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: 13414.00 (0.02%), S&P 500 Futures: 1441.30 (0.03%), NASDAQ Futures: 2799.25 (0.14%)

* Europe: CAC: 3417.11 (0.08%), DAX: 7330.96 (0.34%), FTSE: 5825.23 (0.27%).

* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4438.60 (0.13%), China: 2086.17 (0.00%), Hong Kong: 20888.28 (0.23%), India: 5731.25 (0.22%), Japan: 8746.87 (-0.45%).

* Metals: Gold: 1780.90 (0.30%), Silver: 34.78 (0.31%), Copper: 3.78 (-0.46%)

* Energy: Crude Oil: 90.78 (-1.21%), Natural Gas: 3.44 (-2.66%)

* Commodities: Corn: 7.51 (0.17%), Soya Bean: 15.22 (-1.97%), Wheat: 8.63 (-1.19%)

* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2893 (-0.21%), GBP/USD: 1.6091 (-0.26%), USD/JPY: 78.4600 (0.38%)

* 10 year US Treasury: 1.619% (0.002)

Financial and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures largely unchanged: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a flat open on Wednesday despite a better than expected private-sector employment report. Private sector employers added 162,000 jobs in September, payroll processor ADP said on Wednesday. Economists were expecting a gain of 143,000. The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index, which tracks monthly changes in the service sector economy, is due at 10 A.M. ET. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were all trading close to the flat-line.

European markets in the green: European markets are trading modestly higher with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) up 0.3 percent at 7330.96, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) gaining 0.27 percent at 5825.23 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) adding 0.1 percent to 3417.11. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.1 percent higher.

Asian markets end mostly higher: Asian markets closed higher on Wednesday with the HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) ending 0.2 percent higher at 20,888.28 points. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) fell to a three-week closing low at 8,746.87 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index closed up 0.1 percent, or 5.6 points, at 4,438.6. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index ended 0.3 higher. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) was closed for a public holiday.

 

Company News Update

U.S.

* Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) reported fourth quarter adjusted loss of 44 cents a share that was wider than the Street’s forecast for a loss of 42 cents a share. Sales for the quarter declined 6.1 percent to $2.11 billion, trailing the average analysts’ estimate of $2.25 billion. The agriculture company forecast lower than expected full-year earnings.

* Discount chain Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO) reported fourth quarter earnings excluding certain items of 75 cents per share, matching Street estimates. Sales for the quarter increased 11 percent to $2.36 billion, also in line with analysts’ estimates. Same store sales rose 5.4 percent.

* MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS) is up close to a percent in early morning trade after its board approved a deal to merge with Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) (FRA:DTE)’s US subsidiary, T-Mobile.

* Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) gained 3 percent in pre-market trading after Reuters reported that founder Richard Schulze and at least four private-equity firms are examining the electronics retailer’s books with a view to a possible $11 billion buyout.

* J.P. Morgan has cut its third-quarter earnings per share estimates for Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) to 1 cent, from a previous forecast of 4 cents. Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) is due to report earnings on October 9.

* Private-equity firm Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) has acquired a majority stake in New York-based commodities-trading hedge fund manager, Vermillion Asset Management LLC. Vermillion Asset Management LLC has approximately $2.2 billion in assets under management.

* Biotech company InterMune, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITMN) said Canadian health regulators have approved its drug Esbriet, for use in treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

* Grocery chain Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU) has attracted interest from billionaire Ronald Burkle and private equity groups KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) and TPG Capital, according to a Bloomberg report.

* Auto retailer AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) said new car sales increased 23 percent in September compared to the year-ago period, and up 22 percent for the third quarter.

* Technology solutions provider Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) has entered into a strategic partnership with security software company Palo Alto Networks to offer joint application delivery and security products, Reuters reported.

* Obesity drug maker Vivus, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) has won the dismissal of a class action lawsuit against the company that had been filed in November 2010.

* Fertilizer producer Mosaic Co (NYSE:MOS) fell 1 percent in early trade after Lazard Capital downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “buy.”

* Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ) was upgraded to “”buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs with a target price of $45.

* UBS AG raised Thoratec Corporation (NASDAQ:THOR) to “buy” from “neutral” with a target price of 39.

Europe

* European Union antitrust regulators will decide by November 8 whether to clear Swiss commodities trader Glencore International Plc (LON:GLEN)’s $33 billion takeover of diversified miner Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA).

* Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) reported first-half net profit of 1.28 billion pounds ($2.06 billion), down from 1.38 billion pounds, a year earlier. Profits were hit hard by the cost of a 1 billion pound ($1.61 billion) U.K. turnaround plan launched in April.

* J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY), U.K.’s third-biggest supermarket group said second quarter sales at stores open over a year, excluding fuel, rose 1.9 percent. Analysts were expecting a gain of 1.3 percent for the period.

* Drugmakers Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) (EPA:SAN) and Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) said they are changing their long-standing agreement for top-selling drugs, Plavix and Avapro/Avalide.

* British publisher Pearson PLC (ADR) (NYSE:PSO) (LON:PSON), owner of the Financial Times newspaper, said Chief Executive Marjorie Scardino will step down after 16 years, and will be replaced by John Fallon, the chief executive of its international education division since 2008.

* FirstGroup plc (LON:FGP) plunged 18 percent after the British Department of Transportation scrapped a $9 billion (5.5 billion pounds) deal for the West Coast rail line franchisee, citing flaws in the government’s figures.

* Investment manager Schroders plc (LON:SDR) slumped 1.6 percent after analysts at UBS AG downgraded the stock to “sell” from “neutral.”

* Finnish utility firm Fortum Oyj (HEL:FUM1V) slid 2 percent after HSBC plc lowered the stock to “underweight” from “overweight.”

* British medical equipment maker Smith & Nephew plc (ADR) (NYSE:SNN) (LON:SN) fell 1.2 percent in London trading after Morgan Stanley cut the stock to “equal weight” from an “overweight” rating.

Asia-Pacific

* Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) ended 0.4 percent higher in Tokyo trading after reporting a 42 percent increase in U.S. sales in September from the year-ago period, while Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:HMC) (TYO:7267) fell 1.1 percent despite posting a 31 percent increase in U.S. sales. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (TYO:7201) closed 2.1 percent lower after its U.S. passenger car sales fell 1.1 percent in September from the year-ago period.

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