Stock market news

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow Futures: 12971.00 (0.29%), S&P 500 Futures: 1409.00 (0.25%), NASDAQ Futures: 2666.75 (0.08%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3586.98 (0.18%), DAX: 7446.95 (0.16%), FTSE: 5879.39 (0.18%).
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4520.40 (0.37%), China: 2031.91 (2.79%), Hong Kong: 22270.91 (2.11%), India: 5900.50 (0.19%), Japan: 9468.84 (0.38%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1701.40 (0.33%), Silver: 33.05 (0.74%), Copper: 3.67 (0.33%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 88.60 (0.11%), Natural Gas: 3.61 (1.92%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 7.51 (-0.40%), Soya Bean: 14.62 (-0.02%), Wheat: 8.58 (-0.47%)
•    Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3068 (-0.20%), GBP/USD: 1.6094 (-0.04%), USD/JPY: 82.1400 (0.29%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.594% (-0.010)

Financial and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures modestly higher: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Wednesday, helped by positive comments from China’s new leader. On the economic front, the private sector created 118,000 jobs in November, according to the latest ADP jobs report. Economists were expecting a gain of 125,000. Meanwhile, productivity increased at a 2.9 percent annual rate in the third quarter, according to the Labor Department, compared to expectations for a reading of 2.7 percent.

European markets gain: European markets were up on Wednesday after Markit’s Euro zone Composite PMI rose in November to 46.5 from 45.7 in October. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) was trading 0.2 percent higher at 7446.95, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) gained 0.2 percent to 5879.39 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) added 0.2 percent to3586.98. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was flat in trade today.

Asian markets close higher: Asian markets ended higher on Wednesday, led by surging Chinese equities, as comments by Communist Party chief raised hopes for an economic recovery in the world’s second-largest economy. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) ended 0.4 percent higher at 9,468.84 points, a seven-month closing high. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) closed up 2.2 percent at 22,270.9 points, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) jumped 2.9 percent to 2,031.9 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index rose 16.8 points to at 4,520.4. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index closed up 0.5 percent.

Company News Update

U.S.

•    Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) rose 1.8 percent in pre-market trading following news that the social networking website will be added to three NASDAQ benchmark indexes before the market opens on Wednesday, December 12.
•    Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) unveiled plans to double its international footprint by 2015, and develop China into its second-largest market by 2014.
•    Drugstore chain Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) said November same-store sales fell 6.2 percent. Analysts were expecting a drop of 5.5 percent.
•    Liquor maker Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BF.A) (NYSE:BF.B) reported second-quarter profit of $173 million, or 80 cents a share, on net sales of $1 billion. Analysts expected the company to earn 78 cents a share on revenue of $1.05 billion.
•    Chipmaker Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR) said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to drop 8 percent to 10 percent from third quarter’s $495 million, due to weak demand for its older products.
•    Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) raised its quarterly dividend by a penny to 35 cents a share.
•    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigation certain stock sales by Steven Fishman, the chief executive officer of Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG), The Wall Street Journal reported.
•    Francesca’s Holdings Corp (NASDQA:FRAN) posted third quarter profit of $10.8 million, or 24 cents a share, on revenue of $72 million. Analysts were expecting the retailer to earn 22 cents a share on sales of $71.3 million.
•    Tibco Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX) provided fourth-quarter earnings and revenue outlook that missed Wall Street projections, sending shares sharply lower in early morning trade. The business software maker estimated adjusted earnings of 37 cents to 38 cents on revenue of between $292 million and $295 million that was lower than analysts’ expectations for earnings of 44 cents per share on revenue of $315.9 million.
•    The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) will buy Dutch tax consultancy Intertrust from private equity firm Waterland for a reported 675 million euros ($883 million), Reuters reported on Wednesday.
•    Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) plans to drill three more wells in shale formations in China, Joseph Geagea, President of Chevron Gas and Midstream, told Dow Jones Newswires.
•    Office supply retailer Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) announced a fourth-quarter dividend of 11 cents a share, payable on December 21, 2012, to shareholders of record on December 14, 2012.
•    Oil and natural gas pipeline operator Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (NYSE:PAA) has agreed to pay $500 million to buy four crude oil rail terminals from U.S. Development Group LLC.
•    AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) posted second quarter earnings of 39 cents a share on revenue of $80 million that easily beat the average analysts’ estimates of earnings of 22 cents a share on sales of $77 million.
•    Electronics company Powell Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:POWL) reported fourth quarter earnings of 99 cents a share on revenue of $184 million. Analysts had projected earnings of 65 cents a share on sales of $187 million. The company provided full-year revenue guidance that was below estimates, while earnings outlook was in the lower-range of forecasts.
•    Agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. said it is unlikely to add capacity to its cocoa grinding factory Ivory Coast, after the country’s government announced changes to export taxes.
•    Intrepid Potash, Inc. (NYSE:IPI) declared a special dividend of 75 cents a share.
•    Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG) gained 1.5 percent in early morning trade after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its “Conviction Buy” list.

Europe

•    Nokia Oyj (HEL:NOK1V) (NYSE:NOK) (AMS:NOKA) gained 3 percent, after the Finnish mobile-phone maker unveiled a new Windows-based Lumia handset for China’s largest wireless carrier, China Mobile Ltd. (HKG:0941) (NYSE:CHL).
•    Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) surged 4 percent after the British supermarket chain announced a “strategic review” of its U.S. Fresh & Easy business, and said Tim Mason, the unprofitable unit’s head, will leave.
•    Mining stocks gained in London trading following positive comments from China’s new leadership. The Communist Politburo said its supportive economic policy would remain in place in the near future. Kazakhmys plc (LON:KAZ) jumped 4 percent and Vedanta Resources plc (LON:VED) climbed 4.5 percent. Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (LON:ENRC) rose 3 percent, while Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) picked up 3.5 percent. Antofagasta plc (LON:ANTO) added 1.8 percent, as Rio Tinto plc (LON:RIO) (NYSE:RIO) (ASX:RIO) edged up 2.7 percent. BHP Billiton plc (LON:BLT) (NYSE:BHP) (ASX:BHP) was up 2.4 percent.
•    Italian oil major Eni SpA (BIT:ENI) (NYSE:E) gained 0.5 percent after discovering new gas resources in Mozambique.
•    Stagecoach Group plc (LON:SGC) jumped 3.6 percent in London after the public transport operator posted first-half pretax profit of 124 million pounds ($200 million) that beat the average analysts’ estimate of 114 million pounds.
•    BNP Paribas SA (EPA:BNP) edged 0.5 percent higher after Citigroup added the French lender to its Focus List Europe.
•    British wealth management firm Brewin Dolphin Holdings plc (LON:BRW) said full-year pre-tax profit climbed 36 percent to 29.9 million pounds from 21.9 million pounds, a year earlier, helped by strong equity markets and greater demand for its services.
•    Automakers, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (ETR:BMW) (FRA:BMW) rose 1 percent, and Daimler AG (ETR:DAI) (FRA:DAI) added 0.5 percent, as Citigroup lifted the European auto sector to “overweight.”
•    Unibail-Rodamco SA (EPA:UL), Europe’s largest publicly-trader property owner fell 1.8 percent in Paris after analysts at Morgan Stanley lowered the stock to “underweight,” a recommendation similar to sell, from “equal weight.”

Asia-Pacific

•    Ping An Insurance (Grp) Co of China Ltd. (HKG:2318) (SHA:601318) rallied 4.7 percent in Hong Kong after HSBC Holdings plc (LON:HSBA) (NYSE:HBC) sold its entire stake in China’s second-largest insurer to a group linked to Thailand’s richest man, Dhanin Chearavanont, for $9.38 billion.
•    Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said it sold a record 67,505 vehicles in China in November, up 56 percent from a year earlier, helped by strong demand for the Ford Focus.
•    Fast Retailing Co Ltd (TYO:9983) gained 3 percent in Tokyo after the market heavyweight reported strong November same-store sales at its Uniqlo outlets in Japan.
•    National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX:NAB) cut its variable mortgage rate by 20 basis points, the first major banks to make a move following yesterday’s Reserve Bank of Australia decision to cut the cash rate by 25 basis points.
•    China Vanke Co., Ltd. (SHE:200002) said November sales more than doubled to 17.13 billion yuan ($2.75 billion) compared to a year ago. Evergrande Real Estate Group Limited (HKG:3333) surged 9 percent after reporting November home sales of 11.8 billion yuan ($1.9 billion), compared with 1.2 billion yuan in the year-ago period.
•    Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) gained percent after the struggling TV maker said Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) will invest as much as $120 million in the Japanese firm.
•    Australian iron ore miner Sundance Resources Limited (ASX:SDL) tumbled 11.5 percent after it said its proposed $1 billion takeover by China’s Hanlong Mining would be delayed to the end of January.
•    China Southern Airlines Limited (HKG:1055) (SHA:600029) (NYSE:ZNH), the country’s largest carrier by passenger traffic, will buy 10 A330-300 aircrafts from Airbus, a unit of EADS NV (EPA:EAD), worth a catalogue price of $1.9 billion.

Economic Calendar for Wednesday, December 05, 2012:

07:00 A.M. ET:    MBA Purchase Applications (Week ending Friday, November 30)
08:15 A.M. ET:    ADP Employment Change (November)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Non-farm Productivity (Q3)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Unit Labor Costs (Q3)
10:00 A.M. ET:    Factory Orders (MoM) (October)
10:00 A.M. ET:    ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI (November)
10:30 A.M. ET:    EIA Petroleum Status Report (Week ending Friday, November 30)