Morning Market Update  

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Market Levels

•    US:  Dow: 12913.00 (0.39%), S&P 500: 1391.60 (0.18%), NASDAQ: 2619.00 (0.34%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3422.30 (0.37%), DAX: 7243.79 (0.15%), FTSE: 5800.41 (0.15%).
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4483.80 (-0.72%), China: 2071.51 (-1.65%), Hong Kong: 21566.91 (-2.47%), India: 5738.75 (-0.37%), Japan: 8837.15 (-1.54%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1713.80 (-0.01%), Silver: 31.75 (0.28%), Copper: 3.46 (0.41%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 85.40 (1.14%), Natural Gas: 3.54 (-1.12%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 7.43 (0.44%), Soya Bean: 15.06 (-0.43%), Wheat: 8.89 (1.91%)
•    Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2750 (-0.16%), GBP/USD: 1.5993 (0.05%), USD/JPY: 79.8500 (-0.18%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.685% (0.038)

Financial and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures gain: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Thursday, buoyed by better-than-expected jobless data. Jobless claims fell 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 355,000 in the previous week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists were expecting a reading of 370,000. In other economic news, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed in September.

European markets trading higher: European markets are up in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) adding 0.2 percent to 7243.79, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) edging 0.2 percent higher to 5800.41 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) gaining 0.4 percent to 3422.30. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.6 percent higher.

Asian markets end lower: Asian markets closed lower on Thursday with the HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) down 2.4 percent to 21,566.9 points, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) lost 1.6 percent. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) dropped 1.5 percent to 8,837.15, its lowest close since October 17. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index fell 32.7 points to 4,483.8. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index dropped 0.4 percent.

U.S.

•    McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) said its October same-store sales fell 1.8 percent, the first monthly decline in nine years. Analysts had forecast a decrease of 1.1 percent.
•    The Wendy’s Company (NASDAQ:WEN) reported third quarter earnings excluding certain items of 3 cents a share, compared to analysts’ expectations for earnings of 5 cents a share. Revenue came in at $636.3 million, trailing estimates of $640.6 million. The fast food restaurant operator doubled the quarterly dividend to 4 cents a share.
•    Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) reported third-quarter economic net profit of $219 million, compared with a loss of $191 million in the year-ago period. Assets under management stood at $157.4 billion at the end of September, up from $156.2 billion in the second quarter and $148.6 billion a year ago.
•    Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) reported third quarter earnings excluding items of $1.47 a share, 3 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue rose to $6.72 billion from $3.96 billion, trailing Street expectations for $6.79 billion.
•    Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) reported third-quarter profit of $215 million, or 91 cents a share, up from $211 million, or 80 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales increased to $4.49 billion from $4.38 billion. Analysts expected the retailer to earn 87 cents a share on sales of $4.49 billion.
•    Prudential Financial Inc (NYSE:PRU) reported third quarter operating profit of $1.53 a share, missing the average analysts’ estimate of $1.67 a share. The life insurer raised its annual dividend to $1.60 a share from $1.45 a share.
•    Medical device maker Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX) has agreed to buy privately held Vessix Vascular Inc. for as much as $425 million.
•    PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) posted third quarter adjusted earnings of 72 cents a share, on revenue of $2.4 billion. Analysts had projected earnings of 68 cents a share on revenue of $2.79 billion.
•    Dean Foods Company (NYSE:DF) reported third quarter earnings excluding certain items of 33 cents per share, 7 cents above estimates. The food and beverage company raised its full-year forecast.
•    United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) said traffic fell 3.3 percent in October from a year earlier as superstorm Sandy disrupted its operations.
•    Foreign-exchange broker FXCM Inc (NYSE:FXCM) posted better than expected third quarter earnings and revenue despite a drop in trading volume and daily average trades.
•    Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) reported third quarter earnings of 47 cents a share on revenue of $542 million that trailed the average analysts’ estimate of 55 cents a share on sales of $578 million.
•    Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) said third-quarter profit jumped 28 percent to $87 million, or $1.30 a share, from $67.9 million, or $1.01 a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 15 percent to $821.2 million.
•    Upscale supermarket chain Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) reported fourth quarter earnings of 60 cents a share on revenue of $2.91 billion, matching Wall Street expectations. The company handed full-year 2013 earnings guidance that trailed estimates.
•    Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ:PANL) reported third quarter loss of $5.5 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with a year-ago profit of $6 million, or 12 cents a share. Revenue declined 43 percent to $12.5 million. Analysts were expecting the LED supplier to earn 5 cents a share and revenue of $19 million.
•    Mondelez International Inc (NASDAQ:MDLZ), the newly spun-off snack company from Kraft Foods Inc. reported third quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, beating estimates by a penny. Revenue came in at $8.3 billion, trailing expectations for $8.66 billion. The company provided 2013 full-year earnings guidance that was also below expectations.
•    Canadian auto-parts giant Magna International Inc. (USA) (NYSE:MGA) (TSE:MG) reported better than expected third quarter earnings and revenue, and said founder, Frank Stronach, will step down from the board.

Europe

•    French bank Societe Generale SA (EPA:GLE) said third quarter net profit fell 86 percent to 85 million euros ($108 million), from 622 million euros last year. Revenue dropped 17 percent to 5.4 billion euros from 6.5 billion euros a year earlier. Shares were up as much as 3.7 percent in Paris trading after earnings at its corporate and investment bank rose fourfold.
•    British insurer Aviva Plc (ADR) (NYSE:AV) (LON:AV) is close to selling its underperforming U.S. life insurance and annuities business, according to a Reuters report.
•    Siemens AG (ADR) (NYSE:SI) (ETR:SIE) (FRA:SIE) jumped 3.6 percent after Europe’s largest engineering company said it would cut 6 billion euros ($7.67 billion) of costs by 2014.
•    Deutsche Post AG (ETR:DPW) (FRA:DPW) said third-quarter profit fell 6.5 percent to 604 million euros ($770 million) from 646 million euros a year earlier. Analysts were expecting Europe’s largest postal service to report profit of 641.3 million euros. Revenue rose 5.7 percent to 13.8 billion euros.
•    Dutch insurer Aegon N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:AEG) (AMS:AGN) soared 4 percent after posting forecast beating third-quarter profit.
•    HeidelbergCement AG (ETR:HEI) (FRA:HEI) said third quarter operating income jumped 16 percent on the year to 649 million euro ($827.5 million), while sales increased 8.8 percent to 3.94 billion euros. The German cement maker affirmed its outlook for improved 2012 revenue.
•    French luxury goods maker Hermes International SCA (EPA:RMS) gained 3 percent after third-quarter sales jumped 24 percent from a year earlier to 848.6 million euros. Analysts had projected sales of 803.8 million euros. The company also increased its full-year revenue growth target.
•    Swedish construction company Skanska AB (STO:SKA-B) lost 1.4 percent after reporting lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings, and warned of weak demand in the Nordic region.
•    Veolia Environnement Ve SA (ADR) (NYSE:VE) (EPA:VIE) is up 2 percent after signing a multi-million pound waste treatment and energy recovery agreement with the British city of Leeds.
•    Drug maker BTG plc (LON:BTG) surged 8 percent after posting first-half adjusted earnings of 5.6 pence per share, compared with 3.9 pence per share in the year-ago period. The company also reiterated its 2013 revenue forecast.
•    Investment manager Schroders plc (LON:SDR) gained 1 percent after reporting 2.6 billion pounds ($4.2 billion) of net new funds inflow for the third quarter.
•    Peugeot SA (EPA:UG), Europe’s second-biggest carmaker, fell 4.1 percent in Paris after analysts at Citigroup Inc. cut the stock to “sell” from “neutral.”

Asia-Pacific
•    Japanese mobile operator Softbank Corp (TYO:9984) gained 0.3 percent in Tokyo after reporting strong subscriber growth in October. Softbank gained a net 284,200 mobile phone subscribers last month, more than rivals NTT Docomo Inc (ADR) (NYSE:DCM) (TYO:9437) and KDDI Corp (TYO:9433).
•    Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992) said second quarter net profit gained 13 percent to $162.1 million from $143.9 million a year earlier, exceeding analysts’ forecasts of $154.6 million. Revenue rose 11 percent to $8.67 billion from $7.79 billion in the year ago period, also topping estimates of $8.65 billion.
•    Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) said it will cut another 400 jobs from its engineering division as part of a previously announced plan to consolidate its operations.
•    Watchmaker Citizen Holdings Co., Ltd. (TYO:7762) fell 7.9 percent after slashing its full-year operating profit outlook to 14.5 billion yen from 20.5 billion yen, due to weak demand in China and Europe.
•    Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) soared 12 percent after a Malaysian court lifted a suspension on its licence to operate a controversial rare earths processing plant in the country.
•    Truckmaker Isuzu Motors Limited (TYO:7202) jumped 4.7 percent in Tokyo after reporting a 25 percent increase in first-half net profit, and raising its full-year net profit forecast to 91 billion yen from a prior forecast of 81 billion yen.
•    Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited (HKG:0027) dropped 4.4 percent in Hong Kong after private equity firm Permira Advisers LLP agreed to sell its remaining 5.94 percent stake in the company through a private placement.
•    Construction equipment maker Komatsu Ltd (TYO:6301) fell 2.2 percent after Japan’s machinery orders fell 4.3 percent in September, compared to expectations for a drop of 2.1 percent.
•    Linc Energy Ltd (ASX:LNC) jumped 6.7 percent in Sydney amid reports that Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is considering investing in the Queensland-based resource company.

Economic Calendar for Thursday, November 08, 2012:

08:30 A.M. ET:    Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, November 03, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, October 27)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Trade Balance (September)
09:45 A.M. ET:    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (Week ending Sunday, Nov. 04)
10:30 A.M. ET:    EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, November 02, 2012)
01:00 P.M. ET:     30-Year Bond Auction
04:30 P.M. ET:     Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET:     Money Supply
08:00 P.M. ET:     St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks.