Morning Market News: NFLX, AIG, COO, MHP, WPO, SWHC, EA, MDT, CVC, TM
• US: Dow Futures: 13138.00 (0.57%), S&P 500 Futures: 1419.50 (0.46%), NASDAQ Futures: 2672.00 (0.68%)
• Europe: CAC: 3617.01 (0.42%), DAX: 7544.49 (0.13%), FTSE: 5917.71 (0.28%).
• Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4551.80 (0.94%), China: 2061.79 (1.58%), Hong Kong: 22191.17 (-0.26%), India: 5907.40 (-0.40%), Japan: 9527.39 (-0.19%).
• Metals: Gold: 1699.30 (-0.15%), Silver: 33.00 (-0.34%), Copper: 3.65 (0.23%)
• Energy: Crude Oil: 86.19 (-0.08%), Natural Gas: 3.62 (-1.20%)
• Commodities: Corn: 7.46 (-0.86%), Soya Bean: 14.84 (0.86%), Wheat: 8.57 (0.23%)
• Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2905 (-0.50%), GBP/USD: 1.6020 (-0.19%), USD/JPY: 82.6400 (0.29%)
• 10 year US Treasury: 1.616% (0.032)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures higher: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Friday following a better-than-expected non-farm payrolls report. The U.S. economy created 146,000 new jobs, and the unemployment rate slid to 7.7 percent in November, the Labor Department said on Friday. Economists were projecting an increase of 80,000 jobs, and unemployment rate holding steady at 7.9 percent.
European markets gain: European markets reversed from lows made earlier in the session, and is up on Friday after U.S. non-farm payrolls increased more than expected in November. But gains were capped as the German central bank lowered its growth outlook for the economy next year. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) was trading 0.2 percent higher at 7544.49, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) gained 0.3 percent to 5917.71 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) added 0.4 percent to 3617.01. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was up 0.1 percent.
Asian markets close mixed: Asian markets ended mixed on Friday as investors awaited U.S. non-farm payrolls data due later in the day. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) dropped 0.2 percent to 9,527.3. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) finished down 0.2 percent but ended higher for the week., while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) jumped 1.6 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index closed up 0.9 percent to 4,551 points. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index fell 0.5 percent.
Company News Update
• Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission was considering taking action against the company and it’s CEO Reed Hastings over a blog post he wrote on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) in July that coincided with the stock’s biggest gain in almost six weeks.
• American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) is in talks with a group of Chinese companies, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HKG:1398) (SHA:601398), to sell its aircraft leasing unit ILFC, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
• The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO) reported fourth quarter earnings of $1.47 a share on revenue of $396 million, trailing Street expectations for $1.55 a share on sales of $397 million. The company provided full-year outlook that was in line with estimates.
• Publishing company The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP) declared a special dividend of $2.50 a share, and said it will drop its previously announced plan to buy back up to $200 million in shares during the remainder of 2012.
• The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO) may begin to charge readers for access to its website from next year, the Wall Street Journal reported late yesterday, citing unnamed sources.
• CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS) is in advanced talks to acquire Brazilian drugstore chain Onofre, financial newspaper Valor Economico reported on Friday.
• Firearm maker Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:SWHC) reported second quarter earnings of 31 cents a share on revenue of $137 million. Analysts had projected earnings of 24 cents a share on revenue of $134 million. The company also provided better than expected current-quarter and full-year 2013 revenue guidance.
• Videogame stocks, including Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) and Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) could be in focus today after market research firm NPD reported that U.S. sales of videogame software fell 11 percent in November from the same period last year.
• Medical technology company Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT) said its board has approved a dividend of 26 cents a share, payable at the end of December.
• Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) will increase the price of its high speed Internet service by $5 a month in early 2013.
• Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE) President and Chief Executive David A. DeLorenzo will join Tokyo-based Itochu Corp (TYO:8001) when the roughly $1.7 billion deal to sell Dole’s worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses to the Japanese trading company is completed.
• C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHRW) raised its quarterly dividend by two cents to 35 cents per share.
• BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) plunged 15 percent in early morning trade after it announced plans to lay off 50 percent of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan to cut costs.
• Jewelry retailer Harry Winston Diamond Corporation (TSE:HW) (NYSE:HWD) reported third quarter profit of $3.4 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with a year-ago loss of $4.7 million, or six cents a share. Sales jumped 51 percent to $180.4 million. Analysts had forecast a per-share profit of 11 cents.
• Hospital operator HCA Holdings Inc (NYSE:HCA) declared a special dividend of $2 a share, payable on December 21, to shareholders of record as of December 17.
• CyberOptics Corporation (NASDAQ:CYBE) is planning to cut its global work force by 10 percent, amid declining revenues and weak demand for electronic goods.
• Utility company American Water Works Co., Inc. (NYSE:AWK) accelerated its quarterly dividend payout of 25 cents a share to December 28, to take advantage of the 2012 tax rates.
• Restaurant chain McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is up 1 percent in pre-market trading after it was lifted to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Janney Capital.
• Analysts at JPMorgan Chase upgraded Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) to “overweight” from “neutral.”
• AXA (EPA:CS) gained 0.3 percent after Bloomberg News reported that the French insurer is seeking buyers for some U.S. life insurance assets worth about $500 million.
• Norway’s’ Yara International (STO:YARO) agreed to buy a fertilizer business in Brazil from Bunge Limited (NYSE:BG) for $750 million in cash.
• Alcatel Lucent SA (EPA:ALU) (NYSE:ALU) fell 3 percent after the former industrial giant was removed from France’s benchmark equity index, the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1).
• Home builder The Berkeley Group Holdings plc (LON:BKG) jumped to a five-year high after reporting a 45 percent rise in first-half profit to 107.5 million pounds ($173 million) from 74 million pounds a year earlier.
• Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) (FRA:DTE) shed 3 percent after Germany’s biggest phone company cut its dividend. Deutsche Telekom said it will pay a dividend of 50 euro cents per share in 2013 and 2014, down from the 70 euro cents per share it will pay this year.
• Standard Chartered PLC (LON:STAN) (HKG:2888) moved lower in London after Jim Antos, an analyst at Mizuho Financial Group Inc., said the Asia-focused lender’s full-year pretax profit will be depressed by a settlement over U.S. regulators’ claims that it failed to comply with sanctions against Iran.
• Publicis Groupe SA (EPA:PUB) rose 1 percent after the French advertising group said it bought two different agencies in India for an undisclosed sum.
• Air France – KLM (EPA:AF) said November passenger traffic grew 2.2 percent from the year-ago period, helped by strong growth in Asia.
• William Demant Holding A/S (CPH:WDH) added 3.5 after UBS AG raised the stock to “buy” from “neutral,” and said the Nordic region’s largest maker of hearing aids will benefit from a market recovery next year.
• Norsk Hydro (STO:NHYO), Europe’s third-largest aluminum maker, lost 3 percent as Nomura Holdings Inc. lowered the stock to “reduce” from “neutral,” citing uncertainty in aluminum prices.
• Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS) declined 1.2 percent after Goldman Sachs cut Britain’s biggest clothing retailer to “sell” from “neutral.” Next plc (LON:NXT) was lifted to “neutral” from “sell” at Goldman Sachs.
• Toyota Motor Corporation (TYO:7203) (NYSE:TM) said it expects Japanese vehicle sales to fall by a fifth next year. The automaker is planning to lower its 2013 domestic sales target to 1.36 million units, down about 19 percent from its 1.67 million target for this year.
• People’s Insurance Co. (Group) of China Ltd. (HKG:1339), Hong Kong’s biggest initial public offering in two years, surged in its trading debut, as retail investors who missed out on the IPO bought the stock.
• Japan’s top mobile carrier NTT Docomo Inc (TYO:9437) reported a net drop of 40,800 subscribers in November, as users switched to smaller rivals Softbank Corp (TYO:9984) and KDDI Corp (TYO:9433), which unlike Docomo, support Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone.