Morning Market Update
* US: Dow Futures: 12419.00 (-0.08%), S&P 500 Futures: 1312.20 (0.26%), NASDAQ Futures: 2529.25 (0.27%)
* Europe: CAC: 3020.70 (-0.31%), DAX: 6119.32 (-0.53%), FTSE: 5445.52 (-0.70%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4042.20 (-0.53%), China: 2295.95 (-1.00%), Hong Kong: 18808.40 (-1.16%), India: 5054.75 (-1.30%), Japan: 8568.89 (-0.22%).
* Metals: Gold: 1627.00 (0.47%), Silver: 28.92 (-0.09%), Copper: 3.34 (-0.03%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 82.94 (0.39%), Natural Gas: 2.22 (1.46%)
* Commodities: Corn: 5.18 (-1.83%), Soya Bean: 13.18 (-0.88%), Wheat: 6.67 (-0.08%)
* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2581 (0.19%), GBP/USD: 1.5546 (0.26%), USD/JPY: 79.2500 (-0.30%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 1.613% (0.020)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures rebound: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a higher open on Thursday, after briefly dipping into the red following weak economic reports. Jobless claims unexpectedly increased by 6,000 in the week ended June 9. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.1 percent, but the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ futures were up close to 0.3 percent.
European markets in the red: European markets are down in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.5 percent lower at 6119.32, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) down 0.7 percent at 5445.52, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) slid 0.3 percent to 3020.70. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.2 percent lower.
Asian markets end lower: Asian markets closed lower on Thursday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) down 0.2 percent to 8,568.89). The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) ended the session 1.2 percent lower at 18808.40, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) declined 1 percent to at 2,295.9. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index was down 0.5 percent at 4,042.2. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index fell 1.23 percent to 16,672.4 points
Company News Update
* Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is in talks to acquire San Francisco-based social enterprise company Yammer Inc. for more than $1 billion, Bloomberg reported.
* Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) cut its outlook for the second time this year, and said it will shed as many as 10,000 jobs globally by the end of 2013, and shut some production and research sites.
* Research firm ComScore said that Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) lost internet search market share for the ninth straight month in May. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) topped the list with a 67 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Bing at 15 percent. Yahoo came third with a market share of 13 percent.
* Grocery chain The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) reported first quarter net profit of $439.4 million, or 78 cents per share, topping analysts’ estimate of 72 cents a share. Sales increased 5.8 percent to $29.1 billion, in line with analysts forecast.
* Packaged pork and meat products maker Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) reported fiscal fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 43 cents a share, trailing the average analysts’ estimate of 53 cents a share. Net sales rose 3 percent to $3.21 billion, but still missed Street estimates.
* Edwards Lifesciences Corp (NYSE:EW) has received approval from a panel of outside advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a new artificial heart valve that can be inserted without performing open heart surgery.
* Membership warehouses operator Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) will buy the 50 percent of Costco Mexico that it doesn’t already own from its joint venture partner Comercial Mexicana for $767 million.
* Retailer Pier 1 Imports, Inc. (NYSE:PIR) reported first quarter profit of $17.8 million, or 16 cents per share, that matched estimates, and raised its fiscal year 2013 outlook.
* Human resource services company Korn/Ferry International (NYSE:KFY)posted fourth quarter adjusted earnings of 28 cents a share, on revenue of $207.6 million, topping analysts estimate of earnings of 27 cents a share, on $192.01 million in revenue.
* Culp, Inc. (NYSE:CFI) reported a 25.4 percent rise in fourth quarter net sales to $75.7 million from $60.4 million a year earlier. Net income stood at $3.4 million or 27 cents per share, compared to $6.0 million or 45 cents per share last year. The board also approved a $5 million share buy-back program.
* Biopharmaceutical company Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR) is planning a secondary public offering of an undisclosed number of shares of common stock.
* The board of Chinese travel agency Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:CTRP) has approved a share repurchase program of up to $300 million involving its American depositary shares.
* Nike, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) was raised to “hold” from “sell” at McAdams Wright. The stock was up 0.8 percent in New York pre-market trading.
* Goldman Sachs raised Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF) to “buy” from “neutral”, citing a recovery in the housing market in the U.S. Southeast.
* Software maker Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at Jefferies & Co., and the price target was cut to $32 from $38.
* British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (LON:BSY) and BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) have secured the rights to broadcast live English Premier League soccer matches after paying a record 3 billion pounds ($4.6 billion).
* Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) said that its $1.8 billion offer for East Africa-focused oil explorer Cove Energy PLC (LON:COVE) has been extended to June 27.
* Europe’s largest publicly traded real-estate company, Unibail-Rodamco SA (EPA:UL), has agreed to buy most of Germany’s second-biggest shopping centre operator and developer, Mfi Management fuer Immobilien AG, in a 383 million euro ($482 million) deal.
* Kabel Deutschland Holding AG (ETR:KD8), Germany’s largest cable operator, announced that it will pay a dividend of 1.50 euros a share this year, missing analysts’ estimates. The stock is down 1.5 percent.
* San Francisco-based private equity firm Vector Capital has increased its offer for French media services and technology company Technicolor (EPA:TCH) to 2 euros ($2.52) per share, up from 1.90 euros per share.
* Jean-Francois Henin, Chief Executive of French oil producer Maurel & Prom (EPA:MAU), has dismissed speculation that Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) was interested in buying the company.
* Loss-making Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corporation (TYO:6723) is set to receive a total of 50 billion yen ($630 million) in loans from four banks that include Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (NYSE:MTU) and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:MFG), after its main shareholders agreed to provide loan guarantees for the company, the Mainichi newspaper reported.
* Japanese financial services conglomerate Nomura Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:NMR) was upgraded to “outperform” from “equal weight” at Barclays Capital. The stock ended 4.2 percent higher in Tokyo trading.
* South Korean broking house SK Securities said in a report that LG Electronics’s second quarter profits were likely to miss initial forecasts amid higher marketing costs associated with its line-up of new smart phones.
* Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (HKG:0293) reported that freight traffic fell 10.7 percent in May from a year earlier, due to weak air cargo demand, while the number of passengers grew 6.8 percent last month.
* Malaysian state-controlled Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd., the world’s third biggest palm oil company by acreage, raised about 10.4 billion ringgit ($3.3 billion) in the world’s second-largest listing this year after Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).
* Jaguar Land Rover, the U.K-based unit of Indian automotive major Tata Motors Limited (ADR) (NYSE:TTM), has won a European Union court challenge limiting its car dealer network
Economic Calendar for Thursday, June 14, 2012:
08:30 A.M. ET: Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, June 09, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Sat, June 02, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Consumer Price Index (YoY) (May)
08:30 A.M. ET: Consumer Price Index (MoM) (May)
08:30 A.M. ET: Consumer Price Index Ex Food & Energy (YoY) (May)
08:30 A.M. ET: Consumer Price Index Ex Food & Energy (MoM) (May)
08:30 A.M. ET: Current Account Balance (Q1)
09:45 A.M. ET: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (Week ending Sun, June 10)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, June 08, 2012)
04:30 P.M. ET: Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET: Money Supply