Morning Market News: AMZN, BAC, VZ, T, AVP, KFT, SPLS, WDC, HD, TEVA

Market Levels

 

 

  • US:  Dow Futures: 13504.00 (0.44%), S&P 500 Futures: 1454.40 (0.28%), NASDAQ Futures: 2830.25 (0.33%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3567.27 (1.81%), DAX: 7398.74 (1.20%), FTSE: 5904.15 (1.43%).
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4390.00 (1.17%), China: 2123.85 (0.63%), Hong Kong: 20629.78 (2.82%), India: 5577.65 (2.62%), Japan: 9159.39 (1.79%).
  • Metals: Gold: 1772.00 (-0.01%), Silver: 34.54 (-0.70%), Copper: 3.82 (3.10%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 99.43 (1.14%), Natural Gas: 3.00 (-1.35%)
  • Commodities: Corn: 7.79 (0.68%), Soya Bean: 17.55 (0.47%), Wheat: 9.16 (1.55%)
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3107 (0.91%), GBP/USD: 1.6215 (0.35%), USD/JPY: 78.0800 (0.77%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.803% (0.081)

Financial and Economic News Update

 

U.S. stock-index futures in the green: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Friday a day after the Federal Reserve’s decision to launch another round of quantitative easing. On the economic front, retail sales climbed 0.9 percent in August, and the consumer prices index gained 0.6 percent last month, its biggest gain in three years. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were all trading close to half a percent higher.

European markets rally: European markets soared in trade today with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 1.2 percent higher at 7398.74, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was up 1.4 percent at 5904.15 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) gained 1.8 percent to 3567.27. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 1.7 percent higher.

Asian markets end at multi-month highs: Asian markets closed significantly higher on Friday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closing 1.8 percent higher at 9159.39  points. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) closed up 2.9 percent on the day and 4.2 percent on the week, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) rose 0.6 percent on Friday, but slipped 0.2 percent this week. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index gained 50.6 points to close at 4,390.0, its strongest close since May 4. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index rose 2.3 percent.

 

Company News Update

 

 

U.S.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will begin collecting sales tax from customers in California, starting tomorrow, following a long battle between the company and the California Legislature over whether internet retailers should have to charge those taxes.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) has agreed to settle allegations by the Justice Department that it violated federal laws by discriminating against mortgage loan applicants on the basis of disability.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) are down in the red in early trading after analysts at Stifel Nicolaus downgraded both stocks to “hold” from “buy” on a valuation basis.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has closed a year-long investigation into whether executives at Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP) improperly shared information with analysts, Avon said in a regulatory filing.

Health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) will replace Kraft Foods Inc (NASDAQ:KFT) in the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the start of trading September 24.

Office retailer Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) is up 3 percent in pre-market trading after Fortune Magazine reported that several private-equity firms are considering taking the company private.

Hard disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ:WDC) has lowered its fiscal first-quarter revenue forecast citing weak demand for personal computers. The company has also announced a new 25 cents a share quarterly dividend and a $1.5 billion share buyback program.

Home improvement retailer TheHome Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) will close its remaining seven big box stores and cut 850 jobs in China, amid falling growth in the country. The company will take a $160 million charge in the third quarter as a result of the move.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA) has agreed to sell its U.S. animal health operations to German pharmaceutical and chemical company Bayer AG (ETR:BAYN) (FRA:BAYN) for up to $145 million in a move to focus on its core business assets.

Wyndham Vacation Ownership, a unit of hospitality company Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN) has acquired privately held vacation company Shell Vacations LLC for $102 million in cash

Glass tableware maker Libbey Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LBY) increased its total planned reduction to about 9 percent of its global staff, up from a 5 percent reduction announced earlier in the year.

Cable manufacturer Belden Inc. (NYSE:BDC) agreed to sell its consumer electronics assets in China to Shenzhen Woer Heat-Shrinkable Material Co. Ltd. for about $43 million.

Exchange operator CME Group Inc (NASDAQ:CME) was down 1.2 percent in early trade after analysts at JPMorgan Chase downgraded the stock to “underweight” from “neutral.”

3M Co (NYSE:MMM) was raised to “buy “from “underperform” by analysts at Bank of America.

Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) was lowered to “neutral” from “outperform” by Credit Suisse with a target price of $67.

Medical imaging company Analogic Corporation (NASDAQ:ALOG) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Needham & Company with a target price of $85.

 

 

Europe

  • Banking stocks in Europe rallied as the U.S. Federal Reserve said it will buy mortgage-backed securities to boost growth. HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HBC) (LON:HSBA) (HKG:0005) gained 2.3 percent, Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) jumped 3.3 percent and Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) rose 3.9 percent. In Germany, Commerzbank AG (ETR:CBK) (FRA:CBK) and Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) (FRA:DBK) soared more than 4 percent. BNP Paribas SA (EPA:BNP) and Societe Generale SA (EPA:GLE) were also trading significantly higher in Paris.
  • Mining stocks were among the biggest gainers in London after the U.S. Federal Reserve launched a third round of quantitative easing. Kazakhmys plc (LON:KAZ) was up 15 percent and Vedanta Resources plc (LON:VED) climbed 14 percent. Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (LON:ENRC) rose 10 percent, while Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) picked up 8 percent. Antofagasta plc (LON:ANTO) added 9 percent, as Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RIO) (LON:RIO) (ASX:RIO) edged up 7 percent. BHP Billiton Limited (ADR) (NYSE:BHP) (ASX:BHP) (LON:BLT) was up 5 percent.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) confirmed plans to launch an initial public offering of its Direct Line insurance business, in what could be the biggest listing on the London Stock Exchange in over a year.
  • Diversified miner Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA)‘s board is expected to recommend Glencore International Plc (LON:GLEN)‘s revised $34 billion bid as early as next week, Reuters reported.
  • British defense contractor BAE Systems plc (LON:BA) said it will walk away from merger talks with Airbus-owner EADS NV (EPA:EAD) unless the combined European entity was allowed to operate without any political interference, according to a report in the Financial Times.
  • London-listed platinum miner Lonmin Plc (LON:LMI) offered striking workers an increased pay offer, as it resumed talks to end a 36-day-old strike.
  • German car maker Volkswagen AG (ETR:VOW) (FRA:VOW) surged 5 percent after it reported a 19 percent increase in global car sales in August. The company also said deliveries for the January to August period increased 10 percent amid strong growth in North America and Asia-Pacific.
  • British pubs chain JD Wetherspoon plc (LON:JDW) posted full-year profit pretax profit of 72.4 million pounds that beat the average analysts’ estimate of 69.12 million. Revenue for the period to 1.2 billion pounds.

 

Asia-Pacific

  • Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) is in advanced talks to invest 50 billion yen ($646 million) in cash-strapped medical equipment maker Olympus Corp (TYO:7733), and an agreement is expected by the end of the month, Reuters reported.
  • Australian iron-ore producer Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) asked for a trading halt after a 14 percent fall on Thursday amid discussions between the company and its lenders over a restructuring of its hefty debt load.
  • Chinese telecommunications equipment makers, Huawei Technology Co Ltd (SHE:002502) and ZTE Corporation (SHE:000063) have rejected fears that their expansion in the United States poses a security risk to the country. A congressional panel is currently investigating whether the companies’ equipment threaten critical U.S. infrastructure.
  • Japanese industrial electronics company Hitachi, Ltd. (TYO:6501) added 4.6 percent after it said it would increase its first-half dividend to 5 yen a share from 3 yen a share in the same period last year.
  • China Life Insurance Company Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:LFC) (HKG:2628) (SHA:601628) rallied 4 percent in Hong Kong trading after Esther Chwei, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG named the country’s largest life insurer as her top pick among Chinese insurance companies.
  • Japanese investment bank Nomura Holdings, Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:NMR) (TYO:8604) which a week back had announced a plan to scale back its global stock trading business, ended 4.2 percent higher after it restructured the management team at its U.S. equities group.
  • Australian gold miner Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) witnessed its biggest one-day rally in almost three years in Sydney trading, as gold rose to a six-month high amid an announcement by the U.S. Federal Reserve to launch another stimulus program.
  • Japanese retailer Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd. (TYO:3382) fell 2.4 percent following a Nikkei business daily report that said the company is set to post its first drop in operating profit in three years due to a decline in profit at its supermarket division.

Economic Calendar for Friday, September 14, 2012:

08:30 A.M. ET:    Consumer Price Index (MoM) (August)

08:30 A.M. ET:    Consumer Price Index (YoY) (August)

08:30 A.M. ET:    Consumer Price Index Ex Food & Energy (MoM) (August)

08:30 A.M. ET:    Consumer Price Index Ex Food & Energy (YoY) (August)

08:30 A.M. ET:    Retail Sales (MoM) (August)

08:30 A.M. ET:    Retail Sales ex Autos (MoM) (August)

09:15 A.M. ET:    Industrial Production (MoM) (August)

09:15 A.M. ET:    Capacity Utilization (August)

09:55 A.M. ET:    Reuters/Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (September)

10:00 A.M. ET:    Business Inventories (July)

01:00 P.M. ET:    Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart speaks.