Every morning we puts out a news report with the latest news in global stock markets, company news, and global economic news.
Morning Market Update
- US: Dow Futures: 13128.00 (-0.21%), S&P 500 Futures: 1408.40 (-0.28%), NASDAQ Futures: 2773.75 (-0.27%)
- Europe: CAC: 3431.25 (-0.89%), DAX: 6966.59 (-0.73%), FTSE: 5780.25 (0.10%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4383.70 (0.18%), China: 2113.07 (0.25%), Hong Kong: 20132.24 (1.21%), India: 5415.35 (0.05%), Japan: 9178.12 (0.51%).
- Metals: Gold: 1664.40 (1.46%), Silver: 30.34 (2.64%), Copper: 3.50 (1.38%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 97.47 (0.22%), Natural Gas: 2.84 (0.35%)
- Commodities: Corn: 8.29 (-0.60%), Soya Bean: 17.28 (0.01%), Wheat: 9.19 (0.25%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2543 (0.11%), GBP/USD: 1.5871 (-0.06%), USD/JPY: 78.6300 (0.06%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.678% (-0.014)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures fall: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a lower open on Thursday, as an unexpected gain in weekly jobless claims erased hopes of stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve. On the economic front, jobless claims unexpectedly rose 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, the highest level in five weeks, the Labor Department said today. Economists were expecting a reading of 365,000 new filings. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were all trading marginally lower.
European markets trading mostly lower: European markets are lower in trade today amid weak euro-zone manufacturing data. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) was trading 0.7 percent lower at 6966.59, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was up 0.1 percent at 5780.25, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) declined 0.9 percent to 3431.25. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 1.2 percent lower.
Asian markets end higher: Asian markets closed higher on Thursday after latest Federal Reserve minutes raised hopes for fresh monetary stimulus measures. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closed 0.5 percent higher at 9,178.12 points. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed up 1.2 percent at 20,132.2, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) ended up 0.3 percent at 2,113.1. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index added 7.7 points to close at 4,383.7. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index gained 0.45 percent.
Company News Update
- Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) has sharply criticized NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ)’s plan to compensate for losses related to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing.
- Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) reported second-quarter profit of 36 cents per share, five cents below estimates, while revenue for the quarter came in at $1.22 billion, trailing estimates of $1.24 billion. The retailer also slashed its full-year adjusted earnings forecast because of higher costs.
- Meat producer Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) reported third quarter earnings of 41 cents per share, in line with estimates. Net sales increased 5 percent to $2 billion, also matching Wall Street expectations. The third-largest U.S. meat processor reiterated its full-year earnings forecast.
- Regional discount retailer Fred’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) said second-quarter profit rose 19 percent to $6.1 million, or 17 cents a share, up from $5.1 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales grew 4 percent to $470.8 million, while same-store sales declined 1 percent.
- Hair salon operator Regis Corporation (NYSE:RGS) reported fourth quarter earnings excluding items of 40 cents per share, nine cents above estimates. Revenue fell 4 percent to $568.2 million from $592 million, a year earlier, missing the average analysts’ estimate of $569.4 million.
- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has cleared Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s acquisition of mobile photo application maker, Instagram.
- Private equity firm The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) and market-maker Getco have sold some of their holdings in Knight Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:KCG) to retail online broker Scottrade, Reuters reported.
- Natural and organic food company The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN) has agreed to acquire British food producer, Premier Foods PLC’s sweet spreads and jellies business for 200 million pounds ($316.07 million) in cash and stock.
- Houston-based Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) is planning a public offering of 4 million common shares, proceeds from which would be used to repay debt and acquire additional properties.
- Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) was trading 1.4 percent lower in pre-market trading after analysts at Jefferies Group downgraded the stock to “buy” from “hold” with a target price of $17.
- Analysts at Dahlman Rose have lowered United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) to “hold” from “buy.” The stock fell 1.6 percent.
- Commerzbank AG (ETR:CBK) (FRA:CBK) said it could face larger than expected penalties after U.S. authorities started an investigation into Germany’s second-largest lender for potentially violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, Sudan, Myanmar, North Korea and Cuba.
- Chilean copper miner Codelco will pay about $1.8 billion for a 24.5 stake in London-listed Anglo American plc (LON:AAL)’s Anglo Sur assets in south-central Chile.
- German carrier Deutsche Lufthansa AG (ETR:LHA) (FRA:LHA) was trading percent 0.5 higher after the labor union that represents the airlines’ cabin crew said it did not have any immediate plans for a strike.
- Copper miner Kazakhmys plc (LON:KAZ) said first-half profit fell 67 percent to $121 million, or 23 cents a share, from $374 million, or 70 cents a share, in the same period last year. Sales declined 17 percent from a year earlier to $1.5 billion. The London-based company maintained its full-year output forecast.
- Dutch grocer Koninklijke Ahold N.V. (AMS:AH) posted a 25 percent gain in second-quarter profit to 248 million euros ($309 million), exceeding analyst expectations of 240 million euros. Sales increased 12 percent to 7.692 billion euros, while operating profit rose 18.5 percent to 326 million euros.
- London-listed mining and exploration company Petropavlovsk PLC (LON:POG) said first-half profit fell 90 percent to $11 million from $108.2 million a year earlier. Sales increased 15 percent to $546.8 million from $475.1 million in the year-ago period. The company reiterated its full-year output target.
- Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS) was upgrade to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Deutsche Bank.
- French oil group TOTAL S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:TOT) (EPA:FP) fell 0.8 percent in Paris as Moody’s Investors Service changed the outlook on the firm to “negative” from “stable.”
- British brewer SABMiller plc (LON:SAB) slid 0.8 percent after analysts at Nomura downgraded the stock to “reduce” from “neutral.”
- Diageo plc (ADR) (NYSE:DEO) (LON:DGE), the world’s biggest spirits group, raised its dividend by 8 percent to 43.5 pence ($69) per share, after reporting a 13 percent rise in full-year profit.
- Australia’s struggling flagship carrier Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) canceled an $8.5 billion order for The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)’s Dreamliner jets, after swinging to its first full-year loss in almost two decades. The Sydney-based Qantas reported a loss of 245 million Australian dollars ($257 million) for the year ended June 30, compared with a profit of 250 million Australian dollars a year earlier.
- Bank of China (HKG:3988) (SHA:601988), one of the country’s four major state-owned lenders, reported a 7.6 percent rise in first-half net profit to 71.6 billion yuan ($11.3 billion), from 66.56 billion yuan a year earlier. Analysts were expecting a net profit of 73.83 billion yuan. First-half net interest income rose 13 percent over a year earlier to 124.05 billion yuan ($19.7 billion), while non-interest income fell 0.3 percent to 55.61 billion yuan.
- Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG), Australia’s third largest iron ore producer posted a 53 percent rise in full-year profit, meeting expectations, as an increase in output offset declining prices. The company expects iron ore prices to rebound to $120 to $150 per tonne as Chinese demand picks-up.
- Chinese sportswear retailer Li Ning Co. Ltd. (HKG:2331) slumped 3.8 percent in Hong Kong trading after it reported disappointing first-half profit and warned it could post a full-year loss as inventories increase amid a slowing domestic economy.
- Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) is considering laying-off hundreds of workers at a mobile phone plant in Sweden, as part of a plan to move mobile phone hardware design and development to Japan, Daily Sydsvenskan reported.
- Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ), owner of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, said full-year net loss widened to 2.73 billion Australian dollars ($2.87 billion), from 390.9 million Australian dollars, a year earlier. Revenue fell to 2.33 billion Australian dollars from 2.5 billion Australian dollars. The Sydney-based media group wrote down the value of its media businesses by 2.8 billion Australian dollars ($2.92 billion) after outlook worsened in the second half of the year.
- Embattled TV maker Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753)’s main creditors, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (ADR) (NYSE:MTU) (TYO:8306), are considering extending about 200 billion yen ($2.52 billion) in new loans, Japanese media reported.
- Hong Kong real estate conglomerate The Wharf (Holdings) Limited (HKG:0004) ended 4.5 percent higher after reporting strong first-half financial results.
Economic Calendar for Thursday, August 23, 2012:
08:30 A.M. ET: Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, August 18, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, August 11, 2012)
09:00 A.M. ET: PMI Manufacturing Index Flash (August)
09:45 A.M. ET: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (Week ending Sunday, Aug. 18)
10:00 A.M. ET: New Home Sales (MoM) (July)
10:00 A.M. ET: New Home Sales Change (MoM) (July)
10:00 A.M. ET: FHFA House Price Index (June)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, August 17, 2012)
04:30 P.M. ET: Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET: Money Supply