- US: Dow Futures: 13088.00 (0.05%), S&P 500 Futures: 1404.80 (-0.02%), NASDAQ Futures: 2770.00 (-0.04%)
- Europe: CAC: 3427.08 (-0.78%), DAX: 6982.20 (-0.47%), FTSE: 5701.28 (-1.00%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4303.50 (-0.61%), China: 2043.65 (-0.76%), Hong Kong: 19429.91 (-0.67%), India: 5274.00 (0.39%), Japan: 8775.51 (-0.10%).
- Metals: Gold: 1696.90 (0.55%), Silver: 32.26 (2.62%), Copper: 3.49 (0.84%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 96.89 (0.44%), Natural Gas: 2.78 (-0.68%)
- Commodities: Corn: 8.05 (-1.11%), Soya Bean: 17.74 (-0.45%), Wheat: 8.94 (-1.66%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2566 (-0.21%), GBP/USD: 1.5866 (-0.13%), USD/JPY: 78.4300 (0.22%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.574% (0.025)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures largely unchanged: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a flat open on Tuesday, after a three-day weekend, as investors remained cautious ahead of a closely watched manufacturing survey, as well as an upcoming meeting of European Central Bank policy makers. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were all trading around the flat-line.
European markets trading lower: European markets are down in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.5 percent lower at 6982.20, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) down 1 percent at 5701.28 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) losing 0.8 percent at 3427.08. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.2 percent lower.
Asian markets end mostly lower: Asian markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closing 0.1 percent lower at 8,775.51 points. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) ended down 0.7 percent at 19,429.9, the lowest close since July 27, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) shed 0.8 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index eased 26.2 points to 4,303.5. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index ended up 0.3 percent.
Company News Update
- Chrysler, the automaker controlled by Fiat SpA (BIT:F), said U.S. sales rose 14 percent in August to 148,472 units from 130,120 in the same period last year.
- Dermatology specialist Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp (NYSE:MRX) has agreed to be acquired by Canadian specialty pharmaceutical company Valeant Pharmaceuticals Int (USA) (NYSE:VRX) (TSE:VRX) for $44.00 per share, or about $2.6 billion in cash.
- Pork and hog producer Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) reported first quarter profit of 40 cents per share, four cents below the average analysts’ estimates, while revenue came in at $3.09 billion, also trailing estimates of $3.15 billion. Operating margin in the fresh pork segment contracted to negative 1 percent in the quarter, from 3 percent in the year ago period.
- Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) reported fourth quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 41 cents per share, three cents above estimates. Sales for the quarter were flat at $1.61 billion. The food company also provided strong full-year outlook.
- Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) plans to debut a new tablet PC in the U.S. market on September 7, and said it won’t be drawn into a price competition with other sellers.
- Finnish smartphone maker Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) will start a free music streaming service in U.S. that will work exclusively on its Lumia handsets, in a fresh bid to win back customers from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has been upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase, while Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) has been downgraded to “underweight” from “neutral” by JPMorgan Chase.
- Business software maker Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) will appeal a damage award in a long-standing copyright infringement lawsuit against German rival SAP AG (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) (ETR:SAP) (FRA:SAP). Last month, the two firms agreed to a $306 million settlement.
- Food company General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) was down 1 percent in pre-market trading after analysts at JPMorgan Chase cut its rating to “neutral” from “overweight.”
- Videogame retailer GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) was upgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs to “buy” from “neutral,” citing significant upside in the stock.
- International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) was up 0.9 percent after it was upgraded to “overweight” from “equal weight” at Barclays.
- Coal company Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU) was downgraded by research analysts at Dahlman Rose to “hold” from “buy,” and the brokerage firm also slashed its outlook for metallurgical coal used in steel-making.
- German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG (ETR:LHA) (FRA:LHA) said that more than half of all domestic and inner-European flights had to be cancelled after flight attendants went on strike in Frankfurt and Berlin.
- British bank Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) slumped 1.3 percent after revealing plans to offload its insurance business, Direct Line. Separately, analysts at Investec have downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy.”
- Dutch supermarket operator Koninklijke Ahold N.V. (AMS:AH) rose 3.9 percent as the firm said it’s considering selling its 60 percent stake in Scandinavian retailer ICA AB.
- Mining stocks led the FTSE lower, with Kazakhmys plc (LON:KAZ) down 1 percent and Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA) slipping 1.7 percent. Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (LON:ENRC) lost 0.9 percent, while Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) traded 0.7 percent lower. Antofagasta plc (LON:ANTO) eased 0.7 percent, as Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RIO) (LON:RIO) (ASX:RIO) fell 1.7 percent.
- Construction-equipment rental company Ashtead Group plc (LON:AHT) reported a 76 percent surge in first-quarter underlying pretax profit and raised its full-year profit forecast.
- British telecoms giant Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD) shed 2.1 percent after analysts at brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein lowered its rating to “market perform” from “outperform.”
- Oilfield-services company Petrofac Limited (LON:PFC) jumped 1.7 percent after Credit Suisse raised the firm to “outperform” from “neutral.”
- British real estate firm Land Securities Group plc (LON:LAND) was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Exane BNP Paribas, while rival The British Land Company plc (LON:BLND) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG with a target price of 560 pence a share ($8.90).
- Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) closed 0.3 percent lower despite posting an 18 percent rise in monthly sales in Japan, last month. Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:HMC) (TYO:7267) sales fell 4.6 percent, while Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (TYO:7201) sales declined 7 percent, from a year earlier.
- Australian iron-ore producer Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) slashed its full-year capital spending by about a quarter and put its expansion plans on hold, amid weak demand in China and falling iron ore prices.
- Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (TPE:2317) Chairman Terry Gou is demanding a management role in Japanese TV maker Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) as part of an equity tie-up.
- Aluminum Corp. of China Limited (ADR) (NYSE:ACH) (HKG:2600) (SHA:601600) ended 0.3 percent lower in Hong Kong after dropping its $926 million bid for a majority stake in Mongolia-focused coal miner Southgobi Resources Ltd (HKG:1878), in the face of stiff political opposition in Ulan Bator.
- Banks were among the biggest losers in Sydney trading after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 3.5 percent. Westpac Banking Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:WBK) (ASX:WBC) slid 2.1 percent and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) dropped 2 percent.
- Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines (HKG:0670), the country’s second-largest carrier by passengers, will add new planes and expand international services, in a bid to accelerate passenger capacity growth to 10 percent in the second half, Bloomberg reported.
- Australia’s Nine