Every morning we put out a report with the latest news on global markets, companies, and economic data.
Morning Market Update
- US: Dow Futures: 12454.00 (-0.65%), S&P 500 Futures: 1326.50 (-0.73%), NASDAQ Futures: 2544.00 (-0.68%)
- Europe: CAC: 3141.74 (-0.49%), DAX: 6416.67 (-0.58%), FTSE: 5610.30 (-0.97%)
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4068.00 (-0.70%), China: 2185.49 (0.46%), Hong Kong: 19025.11 (-2.07%), India: 5235.25 (-1.34%), Japan: 8720.01 (-1.50%).
- Metals: Gold: 1559.30 (-1.02%), Silver: 26.54 (-1.81%), Copper: 3.40 (-1.32%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 84.79 (-1.19%), Natural Gas: 2.85 (-0.21%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.21 (-1.57%), Soya Bean: 15.31 (-1.07%), Wheat: 8.49 (0.42%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2184 (-0.45%), GBP/USD: 1.5443 (-0.38%), USD/JPY: 79.2500 (-0.65%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.486% (-0.031)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures down: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a lower open on Thursday, but rebounded to earlier lows after a better than expected decline in jobless claims. Applications for jobless claims declined by 26,000 in the week ended July 7 to 350,000, data from the Labor Department showed today. The Dow futures, the S&P futures and the NASDAQ future are all trading more than half a percent lower.
European markets in the red: European markets are trading lower, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading down 0.6 percent at 6416.67, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was 1 percent lower at 5610.30, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) declined 0.5 percent to 3141.74. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was down 0.7 percent.
Asian markets end lower: Asian markets closed lower on Thursday with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) down 1.5 percent to 8,720.01. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed 2 percent lower at 19,025.1, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) ended 0.5 percent higher at 2185.5 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index shed 28.5 points to close at 4,068.0.The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index closed down 1.5 percent.
Stocks in Focus
- Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) said that it is ending a late-stage clinical trial of its experimental osteoporosis drug odanacatib after results showed that it cuts the risk of fracture in post-menopausal women.
- NBC Universal is in talks to buy out Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s remaning stake in msnbc.com. Separately, media reports said that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has cut various jobs at its advertising and marketing divisions.
- Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has lost search market share for the tenth straight month, and is now the third most used search engine, according to new data from trend tracking site Comscore. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) topped the list, with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) moving into the second spot, surpassing Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO).
- United Airlines is likely to announce a deal with The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) to buy at least 100 new 737 airplanes.
- Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has raised his stake in U.S. truck maker Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV) to 13.19 percent, a day after largest shareholder MHR Fund Management LLC increased its holding in the company.
- U.S. insurer Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) has agreed to buy a 51 percent stake in Finansbank’s wholly owned insurance unit Finans Emeklilik, for 85 million euros ($104 million).
- Daily-deals site Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) shares hit a new 52-week low in pre-market trading today.
- The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has been upgraded to “outperform” from “market perform” at Wells Fargo. The stock was trading 0.3 percent higher in New York pre-market trading.
- Private equity fund The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) will team up with reinsurer Swiss Re, to bid for ING Groep N.V. (NYSE:ING) (AMS:INGA)’s Asian insurance business, according to a Bloomberg report.
- Bank of America/Merrill Lynch has downgraded Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) and Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) to “underperform” from “buy”, citing margin weakness amid rising corn and soybean mail prices and weak economic growth.
- Gas station chains Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) said that it will pay a quarterly dividend on common stock at the rate of 20 cents per share, its first dividend payout since the Houston-based company went public in April.
- The board of Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE:R) has approved a 7 percent in quarterly dividend to 31 cents per share, payable September 21, to holders of record as of August 20.
- French retail giant Carrefour SA (EPA:CA) reported a 1.3 percent drop in second-quarter like-for-like sales, with weak consumer spending in Italy and Spain dragging sales down.
- British bank HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE:HBC) (LON:HSBA) will apologize at a US senate hearing, for failing to properly implement money-laundering controls meant to prevent the financing of terrorism and other criminal activities.
- British telecom major Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD), will buy New Zealand-based TelstraClear Limited, a subsidiary of Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS), for 840 million New Zealand dollars ($662 million).
- BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP) (LON:BLT) (ASX:BHP), the world’s largest mining company, was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” by analysts at Credit Suisse. Meanwhile, another major miner, Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RIO) (LON:RIO) (ASX:RIO) announced that Chief Financial Officer Guy Elliot will step down at the end of 2013.
- Geneva-based banking software maker Temenos Group AG reduced its revenue growth estimate for 2012, and said that Chief Executive Officer Guy Dubois has resigned.
- Business management software maker SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) (ETR:SAP) (FRA:SAP) slumped 2.3 percent after J.P. Morgan Cazenove said that the firm is more than likely to report second-quarter earnings below consensus estimates. The company will announce second quarter financial results on July 24.
- French IT services company Cap Gemini SA (EPA:CAP) shed 4.3 percent after Credit Suisse, initiating coverage of the stock, gave it an “underperform” rating.
- Japanese advertising company, Dentsu Inc (TYO:4324), has agreed to acquire London-based marketing firm, Aegis Group plc (LON:AGS), for 3.2 billion pounds ($5 billion), in a deal that would create Asia’s largest advertising agency, and pose stiff competition to market leaders, WPP PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:WPPGY) (LON:WPP), Publicis Groupe SA (EPA:PUB) and Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC).
- Ray Gillenwater, the head of operations in Australia and New Zealand, at embattled BlackBerry maker, Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) (TSE:RIM), will step down at the end of the week.
- An experimental once-daily AIDS drug, being jointly developed by Japanese pharmaceutical company, Shionogi & Co Ltd (TYO:4507), GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) (LON:GSK) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), has shown promising data in a late-stage clinical trial.
- Chinese jewelry retailer, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd (HKG:1929) plunged 8.7 percent in Hong Kong trading after reporting a weaker than expected Hong Kong same-store sales in the most recent quarter.
- Japan’s Asahi Glass Co Ltd (TYO:5201) slumped 6.8 percent to hit multi year lows after the company cut its annual operating profit forecast by almost a third due to weak demand in Europe.
- Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (TYO:6305) is expected to report a healthy rise in operating profit for the April-June quarter, amid robust sales in U.S. and Japan, according to a report in the Japanese business daily, Nikkei.
- Indian software company Infosys Ltd ADR (NASDAQ:INFY) (NSE:INFY) reported a lower than expected first quarter net profit, and slashed its full year sales outlook, citing reduced spending by its large clients amid the global economic turbulence.
Economic Calendar for Thursday, July 12, 2012:
08:30 A.M. ET: Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, July 07, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, June 30, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Import Price Index (MoM) (June)
08:30 A.M. ET: Export Price