- 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