- US: Dow Futures: 12583.00 (-0.02%), S&P 500 Futures: 1336.90 (0.10%), NASDAQ Futures: 2581.50 (0.14%)
- Europe: CAC: 3156.38 (-0.60%), DAX: 6439.07 (0.01%), FTSE: 5649.70 (-0.25%)
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4096.50 (-0.04%), China: 2175.38 (0.50%), Hong Kong: 19419.47 (0.12%), India: 5306.30 (-0.73%), Japan: 8851.00 (-0.08%).
- Metals: Gold: 1575.40 (-0.28%), Silver: 27.02 (0.51%), Copper: 3.40 (0.13%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 84.92 (1.20%), Natural Gas: 2.74 (0.26%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.42 (-1.71%), Soya Bean: 15.67 (-0.61%), Wheat: 8.56 (-0.92%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2266 (0.13%), GBP/USD: 1.5569 (0.32%), USD/JPY: 79.1800 (-0.31%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.564% (-0.023)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures edge higher: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a slightly higher open on Wednesday after U.S. trade deficit narrowed for a second straight month in May, in line with expectations. Investors are also looking forward to the minutes of the latest Fed meeting. The Dow futures, the S&P futures and the NASDAQ future are all hovering around the flat-line
European markets mostly in the red: European markets are trading mostly lower, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading up 0.1 percent at 6439.07, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was 0.3 percent lower at 5649.70, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) declined 0.6 percent to 3156.38. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was up 0.14 percent.
Asian markets end mixed: Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) down 0.1 percent to 8,851.00. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed up 0.1 percent at 19,419.9, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) ended 0.5 percent higher at 2175.4 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index edged up 0.06 percent, or 2.4 points, to finish at 4,100.4 points. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index fell 0.73 percent to close at 17,489.14 points.
Stocks in Focus
- San Francisco city officials are planning to block municipal purchases of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) desktops and laptops after the tech giant removed a green electronics certification from its products.
- The board of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) will meet today to discuss the company’s search for a permanent chief executive. Interim CEO Ross Levinsohn is reported to be the front-runner for the job.
- Electronics and appliances retailer hhgregg, Inc. (NYSE:HGG) forecast a wider than expected first quarter loss and also cut its fiscal 2013 earnings outlook, amid sluggish demand and higher costs.
- Gold producer Goldcorp Inc. (USA) (NYSE:GG) (TSE:G) has lowered its full-year production guidance due to reduced output at its Red Lake mine in Ontario and its Penasquito mine in Mexico.
- Mark Rachesky’s activist investment firm MHR Fund Management LLC has raised its stake in U.S. truck and engine maker Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV) to 14.95 percent as of July 9.
- Car sharing company Zipcar Inc (NASDAQ:ZIP) has agreed to buy privately owned Austrian car sharing service, Denzel Mobility CarSharing GmbH, for an undisclosed amount.
- Audio equipment maker Voxx International Corp (NASDAQ:VOXX) reported a wider than expected first-quarter loss, hurt by expenses related to its acquisition of German car-audio maker Hirschmann. The company also lowered its full-year earnings forecast.
- Home builder Beazer Homes USA, Inc. (NYSE:BZH) has priced its offering of 22 million shares at $2.90 per share, a discount of 2.7 percent to yesterday’s closing price.
- Century Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNBKA) reported a higher second quarter profit and said that its board has approved a reauthorization of the stock-buyback program.
- Drugmaker Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ:DNDN) was downgraded to “underperform” from “neutral” at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, and its price target was reduced to $6 per share from $13 per share. The stock was trading 3.9 percent lower in New York pre-market trading.
- Utility company Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG, while Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) and OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE:OMX) was reduced to “market perform” from “outperform” at Bernstein.
- British luxury goods retailer Burberry Group plc (LON:BRBY) reported a slowdown in first-quarter revenue growth amid challenging economic conditions. Total revenue for the three months to the end of June increased 11 percent to 408 million pounds ($634 million), trailing the average analysts’ estimate of 417.8 million pound.
- Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS) posted its worst quarterly figures in three and a half years after reporting a 0.7 percent drop in first quarter sales amid wet weather that hammered trade in its clothing department.
- Spanish lender Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (ADR) (NYSE:BBVA) (MCE:BBVA) jumped 1.9 percent, after Nomura Securities upgraded the stock to “buy” from “reduce.”
- European plane maker Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS NV (EPA:EAD), has reduced its target of selling 30 A380 super jumbo jets this year.
- Spanish telecoms operator Telefonica S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:TEF) (MCE:TEF) is studying bids for its call center business Atento, as part of a plan to raise funds and cut debt, Reuters reported.
- British soft drinks maker Britvic Plc (LON:BVIC) plunged 15 percent after saying that full-year results will be at the lower end of market expectations. The company said that recall of its popular Robinsons Fruit Shoot and Fruit Shoot Hydro packs would be greater than previously expected.
- British electric utility SSE PLC (LON:SSE) was cut to “underweight” from “equal-weight” at Morgan Stanley, while the bank also cut energy company, Centrica PLC (LON:CAN) to “equal-weight” from “overweight.”
- Mediaset SpA (BIT:MS), the broadcaster controlled by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, was downgraded to “sell” from “hold” at Societe Generale.
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s latest iPad will finally hit Chinese stores on July 20, almost four months after the tablet computer first went on sale in 10 countries around the globe.
- BHP Billiton Limited (ADR) (NYSE:BHP) (ASX:BHP) (LON:BLT), and Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RIO) (ASX:RIO) (LON:RIO), ended in the red in Sydney trading, after Citigroup Inc. said slowing growth in China will hit iron ore demand.
- Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) slumped 1.7 percent in Tokyo, after JPMorgan Chase slashed its target price and forecast a first quarter operating loss of 60 billion yen ($755 million), due to weak demand for LCD screens.
- China Southern Airlines Limited (ADR) (NYSE:ZNH) (HKG:1055), the country’s biggest carrier by passengers, said that it expects its first-half net profit to fall by more than half, due to slowing domestic demand and higher jet-fuel prices.
- Chinese forestry company Sino-Forest Corporation (TSE:TRE) will go ahead with a restructuring plan that will result in the company’s creditors taking control of a substantial part of its forestry assets.
- Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (HKG:0016), Asia’s largest property developer by market value, has agreed to acquire a huge waterfront plot in Hong Kong for HK$6.9 billion ($889.8 million). Meanwhile, JPMorgan has lifted the stock from “underweight” to “overweight”, and raised its target price by about 10 percent.
- Luolai Home Textile Co., Ltd. (SHE:002293), China’s biggest manufacturer of home textile products, said that it expects first half profit to fall as much as 30 percent, amid a dip in sales and increased input costs. The company had earlier forecast a 30 percent