natural Gas: 2.68 (-0.45%)
* Commodities: Corn: 6.08 (6.93%), Soya Bean: 14.29 (3.83%), Wheat: 7.55 (7.19%)
* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2475 (-0.23%), GBP/USD: 1.5595 (0.13%), USD/JPY: 79.4500 (-0.28%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 1.636% (0.036)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures marginally higher: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a modestly higher open on Tuesday amid some improvement in the U.S. housing market. But worries about Europe, ahead of the European Union summit this week, will likely keep gains in check. The Dow futures, the S&P futures and the NASDAQ future were all trading marginally in the green.
U.S. home prices pick up: The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index increased 0.7 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, adding to signs that the U.S. housing market was witnessing a turnaround. Economists were expecting a reading of 0.4 percent.
European markets trading mixed: European markets are mixed in trade today following a three-day losing streak. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) was trading 0.1 percent lower at 6125.55, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was up 0.2 percent at 5459.63, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1)fell 0.1 percent to 3018.54. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading down 0.1 percent.
Asian markets end mostly lower: Asian markets closed lower on Tuesday on investor concerns that the European Union summit, later this week, might fail to produce substantial results. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closed 0.8 percent lower at 8,663.99. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed up 0.5 percent at 18,981.8 points, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) dropped 0.1 percent to 2,222.1 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index shed 0.4 percent to end at 4,013.3. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index edged 0.1 percent higher to 16,906.58 points.
Stocks in Focus
* Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) is planning to separate its publishing assets from its far bigger entertainment businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported.
* U.S. homebuilder Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) is in talks with China Development Bank for an approximately $1.7 billion loan, the money from which would be used to build projects in San Francisco, according to The Wall Street Journal.
* Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) has added JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) to the “Conviction Buy”, after removing Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) from the list. JP Morgan was trading close to a percent higher in New York pre-market trading, while Morgan Stanley slumped 1.4 percent.
* CNET reported on its website that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) may launch a generation Kindle Fire e-reader on July 31.
* Muhtar Kent, Chief Executive Officer of the Atlanta-based beverage maker, The Coca Cola Company (NYSE:KO), said the company will invest $30 billion globally in the next five years.
* Solar equipment maker LDK Solar Co., Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:LDK) reported a wider than expected first-quarter loss of $1.46 per share, due to higher production costs, and also provided full year revenue guidance that trailed Street estimates.
* Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR), owner of Redbox kiosks, cut its full year profit outlook, due to the costs related to the acquisition of NCR Corporation (NYSE:NCR)’s DVD assets. The company expects the acquisition to decrease per share earnings by 40 to 50 cents.
* U.S. electronic components and computer products distributor Arrow Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:ARW) has secured clearance from the EU competition watchdog to buy French-based distributor of hardware and software products, Altimate, for 48.1 million euros ($60 million).
* Communications tower operator SBA Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:SBAC) has agreed to buy more than 3,200 mobile phone towers from privately held TowerCo in a cash and stock deal valued at $1.45 billion.
* Hard disk drive maker Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) will replace Progress Energy, Inc. (NYSE:PGN) in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) index, after the close of trading on Friday, June 29. Progress Energy Inc is being acquired by utility operator Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK).
* Diagnostic test maker Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (USA) (NASDAQ:ROSG) announced plans to offer up to $35 million in ordinary shares, as it looks to fund operations and other general corporate purposes.
* The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” at JPMorgan & Chase & Co.
* Technology services provider Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (NASDAQ:CTSH) has been lowered to “sell” from “neutral” at Goldman Sachs.
* Moody’s Investors Service late Monday lowered the long-term debt and deposit ratings for 28 Spanish banks that included Spain’s largest two lenders, Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:SAN) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (ADR) (NYSE:BBVA).
* British energy major BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) has sold its minority stakes in two U.K. North Sea oil fields to Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co Ltd (TYO:8031), for $280 million in cash.
* Analysts have warned that Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS) might face a bill of hundreds of millions of pounds from last week’s software glitch that caused massive disruption for millions of customers.
* French media company Vivendi SA (EPA:VIV) has been asked to pay damages of $956 million to American media conglomerate Liberty Media Corp (Capital) (NASDAQ:LMCA) in a lawsuit involving the sale of USA Networks.
* U.K.’s largest online grocer, Ocado Group PLC (LON:OCDO) reported modest growth in first-half profit, amid a 12 percent rise in sales to 332.3 million pounds. The company also announced the appointment of Duncan Tatton-Brown as the new Chief Financial Officer.
* E.ON AG (ETR:EOAN) was raised to “buy” from “neutral”, and RWE AG (ETR:RWE) was upgraded to “neutral” from “underperform” at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Bank of America Merrill Lynch also lifted French electricity supplier GDF Suez SA (EPA:GSZ) to “buy” from “neutral”. Croda International Plc (LON:CRDA) jumped 3 percent in London trading after J.P. Morgan Cazenove upgraded the specialty chemicals company to “overweight” from “neutral”.
* Carlos Ghosn, Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (TYO:7201), said he received a salary and bonus of 987 million yen ($12 million) for the past fiscal year, making him Japan’s highest-paid executive.
* Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ), owner of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, slumped 3.5 percent in Sydney trading after mining magnate and company’s largest shareholder, Gina Rinehart threatened to walk away from the troubled media company if she was denied seats on the board.
* Malaysia’s Genting Group has sought permission from Australian regulators to increase its stake in Australian casino operator Echo Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX:EGP) above the 10 percent threshold.
* Japanese glass manufacturer Nippon Electric Glass Co., Ltd. (TYO:5214) cut its net income outlook for the first quarter to zero, citing a drop in the value of investment securities.
* Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) founder and chairman Andrew Forrest has reportedly increased his stake in the company after buying 12.8 million ordinary shares of Australia’s third-largest iron-ore producer.
* Billionaire Nathan Tinkler may offer more than $5 billion for Australian coal producer Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC), the Australian Financial Review reported.
* Japanese department store operator Takashimaya Company, Limited (TYO:8233) reported a 69 percent jump in first-quarter operating profit to 5.9 billion yen due to a strong growth in revenue.
Economic Calendar for Tuesday, June 26, 2012:
07:45 A.M. ET: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales (Week ending Saturday, June 23, 2012)
08:55 A.M. ET: Redbook (Week ending Saturday, June 23, 2012)
09:00 A.M. ET: S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (YoY) (Apr)
10:00 A.M. ET: Consumer Confidence (June)
10:00 A.M. ET: Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index (June)
10:00 A.M. ET: State Street Investor Confidence Index (June)
11:30 A.M. ET: 4-Week Bill Auction
11:30 A.M. ET: 52-Week Bill Auction
01:30 A.M. ET: 2-Year Note Auction