update

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

Market Levels

* US: Dow Futures: 13472.00 (0.14%), S&P 500 Futures: 1452.60 (0.23%), NASDAQ Futures: 2761.25 (-0.14%)

* Europe: CAC: 3507.81 (0.20%), DAX: 7380.44 (0.06%), FTSE: 5898.26 (0.47%).

* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4528.20 (0.82%), China: 2105.62 (0.32%), Hong Kong: 21416.64 (0.98%), India: 5660.25 (0.22%), Japan: 8806.55 (1.20%).

* Metals: Gold: 1748.30 (0.11%), Silver: 33.05 (0.28%), Copper: 3.70 (0.11%)

* Energy: Crude Oil: 92.49 (0.43%), Natural Gas: 3.40 (-0.93%)

* Commodities: Corn: 7.40 (0.30%), Soya Bean: 14.95 (0.10%), Wheat: 8.51 (0.38%)

* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3126 (0.56%), GBP/USD: 1.6153 (0.26%), USD/JPY: 78.6600 (-0.29%)

* 10 year US Treasury: 1.703% (0.040)

Financial and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures mixed: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a mixed open on Wednesday despite a better-than-expected housing starts report. Housing starts increased 15 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 units, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had expected a rise to a 770,000-unit rate. American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) and eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) are slated to report earnings after the closing bell.

European markets trading modestly higher: European markets are trading higher on Wednesday with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) up 0.1 percent at 7380.44, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) gained 0.5 percent to 5898.26 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) added 0.2 percent to 3507.81. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.5 percent higher.

 Asian markets end higher: Asian markets closed higher on Wednesday with the HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) ending up 1 percent at 21,416.6, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) gained 0.3 percent. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) added 105.24 points to 8,806.55, its highest close since October 5. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index climbed 36.7 points to 4,528.2. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index edged 0.1 percent higher.

Company News Update

 U.S.

* Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) reported third-quarter profit of $340 million, which translated to $0.00 per share, on revenue of $22.5 billion. Analysts expected the bank to report a per share loss of 7 cents, on $21.9 billion of revenue.

* PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) reported third-quarter earnings excluding items of $1.20 per share, on revenue of $16.65 billion. Analysts had forecast earnings excluding items of $1.16 a share on $16.9 billion in revenue.

* BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) posted third quarter adjusted profit of $3.47 per share that beat the average analysts’ estimate of $3.32 a share. Total assets under management gained 3 percent during the quarter and was up 10 percent from a year ago.

* Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) said third quarter net income fell 12 percent to $602 million, or 65 cents per share, from $683 million, or 74 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue for the period increased 9 percent to $7.11 billion. Analysts had projected earnings of 67 cents a share on revenue of $7.14 billion.

* Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (NYSE:SWK) reported third quarter earnings excluding items of $1.40 per share, 5 cents below the average analysts’ estimate. Sales increased 6.4 percent to $2.79 billion, also trailing estimates of $2.83 billion. The maker of hardware, tools and industrial equipment also lowered its full-year adjusted earnings estimate.

* St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ) posted third quarter earnings excluding items of 83 cents a share, 2 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Sales fell to $1.33 billion from $1.38 billion a year ago, also trailing estimates of $1.34 billion.

* The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK) reported third quarter profit of $725 million, or 61 cents a share, up from $651 million, or 53 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue fell 0.5 percent to $3.68 billion. Analysts were looking for earnings of 54 cents on revenue of $3.6 billion.

* Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) posted third quarter earnings excluding one-time items of $1.18 a share, in line with estimates. Revenue for the period declined 2.9 percent to $1.85 billion, missing estimates of $1.91 billion.

* U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) said third quarter profit rose 16 percent to $1.47 billion, or 74 cents a share, versus $1.27 billion, or 64 cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenue gained 8 percent to $5.18 billion. Analysts had projected earnings of 74 cents a share on revenue of $5.13 billion.

* Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) said third quarter earnings from continuing operations rose to 48 cents per share from 45 cents per share. Revenue increased 6.6 percent to $3 billion. Analysts forecast earnings of 51 cents a share on revenue of $3.06 billion. The world’s largest maker of corporate jets raised its earnings guidance for the year.

* Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS) said third quarter profit rose 4.9 percent to $178.8 million, or 73 cents a share, from $170.4 million, or 70 cents, in the year-ago period. Revenue came in at $972.5 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 74 cents a share on revenue of $988 million.

* Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) reported third quarter earnings excluding certain items of $1.30 a share, on revenue of $9.77 billion. Analysts had projected earnings of $1.28 a share on revenue of $9.94 billion. The health-care company narrowed its full-year adjusted per-share earnings guidance.

* M&T Bank Corporation posted third quarter adjusted profit of $2.24 a share that easily beat the average analysts’ estimate of $1.85 a share.

* Amphenol Corporation (NYSE:APH) said third quarter profit rose 9.5 percent to $147.5 million, or 90 cents a share, from $134.6 million, or 79 cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenue increased 6.8 percent to $1.1 billion. The electronics-equipment maker raised its full-year earnings estimate.

* Internet security company Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP) reported third-quarter earnings excluding items of 79 cents per share, one cent above estimates. Revenue increased 7.8 percent to $332.4 million.

* Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) agreed to buy Canadian oil and gas producer Celtic Exploration Ltd. (TSE:CLT) for about 3.1 billion Canadian dollars ($3.14 billion) in cash and stock.

* Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is recalling 262,000 Fiesta subcompacts from model years 2011-2013 to fix a problem with the programming of passenger side airbags.

* Electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is planning to sell its own tablet computer, the Android-based “Insignia Flex,” for $239 to $259, according to a Reuters report.

* Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) said a late-stage study of its kidney cancer drug Inlyta failed to meet its primary endpoint.

* Credit card giant Visa Inc (NYSE:V) may name a new chief executive by the end of this month, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Current chief executive Joseph Saunders is expected to retire when his contract expires in March.

* Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) fell 1.3 percent in early morning trade after analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy.”

* Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) was lowered to “equal weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Barclays Capital.

Europe

* Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) was trading 1.8 percent higher in London after it agreed with the U.K. Treasury to exit its Asset Protection Scheme.

* French bank Credit Agricole SA (EPA:ACA) said it would incur a quarterly loss of about 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) from the sale of its ailing Greek unit Emporiki to rival Alpha Bank SA.

* Dutch chip equipment maker ASML Holding N.V. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ASML) (AMS:ASML) has agreed to buy U.S. group Cymer, Inc. (NASDAQ:CYMI) for about 1.95 billion euros ($2.55 billion) in cash and stock.

* Liquor major Diageo plc (ADR) (NYSE:DEO) (LON:DGE) reported a 5 percent rise in underlying first-quarter sales helped by the ongoing recovery of the U.S. spirits market and increasing demand from the emerging economies.

* French food producer Groupe Danone SA (EPA:BN) reported third-quarter revenue of 5.3 billion euros ($6.9 billion) that was broadly in line with analysts’ expectations. The company behind Activia yogurt also confirmed its full-year guidance of sales growth of 5 percent to 7 percent.

* Cable and Wireless Communications Plc (LON:CWC) is in talks to sell its controlling stake in Macau’s largest telecoms group, Companhia de Telecomunicacoes de Macau, S.A.R.L. to China’s Citic Pacific (HKG:0267).

* Swedish phone company TeliaSonera AB (STO:TLSN) fell 1.6 percent after reporting third-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates because of falling sales in the Nordic region.

* Oil giant Statoil ASA(ADR) (NYSE:STO) and Norwegian state-owned renewable company Statkraft have acquired the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm project in the U.K. North Sea.

* Mining giant Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RIO) (LON:RIO) (ASX:RIO) jumped 3.6 percent in London after AFP reported that the company plans to cut 30 percent of its workforce in Europe by the end of next year.

* British retailer Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) gained 2.6 percent after UBS AG raised its recommendation for the stock to “buy” from “neutral” and added it to its most preferred list.

Asia-Pacific

* BHP Billiton Limited (ADR) (NYSE:BHP) (ASX:BHP) (LON:BLT) said first-quarter iron-ore production rose 1 percent to 39.8 million tons, in line with analyst estimates. The world’s largest mining company also maintained its guidance for a 5 percent increase in output this year.

* Suzuki Motor Corporation (TYO:7269) jumped 1.8 percent in Tokyo after its Indian joint venture unveiled an upgraded model of its top-selling Alto car.

* Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technology Co Ltd (SHE:002502) said that the U.S. congressional committee probe into whether the equipment supplied by it poses a security risk is unlikely to affect its businesses in other overseas markets, according to a Reuters report.

* Foxconn International Holdings Limited (HKG:2038), the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, admitted on Tuesday that some participants in a student internship program at one of its factories in China were below the legal working age of 16 years.

* Major Chinese banks, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HKG:1398) (SHA:601398), Agricultural Bank Of China Limited (HKG:1288) (SHA:601288), Bank of China (HKG:3988) (SHA:601988) and China Construction Bank Corporation (HKG:0939) (SHA:601939), ended significantly higher after Credit Suisse raised its recommendation on Chinese banks to “overweight” from “market weight.”

* Hong Kong-listed sports talent management firm Viva China Holdings Ltd (HKG:8032) soared to the highest level in 5 months after agreeing to buy a stake in sportswear group Li Ning Co. Ltd. (HKG:2331).

* Hitachi, Ltd. (TYO:6501) gained 2.4 percent after analysts at JPMorgan reaffirmed their “overweight” rating on the stock, saying it was likely to meet its 2012 operating profit forecast.

* Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN) plunged to a record low in Sydney after Champ Private Equity ended plans to buy the Australian television broadcaster’s Eye Corp. billboard unit.

* Electronic products maker Fujikon Industrial Holdings Ltd. (HKG:0927) surged 10.8 percent in Hong Kong after saying it expects first-half profit to rise.

Economic Calendar for Wednesday, October 17, 2012:

07:00 A.M. ET: MBA Purchase Applications (Week ending Friday, October 12, 2012)

08:30 A.M. ET: Housing Starts (MoM) (September)

08:30 A.M. ET: Building Permits (MoM) (September)

10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Petroleum Status Report (Week ending Friday, October 12, 2012)