- US: Dow: 13025.19 (-0.08%), S&P 500: 1401.90 (-0.22%), NASDAQ: 3064.19 (-0.35%)
- Europe: CAC: 3414.80 (0.46%), DAX: 6969.35 (0.53%), FTSE: 5662.96 (-0.16%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4278.80 (-0.57%), China: 2037.68 (-0.29%), Hong Kong: 19145.07 (-1.49%), India: 5225.70 (-0.92%), Japan: 8679.82 (-1.10%).
- Metals: Gold: 1695.70 (-0.02%), Silver: 32.30 (-0.33%), Copper: 3.49 (0.58%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 95.59 (0.30%), Natural Gas: 2.82 (-1.12%)
- Commodities: Corn: 8.00 (-0.53%), Soya Bean: 17.61 (-0.37%), Wheat: 8.81 (-0.79%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2598 (0.25%), GBP/USD: 1.5907 (0.22%), USD/JPY: 78.3900 (-0.04%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.584% (0.014)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. markets open largely unchanged: U.S. markets opened flat on Wednesday as investors remained cautious ahead of a crucial ECB meeting later this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI), the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) and the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) were trading around the flat-line.
European markets trading mixed: European markets are mixed in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.5 percent higher at 6969.35, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) down 0.2 percent at 5662.96 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) gaining 0.5 percent at 3414.80. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.5 percent higher.
Asian markets end lower: Asian markets closed lower on Wednesday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closing 1.1 percent lower at 8679.82 points. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) ended down 1.5 percent at 19145.07, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) shed 0.3 percent to 2037.68. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index eased 0.6 percent to 4278.80. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index ended up 0.3 percent.
Company News Update
- Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) reported second quarter earnings excluding certain items of 69 cents per share, five cents above the average analysts’ estimates. Sales rose 10 percent to $3.95 billion, while same-store sales gained 5.1 percent. Analysts were expecting sales of $3.96 billion. The retailer also raising its full-year earnings forecast.
- Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a new drug to treat a rare form of blood and bone marrow cancer.
- Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) will unveil the new Lumia smart phone today that is based on the newest version of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows Phone software.
- 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) refuted reports that it has dropped its plan to buy Avery Dennison Corporation (NYSE:AVY)’s office and consumer products group for $550 million.
- Ray Dolby recently sold 10,000 shares of Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:DLB) under a prearranged selling program, a securities filing late Tuesday showed.
- China gaming company NetEase, Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:NTES) has secured government approval to launch the latest version of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)’s “World of Warcraft” in China.
- Generic drug company Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co. (NASDAQ:HITK) reported first quarter net income fell to $6 million, or 44 cents per share, o revenue of $52 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 68 cents per share on revenue of $57.6 million.
- FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) fell 3 percent after analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded the stock to “market perform” from “outperform.”
- House wares retailer Williams-Sonoma, Inc (NYSE:WSM) was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank, with a target price of $48.
- Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO) rose 2 percent after Bank of America raised the stock to “buy” from “hold.”
- British oil group BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP) slid 3.7 percent in London amid reports that the US Department of Justice accused the company of gross negligence regarding the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Dutch banking giant ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING) (AMS:INGA) is planning to sell its more than 9 percent stake in Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF) in a public offering on Wednesday before the stock markets open.
- European regulators opened an investigation into suspected anti-competitive market practices, including unfair pricing and market segmentation, by Russian state-owned gas producer, Gazprom OAO (MCX:GAZP), in central and eastern Europe.
- British insurer Prudential plc (LON:PRU) gained 1.5 percent after announcing that its subsidiary, Jackson National Life Insurance Company, had completed the acquisition of US life insurer SRLC America Holding Corp for 417 million pounds ($660 million).
- German health care company Fresenius SE & Co KGaA (ETR:FRE) (FRA:FRE) jumped 1.6 percent in Frankfurt after its Kabi unit raised its full-year earnings and sales outlook amid solid organic growth across all regions and product areas in the first half of the year.
- UK sportswear retailer Sports Direct International Plc (LON:SPD) reported a 25 per cent jump in first-quarter sales, boosted by strong demand amid the sporting frenzy surrounding the London Olympic Games.
- French-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:STM) (EPA:STM) dropped 3.1 percent after analysts at both Exane BNP Paribas and UBS AG downgraded the stock to “underperform” and “sell,” respectively, from a “neutral” rating.
- French industrial group Legrand SA (EPA:LR) soared 3 percent after analysts at Barclays upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “equal weight.”
- British hotel and restaurant group Whitbread plc (LON:WTB) gained 1 percent in London trading after J.P. Morgan Cazenove raised the stock to “overweight” from “neutral.”
- Chinese personal computer giant Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992) plunged 7.6 percent after Japan’s NEC Corp (TYO:6701) sold its entire stake in the company for about 18 billion yen ($230 million).
- China Vanke Co., Ltd. (SHE:000002) (SHE:200002), the country’s largest developer by market value, posted an 8 percent rise in August sales to 11.4 billion yuan ($1.80 billion), from the year-ago period, according to a statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
- General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) began initial production of the Chinese-designed Sail for the Indian market this week. GM’s Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SHA:600104) holds a 50 percent stake in the Indian unit.
- German lender Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) (FRA:DBK) will lay off 85 staff at its Hong Kong and Japanese equities divisions, as part of a global cost savings plan, according to a report by Bloomberg News.
- Australian iron-ore producer Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) plunged percent despite announcing the sale of the power station at its Solomon mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region to Canadian group TransAlta, for about $300 million.
- A consortium led by U.S. bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)’s global infrastructure fund, has made a $150 million investment in unlisted Chinese company Zhaoheng Hydropower Holdings Ltd, Reuters reported.
- Fast Retailing Co Ltd (TYO:9983) slipped 1 percent in Tokyo trading after its Uniqlo clothing chain reported a 2 percent increase in domestic same-store sales in August, lower than what analysts were expecting.
- China Minsheng Banking Corp., Ltd. (HKG:1988) (SHA:600016), the country’s eighth-biggest lender, slumped 3.7 percent in Hong Kong after analysts at JP Morgan downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “overweight” and slashed its target price by 22 percent.
Economic Calendar for Wednesday, September 05, 2012:
07:00 A.M. ET: MBA Purchase Applications (Week ending Friday, August 31, 2012)
07:45 A.M. ET: ICSC-Goldman Store Sales (Week ending Saturday, Sept 01, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Non-farm Productivity (Q2)
08:30 A.M. ET: Unit Labor Costs (Q2)
08:55 A.M. ET: Redbook