- US: Dow Futures: 13248.84 (-0.01%), S&P 500 Futures: 1415.48 (0.00%), NASDAQ Futures: 3064.87 (0.08%)
- Europe: CAC: 3488.05 (0.13%), DAX: 7029.59 (0.47%), FTSE: 5843.60 (0.16%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4370.10 (0.92%), China: 2114.89 (0.13%), Hong Kong: 20116.07 (0.76%), India: 5366.30 (0.06%), Japan: 9162.52 (0.76%).
- Metals: Gold: 1620.80 (0.10%), Silver: 28.08 (0.04%), Copper: 3.41 (1.05%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 95.53 (-0.07%), Natural Gas: 2.72 (-0.22%)
- Commodities: Corn: 8.08 (0.53%), Soya Bean: 16.36 (-0.72%), Wheat: 8.91 (2.05%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2348 (-0.06%), GBP/USD: 1.5716 (-0.11%), USD/JPY: 79.4400 (0.11%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.823% (-0.014)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. market flat: U.S. markets are trading largely unchanged on Friday as investors await the consumer sentiment report and a gauge of leading economic indicators. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were trading close the flatline.
European markets trading in the green: European markets are higher in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.5 percent higher at 7029.59, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) up 0.2 percent at 5843.60, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) gained 0.1 percent to 3488.05. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.5 percent higher.
Asian markets end higher: Asian markets closed higher on Friday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closing 0.8 percent higher at 9,162.50 points. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed at 20,116.1, down 0.1 percent this week, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) closed up 0.1 percent on the day. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index rose 0.9 percent to 4,370.1. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index closed up 0.1 percent.
Company News Update
- Footwear retailer Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL) reported second quarter earnings excluding items of 38 cents a share, 5 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue increased 7.21 percent to $1.37 billion, also topping estimates of $1.35 billion. Same-store sales during the period increased 9.8 percent, while gross margin rose to 31.3 percent from 30.4 percent.
- The J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE:SJM) reported first quarter earnings excluding certain items of $1.17 per share, 17 cents above estimates. Revenue rose to $1.37 billion from $1.19 billion a year earlier, also topping Street expectations of $1.3 billion. The company also increased its quarterly dividend by 8 percent.
- Home accessories and gifts retailer Kirkland’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:KIRK) reported a second-quarter net loss of $2.0 million, or 11 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $0.5 million, or 2 cents per share, for the same period last year. Second-quarter sales stood at $91 million, missing estimates of $94.4 million. The company also forecast lower than expected full-year earnings per shares.
- Sporting-goods retailer Hibbett Sports, Inc. (NASDAQ:HIBB) reported second quarter profit of $7.9 million, or 30 cents a share, up from $5.9 million, or 21 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales increased 8 percent to $165.4 million, while same-store sales gained 4.8 percent. Analysts were expecting earnings of 28 cents a share on revenue of $169.7 million.
- Casual Male Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CMRG) reported second-quarter net income of $1.2 million or 3 cents per share, down from $6.6 million or 14 cents per share a year ago. Total sales for the quarter came in at $100.5 million versus $100.4 million last year. Same store sales increased 2 percent from the year-ago quarter.
- Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN) posted second-quarter profit of $30.7 million, or 63 cents per share, compared to $24.8 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 7 percent to $594.9 million. Analysts were looking for earnings of 51 cents per share, on revenue of $585.6 million. The parent of Ann Taylor and LOFT stores provided a better than expected full-year sales outlook.
- ScanSource, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCSC) reported fourth quarter earnings excluding items of 68 cents per share that beat the consensus estimate of 62 cents per share. Revenue rose 2.7 percent to $754.5 million, trailing estimates of $779.6 million. The technology products distributor forecast first-quarter profit below analysts’ estimates
- Software giant Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) agreed to pay $2 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges that its Indian subsidiary violated foreign anti-bribery laws by secretly paying phony vendors in that country.
- New York-based specialty finance company Ares Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:ARCC) is planning to make a public offering of 19 million common shares, the net proceeds from which will be partly used to repay outstanding debt.
- A number of private-equity firms are interested in buying Florida bank, BankUnited (NYSE:BKU), the New York Post reported. .
- The board of Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (NYSE:PAA) has approved a two-for-one split of its common units.
- Electricity transmission company ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE:ITC) has raised its quarterly dividend by 7 percent to 37.75 cents a share from 35.25 cents a share.
- Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) was 2.8 percent in pre-market trading after analysts at Evercore Partners downgraded the stock to “underweight” from “equal weight.”
- Drug maker Vivus, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) was lowered by analysts at Jefferies to “underperform” from “hold,” citing concerns about growing competition from generic companies.
- London-listed platinum miner Lonmin Plc (LON:LMI) warned that it was likely to miss its full year targets after violent clashes erupted between unions at its Marikana platinum-mining complex, in South Africa, that saw 35 people dead due to police firing.
- Banking stocks in Europe were trading higher amid market speculation that the European Union will soon provide a 100 billion-euro bailout to Spain’s most debt-stricken banks. HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HBC) (LON:HSBA) (HKG:0005) gained 0.5 percent, Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) rose 1.4 percent and Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) jumped 2.8 percent. In Germany, Commerzbank AG (ETR:CBK) (FRA:CBK) and Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) (FRA:DBK) soared more than 2 percent. BNP Paribas SA (EPA:BNP) and Societe Generale SA (EPA:GLE) were also trading significantly higher in Paris.
- Europe’s biggest airline Air France – KLM (EPA:AF) rallied 4 percent in Paris after the carrier’s biggest pilot union voted to back a restructuring plan that will increase their workload by 20 per cent.
- Amsterdam-based publisher Telegraaf Media Groep NV (AMS:TMG) plunged the most in a year after the publisher of the largest Dutch newspaper abandoned its full-year profit forecast, due to falling advertising revenue and weak economic outlook in the Netherlands.
- Oil and gas exploration company Ophir Energy Plc (LON:OPHR) gained 3.7 percent in London trading after analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised the stock to “buy” from “neutral.”
- Taiwanese technology manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (TPE:2317) is looking to raise its stake in struggling Japanese TV maker Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) to 20 percent, from a 9.9 percent agreed in March, the Nikkei business daily reported.
- Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), Australia’s third-largest bank by market value, reported a better than expected 10 per cent rise in net profit to $4.4 billion in the first nine months of its fiscal year, as it cut costs and earned more from overseas units.
- Chinese state-controlled Aluminum Corp. of China Limited (ADR) (NYSE:ACH) (HKG:2600) (SHA:601600) swung to a first-half net loss of 3.25 billion yuan ($512 million), compared with a net profit of 413 million yuan a year earlier. Revenue increased 9 percent to 71.70 billion yuan from 65.97 billion yuan a year earlier.
- QBE Insurance Group Limited (ASX:QBE), Australia’s largest insurance company, posted first-half net profit of $760 million, lower than consensus estimate of $795 million. The company reduced its full-year insurance profit margin forecast, and announced a dividend of 40 cents a share that was also below analysts’ expectations.
- Cigarette manufacturing company Japan Tobacco Inc (TYO:2914) ended 3.7 percent lower after the Chinese health ministry said it was planning to introduce a ban on cigarette advertising and promotions.
- Australian oil and gas producer Santos Limited (ASX:STO) reported a 20 percent jump in first half underlying profit to 283 million Australian dollars, beating the average analysts’ estimate of 272 million Australian dollars. The country’s third-biggest oil and gas producer maintained its full-year output guidance, and declared a dividend of 15 cent per share, unchanged from last year.
- · Dutch brewer, Heineken N.V. (AMS:HEIA) is in talks with Fraser & Neave Ltd. about raising its offer for the rest of Singapore-based Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd. (SGX:A46) from 50 Singapore dollars a share to about 53 Singapore dollars per share.
- Chinese train maker CSR Corp Ltd (HKG:1766) (SHA:601766) jumped 5.8 percent in Hong Kong trading after winning contracts worth 12.7 billion yuan ($2 billion).
- Japanese technology manufacturing giant Toshiba Corp (TYO:6502) has developed a motor magnet that avoids using China-sourced rare earth mineral dysprosium, the Nikkei reported today.
- Yunnan Copper Co.,Ltd (SHE:000878), China’s fourth-biggest producer of the metal, ended 0.7 percent lower after reporting a 53 percent drop in first-half net income from a year earlier.
Economic Calendar for Friday, August 17, 2012:
09:55 A.M. ET: Reuters/Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (August)
10:00 A.M. ET: American Petroleum Institute Monthly Report
10:00 A.M. ET: Leading Indicator (MoM) (July)