Morning Market Update
* US: Dow Futures: 13400.00 (-0.04%), S&P 500 Futures: 1433.60 (-0.25%), NASDAQ Futures: 2792.25 (-0.39%)
* Europe: CAC: 3434.33 (-2.31%), DAX: 7293.24 (-1.81%), FTSE: 5786.84 (-1.26%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4361.60 (-0.26%), China: 2004.17 (-1.25%), Hong Kong: 20527.73 (-0.83%), India: 5663.45 (-0.18%), Japan: 8906.70 (-2.08%).
* Metals: Gold: 1761.10 (-0.30%), Silver: 33.77 (-0.52%), Copper: 3.71 (-1.37%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 90.25 (-1.23%), Natural Gas: 2.96 (1.06%)
* Commodities: Corn: 7.34 (0.13%), Soya Bean: 15.88 (0.20%), Wheat: 8.76 (-0.22%)
* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2857 (-0.33%), GBP/USD: 1.6166 (-0.13%), USD/JPY: 77.8200 (0.03%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 1.723% (-0.096)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures fall: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a lower on Wednesday ahead of home sales data for August due to be released at 10 A.M. ET. Investors are also closely watching the developments in Spain and Greece where thousands of anti-austerity protestors took to the streets. Yields on 10-year Spanish bonds hit the 6 percent mark for the first time in a week. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were all trading modestly lower.
European markets in the red: European markets are trading significantly lower amid investor concerns about Spain’s reluctance to ask for a full sovereign bailout. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 1.8 percent lower at 7293.24, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was down 1.3 percent at 5786.84 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) slid 2.3 percent to 3434.33. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 1.2 percent lower.
Asian markets end lower: Asian markets closed lower on Wednesday with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) breaking below the key 9,000 mark to end 2.1 percent lower. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) finished down 0.8 percent at 20,527.7, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) was the worst performer in the region, down 1.2 percent to close at 2004.2, its lowest level since February 2009. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index shed 11.3 points to 4,361.6. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index slipped 0.4 percent.
Company News Update
* Minneapolis-based insurer Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE:AMP) is in advanced talks to buy most of ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING) (AMS:INGA)’s asset management business in Asia, according to a Bloomberg report.
* Struggling electronics retailer RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH) said its chief executive officer James Gooch will step down immediately, and will be replaced on an interim basis by CFO Dorvin Lively.
* Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDQA:SCMP) said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review to its drug Amitiza as a treatment for constipation caused by opioid pain drugs.
* Back office support services company Synnex Corporation (NYSE:SNX) reported third quarter net income of $35.1 million, or 93 cents per share, on revenue of $2.58 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 93 cents per share on revenue of $2.59 billion. The company forecast current quarter earnings and revenue that trailed estimates.
* Gold miner Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) said it will cut 50 jobs in Australia and 20 jobs in New Zealand, after undertaking a cost review.
* Junk car auctioneer Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) reported forecast-beating 11 percent rise in fourth quarter profit to $44.9 million, or 35 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter increased to $226.6 million, from $215.4 million, also topping estimates of $221.12 million.
* CalAmp Corp. (NASDAQ:CAMP) reported second-quarter net income of $3.7 million or 12 cents per share, up from $1.4 million or $0.05 per share in the year-ago period. Revenue for the quarter grew 30 percent to $44.0 million from $33.8 million a year earlier.
* Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:KRFTV) will replace Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR) in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) index, after Kraft Foods Inc (NASDAQ:KFT) completes its split into two companies.
* Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) fell 1.8 percent in early morning trade after analysts at Stifel Nicolaus downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy” with a target price of $22.
* Public Storage (NYSE:PSA) was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
* Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ:TXN) lost 1 percent in pre-market trading after Oppenheimer lowered the stock to “perform” from “outperform.”
* Mining stocks were the biggest losers in London as metals prices headed south. Kazakhmys plc (LON:KAZ) dropped 4 percent and Vedanta Resources plc (LON:VED) fell 4.2 percent. Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (LON:ENRC) slumped 3.3 percent. Antofagasta plc (LON:ANTO) slid 2 percent, as Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RIO) (LON:RIO) (ASX:RIO) lost 2.7 percent. BHP Billiton Limited (ADR) (NYSE:BHP) (ASX:BHP) (LON:BLT) gave up 1.9 percent.
* Banking stocks across Europe moved lower as Charles Plosser, president of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said that quantitative easing is unlikely to boost economic growth. HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HBC) (LON:HSBA) (HKG:0005) fell 1.8 percent, Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) dropped 5 percent and Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) slid 4.6 percent. In Germany, Commerzbank AG (ETR:CBK) (FRA:CBK) and Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) (FRA:DBK) lost more than 5 percent. BNP Paribas SA (EPA:BNP) and Societe Generale SA (EPA:GLE) were also trading significantly lower in Paris.
* Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) slid 3.8 percent after it said it expects to reduce coking coal output in coming months amid weak prices and high costs.
* Total S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:TOT) (EPA:FP) said that energy companies should desist from drilling for crude in Arctic waters due to the high risk of an oil spill in such an environmentally sensitive area, according to a report in the Financial Times.
* Inter-dealer broker ICAP plc (LON:IAP) expects fiscal first-half revenue to decline 14 percent from the year-ago period because of subdued capital markets.
* French oil services group CGG Veritas (ADR) (NYSE:CGV) (EPA:GA) has started a 414 million-euro ($533 million) rights offer to help finance its acquisition of Fugro N.V. (AMS:FUR)’s seismic data division.
* Infineon Technologies AG (ETR:IFXA) (FRA:IFXA), Europe’s second-biggest semiconductor maker, dropped 3 percent after analysts at Jefferies Group Inc. downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “hold.”
* Mailing equipment maker Neopost SA (EPA:NEO) jumped 3 percent after reporting a 25 percent gain in first-half net income to 79.2 million euros.
* Swiss offshore drilling contractor Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) was upgraded to “neutral” from “sell” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
* General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) sold a 7.6 percent stake in Thai lender, Bank of Ayudhya, for $466 million, as part of a plan to offload non-core assets.
* Europe-focused retailer Esprit Holdings Limited (HKG:0330) ended 7 percent lower after posting full-year net profit of HK$873 million ($112.6 million) that missed the average analysts’ estimate of HK$995.8 million.
* Embattled Japanese TV maker Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) is likely to secure as much as 210 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in fresh loans from its lenders, that should enable it to stay afloat through the current fiscal year, according to a Nikkei business daily report.
* Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203), Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (TYO:7201) and Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:HMC) (TYO:7267), all ended deep in the red after trading ex-dividend.
* Australian rare earth producer Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) slid 5 percent after a Malaysian high court put on hold the company’s temporary operating license for its Kuantan plant.
* Warren Buffett-backed Chinese car maker BYD Company Limited (HKG:1211) plunged 10 percent after analysts at CLSA maintained their “conviction sell” rating on the stock and cut the target price to HK$0.41.
* Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX:Z74) slid to a three-month low on Wednesday after state investment firm Temasek Holdings sold S$1.28 billion ($1.05 billion) worth of stock in the company.
* Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co., Ltd. (TYO:8593) ended 1.6 percent lower in Tokyo amid reports that the company will buy American aircraft-leasing company Jackson Square Aviation, from Oaktree Capital Group LLC (NYSE:OAK), for about 100 billion yen ($1.28 billion).
Economic Calendar for Wednesday, September 26, 2012:
07:00 A.M. ET: MBA Purchase Applications (Week ending Friday, September 21)
10:00 A.M. ET: New Home Sales (MoM) (August)
10:00 A.M. ET: New Home Sales Change (MoM) (August)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Petroleum Status Report (Week ending Friday, September 21)
01:00 P.M. ET: 5-Year Note Auction