Morning Market Update
• US: Dow Futures: 12968.00 (0.14%), S&P 500 Futures: 1409.00 (0.14%), NASDAQ Futures: 2673.00 (0.11%)
• Europe: CAC: 3585.89 (0.54%), DAX: 7440.60 (0.07%), FTSE: 5871.70 (0.01%).
• Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4503.60 (-0.62%), China: 1975.14 (0.78%), Hong Kong: 21799.97 (0.15%), India: 5889.25 (0.31%), Japan: 9432.46 (-0.27%).
• Metals: Gold: 1702.40 (-1.09%), Silver: 33.10 (-1.94%), Copper: 3.66 (0.14%)
• Energy: Crude Oil: 88.10 (-1.11%), Natural Gas: 3.56 (-0.89%)
• Commodities: Corn: 7.54 (0.20%), Soya Bean: 14.52 (0.94%), Wheat: 8.62 (-0.35%)
• Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3091 (0.28%), GBP/USD: 1.6118 (0.17%), USD/JPY: 81.8400 (-0.50%)
• 10 year US Treasury: 1.635% (0.014)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures modestly higher: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Tuesday as uncertainty over the ongoing budget talks continue to dominate market action. President Barack Obama is expected to meet with U.S. governors at the White House to talk about the looming “fiscal cliff.” Music streaming service Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) and bedding retailer Mattress Firm Holding Corp (NASDAQ:MFRM) are among companies scheduled to post earnings after the closing bell.
European markets gain: European markets are trading higher in a choppy session on Tuesday as EU finance ministers met in Brussels to discuss setting up a common bank supervisor. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) was trading 0.1 percent higher at 7440.60, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was flat at 5871.70 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) added 0.5 percent to 3585.89. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.4 percent higher.
Asian markets close mixed: Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesday as a decline in U.S. manufacturing activity offset investor optimism over Greece’s plan to buy back debt. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) ended 0.3 percent lower at 9,432.46 points. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) ended the day up 0.2 percent at 21,799.97 points, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) added 0.8 percent to 1,975.1 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index lost 27.9 points to 4,503.6. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index closed up 0.2 percent at 19,342.02 points.
Company News Update
• Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has announced the launch of its iTunes Store in more than 50 countries, including fast growing markets like India, Russia, Turkey and South Africa.
• AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO), the largest U.S. auto parts retail chain, said fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 6.4 percent to $203.5 million, or $5.41 a share, from $191.1 million, or $4.68 a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 3.5 percent to $1.99 billion. Analysts were looking for earnings of $5.39 on revenue of $2.03 billion.
• Homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc (NYSE:TOL) reported fourth quarter profit of $411.4 million, or $2.35 a share, up from $15 million, or nine cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenue jumped 48 percent to $632.8 million. Analysts had forecast earnings of 23 cents a share on $566.7 million in revenue.
• Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) reported third quarter loss of $5.99 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a profit of $4.19 million, or six cents a share, a year earlier. Sales were flat at $1.13 billion. Analysts had expected the closeout retailer to lose $0.24 per share on sales of $1.14 billion.
• Auto repair company The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY) reported third quarter loss of $6.8 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with net income of $7 million, or 13 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 2.4 percent to $509.6 million. Analysts had projected profit of 15 cents per share on revenue of $527.8 million.
• Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) reported a first-quarter loss of $60.6 million, or $1.70 a share, on sales of $116.4 million. Analysts had expected the resort operator to lose $1.58 a share on sales of $116.7 million.
• MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS) fell 6 percent in early morning trade after Reuters reported late yesterday that Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) is unlikely to make a counteroffer for MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS).
• Harvard Management has disclosed a 5.6 percent stake in the online travel-research company Kayak Software Corp (NASDAQ:KYAK).
• Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) has agreed to buy privately held Swedish medical device maker Gambro AB for about $4 billion.
• Automotive retailer Sonic Automotive Inc (NYSE:SAH) moved its quarterly dividend date to December from January.
• New York-based private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP is in talks to join Virtu Financial LLC’s bid for Knight Capital Group Inc. (NYSE:KCG), according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
• General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) has agreed to sell its remaining 19 percent stake in Morpho Detection Inc. to French aerospace supplier Safran SA (EPA:SAF) for 90 million euros ($117.3 million).
• Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) said it will discontinue development of an experimental drug designed to treat brain cancers. The biotechnology company also said it will eliminate 43 jobs as part of a restructuring effort.
• News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) is likely to announce a deal to buy Cleveland Indians-owned TV channel SportsTime Ohio for around $230 million, according to a Reuters report.
• Online pet pharmacy Petmed Express Inc (NASDQA:PETS) declared a special dividend of $1 a share.
• IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) fell 4 percent in pre-market trading after it was downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” by analysts at Goldman Sachs.
• Discount retailer Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) was raised to “equal weight” from “underweight” at Morgan Stanley.
• Nokia Corporation (HEL:NOK1V) (NYSE:NOK) (AMS:NOKA) has agreed to sell its iconic headquarter in Espoo, Finland to Exilion Capital for 170 million euros ($222 million), as the struggling mobile-phone maker continues to cut costs. The company will lease the building back in a long-term deal.
• TUI Travel PLC (LON:TT), Europe’s largest tour operator, reported full-year underlying pretax profit of 390 million pounds ($626 million) that beat the average analysts’ estimate of 357.9 million pounds. The company also raised its final dividend by 4 percent.
• Corio N.V. (AMS:CORA) is planning to sell about 20 percent of its property portfolio worth approximately 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in the next three to four years and the Dutch property company plans to use the proceeds to reduce debt and fund existing projects, according to a Reuters report.
• German phone company United Internet AG (ETR:UTDI) (FRA:UTDI) tumbled 8 as third-largest shareholder, Warburg Pincus LLC offered its 5.5 percent stake for sale.
• Swedish radiation-surgery equipment maker Elekta AB (STO:EKTA-B) jumped 6 percent after reporting better than expected second-quarter net income of 258 million kroner ($39 million) on sales of 2.49 billion kroner.
• British oil-services company AMEC plc (LON:AMEC) climbed 1 percent after it was awarded a $528 million new refinery contract by the Kuwait National Petroleum Company.
• French mail-room equipment supplier Neopost SA (EPA:NEO) declined 5 percent after lowering its annual sales-growth forecast to about 2 percent from an earlier estimate of 2 percent to 4 percent.
• Norsk Hydro (STO:NHYO) fell 1.5 percent after Vale SA (NYSE:VALE) CFO Luciano Siani said the company may consider selling its 22 percent stake in the Norwegian aluminum producer.
• Rio Tinto plc (LON:RIO) (NYSE:RIO) (ASX:RIO) rose 1 percent in London trading after Credit Suisse added the stock to its Europe Focus List and raised its target price to 37 pounds from 35 pounds.
• Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) gained 1.2 percent after agreeing to sell a