- US: Dow Futures: 12485.00 (-0.01%), S&P 500 Futures: 1316.00 (0.04%), NASDAQ Futures: 2548.25 (0.00%)
- Europe: CAC: 3024.24 (0.38%), DAX: 6151.14 (0.24%), FTSE: 5478.56 (0.58%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4043.20 (0.75%), China: 2216.93 (-0.23%), Hong Kong: 19176.95 (1.02%), India: 5141.90 (0.41%), Japan: 8730.49 (0.76%).
- Metals: Gold: 1570.50 (-0.28%), Silver: 26.88 (-0.57%), Copper: 3.32 (0.15%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 79.98 (0.78%), Natural Gas: 2.84 (2.46%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.46 (4.80%), Soya Bean: 14.36 (-0.75%), Wheat: 7.74 (1.32%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2467 (-0.20%), GBP/USD: 1.5572 (-0.45%), USD/JPY: 79.6600 (0.18%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.621% (-0.005)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures little changed: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a flat open on Wednesday as investor skepticism ahead of the EU summit offset a better-than-expected durable goods orders report. Orders for durable goods rose 1.1 percent in May, the first increase in three months, the Commerce Department reported today. The Dow futures, the S&P futures and the NASDAQ future are all trading along the flat-line.
European markets trading modestly higher: European markets are trading in the green, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.2 percent higher at 6151.14, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) up 0.6 percent at 5478.56, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) gained 0.4 percent to3024.24. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading up 0.5 percent.
Asian markets end mostly higher: Asian markets closed higher on Wednesday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closing 0.8 percent higher at 8,730.49. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed up 1 percent at 19,177, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) dropped 0.2 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index gained 0.7 percent to finish at 4,043.2. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index finished 0.36 percent higher at 16,967.76 points
Stocks in Focus
- Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) could be in focus today after several brokers began coverage of the social-networking site. Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Piper Jaffray initiated coverage with an “overweight” rating, while Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Credit Suisse began with a “neutral” rating.
- Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN), the third-largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, reported fiscal second quarter earnings, excluding certain items, of 21 cents per share, on revenue of $930.2 million that topped analysts’ estimates.
- General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) posted fourth quarter earnings, excluding certain items of 60 cents per share, one cent above estimates. Net sales for the quarter increased 12 percent to $4.07 billion that trailed Street expectations.
- Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) reported third quarter earnings, excluding certain items, of $1.63 per share, three cents above estimates. The company also provided full-year earnings guidance that was in-line with analyst expectations.
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) won a court order stopping Samsung Electronics from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the United States, which it claims infringes a design patent.
- Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is expected this week to unveil a $199 tablet that runs on its newest mobile software, at its annual software-developers conference in California.
- Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) said a European court has rejected its challenge to a European Union antitrust decision, but reduced the fine by 39 million euros, to 860 million euros.
- Spice maker McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC) posted second quarter profit of 60 cents a share that matched estimates, while revenue came in at $984 million, topping expectations.
- The board of Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES) has authorized a new $500 share repurchase program.
- The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) has named company executive Ray Conner as head of its commercial airplanes division, effective October 1.
- Satellite communications company Loral Space & Communications Ltd. (NASDAQ:LORL) has agreed to sell its satellite manufacturing subsidiary Space Systems/Loral to Canadian firm MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Ltd (TSE:MDA) for about $875 million.
- Delek US Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:DK) said its board has approved a special cash dividend of 10 cents a share, payable July 31 to stockholders of record as of July 17.
- Gold producer Goldcorp Inc. (USA) (NYSE:GG) has won a court battle with larger rival Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) over ownership of the El Moro copper and gold deposit in Chile.
- Unmanned-aircraft manufacturer AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) reported fourth quarter earnings that beat Street Expectations, and forecast higher earnings and revenue for the new fiscal year.
- H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE:HRB) posted fourth quarter net income of $586 million, or $1.99 a share, down from $658.2 million, or $2.14 a share, a year earlier.
- The board of Heritage Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:HFWA) has declared a special dividend of 20 cents per share, payable July 24 to holders of record as of July 10.
- Commodities trader Glencore International Plc (LON:GLEN) is expected to sweeten its $30 billion offer for miner Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA), after sovereign-wealth fund Qatar Holding, the second-largest shareholder in the miner, said it could oppose the takeover on current terms.
- London-based emerging markets bank Standard Chartered PLC (LON:STAN) expects pretax profit in first half of 2012 to grow by less than 10 percent, due to a weakness in Asian currencies against the U.S. dollar.
- French media and telecommunications company Vivendi SA (EPA:VIV) may have its debt rating cut unless it came up with concrete steps to reduce liabilities, Fitch Ratings said today.
- British bank Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) is close to a settlement with the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority over allegations of rigging the London interbank lending rate, the Financial Times reported.
- German diversified industrial group ThyssenKrupp AG (ETR:TKAG) has hired Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) to examine strategic options for its Steel Americas operations in U.S. and Brazil.
- Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BIT:BMPS), Italy’s third-biggest bank, unveiled a new four-year restructuring plan aimed at returning to profitability, a day after it was forced to take state aid.
- Belgian supermarket chain Etablissementen Franz Colruyt NV (EBR:COLR) soared 7.5 percent after reporting a better than expected rise in full-year net profit to 342.9 million euros ($427.63 million).
- German-based fertilizer company K S AG (ETR:SDF) jumped 4.3 percent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to “buy” from “underperform.”
- The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), the world’s biggest soft drinks maker, will invest $5 billion in India over the next eight years, in a bid to increase its market share in the world’s second-most populous nation.
- Panasonic Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:PC) will revamp its management structure as it tries to move away from its loss-making television business to the more profitable energy-saving appliances and solar panels, outgoing president Fumio Ohtsubo told its annual shareholders’ meeting in Osaka.
- Nomura Holdings, Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:NMR) shareholders re-elected Chief Executive Officer Kenichi Watanabe at an annual meeting in Tokyo today, despite questions being raised about his handling of the current insider trading probe.
- Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) President Takashi Okuda told shareholders that the company does not intend to sell further shares to Taiwanese partner Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (TPE:2317).
- Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd (HKG:1929), the world’s biggest jewelry retailer, posted a 79 percent jump in annual profit to HK$6.34 billion ($817 million), buoyed by higher luxury spending in China. Sales increased 61 percent to HK$56.6 billion.
- Australian building materials maker Boral Limited (ASX:BLD) slashed its full-year net profit forecast for the second time in three months, and now expects to report a profit before one-off items of between 100 million and 110 million Australian dollars, which is well below what analysts’ were expecting.
- Melbourne-based Seven West Media Ltd (ASX:SWM) soared 3.5 percent in Sydney trading after naming former Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) boss Don Voelte as the new chief executive officer.
- Chinese coal miner Shanxi Coal Internationl Enrgy Gr Co Ltd (SHA:600546) slumped to the lowest level since August 2010, ending the day 7.9 percent lower, after the board approved the resignation of its chairman, Du Jianhua.
Economic Calendar for Wednesday, June 27, 2012:
07:00 A.M. ET: MBA Purchase Applications (Week ending Friday, June 22, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Durable Goods Orders (May)
08:30 A.M. ET: Durable Goods Orders ex Transportation (May)
10:00 A.M. ET: Pending Home Sales Index (May)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Petroleum Status Report (Week ending Friday, June 22, 2012)
01:00 P.M. ET: 5-Yr Note Auction