Morning Market Update

market news Morning News

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Friday include: NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ), The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS), Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P), KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL), Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), Aeropostale Inc (NYSE:ARO), Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL).

Market Levels:

US: Dow Futures: 14939.00 (0.01%), S&P 500 Futures: 1655.75 (0.06%), NASDAQ Futures: 3104.75 (0.10%)
Europe: CAC: 4057.81 (-0.03%), DAX: 8409.94 (0.14%), FTSE: 6480.01 (0.51%)
Asia-Pacific: Australia: 5123.40 (0.94%), China: 2057.46 (-0.47%), Hong Kong: 21863.51 (-0.15%), Japan: 13660.55 (2.16%).
Metals: Gold: 1372.50 (0.12%), Silver: 23.10 (0.26%), Copper: 3.34 (0.33%)
Energy: Crude Oil: 105.13 (0.10%), Natural Gas: 3.52 (-0.65%)
Commodities: Corn: 4.69 (0.97%), Soya Bean: 12.97 (0.85%), Wheat: 6.43 (0.51%)
Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3358 (0.02%), GBP/USD: 1.5562 (-0.17%), USD/JPY: 98.9200 (0.20%)
10-year US Treasury: 2.894% (0.008)

Market and Economic News Update:

U.S. stock-index futures largely unchanged: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a flat open on Friday as investors closely watch the Federal Reserve conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Chairman Ben Bernanke will not be present, but investors will still look for clues on when the central bank might start tapering its asset purchases program. Up ahead in the day, new home sales data for July will be out at 10 a.m. ET. Economists are projecting a 1.4 percent drop to an annualized rate of 490,000 units last month.

European markets mostly higher: European markets are up in trade following better than expected growth data from the U.K. The Office for National Statistics said U.K.’s gross domestic product expanded by 0.7 percent in the second quarter, up from the first estimate of a 0.6 percent rise. Analysts were expecting the GDP data to come in at 0.6 percent. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) edged 0.5 percent higher to 6480.01 points. The CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) was largely unchanged at 4057.81 points, while the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) added 0.1 percent to 8409.94. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was up 0.2 percent in recent trading.

Asian stocks end mixed; Nikkei up more than 2%: Asian markets struggled for direction in trade today. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) reversed early morning gains to hit a two-week low ahead of earnings results next week. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) was the best performer in the region after the dollar rose to a three-week against the yen. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index jumped to its highest level in a week as investors cheered upbeat Chinese manufacturing data.

Stocks in News:


Shares of NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) will likely be in focus today after falling in Thursday trade in the wake of the three hour trading outage. Shares, however, did manage to recover from its lowest levels of the session. According to reports, connectivity disruptions between NYSE Arca and the data-processing subsidiary of NASDAQ Stock Market caused the freeze.

The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS)

The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) reported second-quarter earnings of 64 cents per share, in line with estimates. Revenue rose 8 percent to $3.87 billion, edging past expectations for $3.83 billion. The apparel retailer also raised its full-year earnings outlook to $2.57 to $2.62 per share, and increased its annual dividend by 33 percent to 80 cents per share from 60 cents per share.

Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)

The online-radio company issued disappointing fiscal 2014 guidance, sending shares sharply lower in pre-market trading. Excluding certain items, the company sees earnings of between 0 and 5 cents per share for the year. Analysts were looking for earnings of 5 cents per share. However, second-quarter earnings of 4 cents per share topped Wall Street expectations. Revenue jumped 58 percent to $162 million, as the company continued to pick up listeners.


Reuters reported that the private equity firm will likely bid for Panasonic Corporation (TYO:6752)’s health care business, in a deal that could be worth as much as $1.5 billion. A consortium including Bain Capital is also said to be participating in the final round of bids next week. The Japanese company is expected to shortlist a bidder in early September for exclusive negotiations, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL)

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL) posted second-quarter earnings of 23 cents per share on sales of $807.1 million that easily beat the consensus estimate for earnings of 19 cents per share on revenue of $791.3 million. The chip company expects third quarter earnings of 23 cents to 27 cents per share versus current estimates for 24 cents per share. Shares were up more than a percent in the pre-open session.

Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX)

Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) has agreed to sell three of its high-cost gold mines in Western Australia to South Africa-based Gold Fields Limited (ADR) (NYSE:GFI) for $300 million. The sale is the latest move by Barrick to shore up its stretched balance sheet amid falling precious-metal prices and the high cost of mining Down Under.

Aeropostale Inc (NYSE:ARO)

The teen retailer posted second quarter loss excluding items of 34 cents per share, wider than the 24-cent loss analysts had projected. Net sales were down 6 percent, while same-store sales fell 15 percent from the same period last year. For the current quarter, Aeropostale Inc (NYSE:ARO) expects a net loss of 21 cent to 26 cents per share. Shares tanked in pre-market trading, following the earnings announcement.

Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT)

The medical-devices company raised its quarterly dividend by 7.7 percent to 28 cents per share. The dividend is payable on October 25, to shareholders of record at the close of business on October 4. The latest hike translates into a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis, with a yield of 2.10 percent. Shares of Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT) closed Thursday at $53.36, and were inactive in recent trading.

Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL)

The sporting goods retailer’s fiscal second-quarter profit jumped 12 percent, helped by higher sales despite a challenging market in the U.S. Excluding items, quarterly profit came in at 46 cents per share, one cent shy of estimates. Same store sales for the period rose a weaker than expected 1.8 percent, although the company remains confident of achieving a mid-single digit same-store sales gain for the year.

Economic Calendar for Friday, August 23, 2013:

10:00 A.M. ET: New Home Sales (MoM) (July)
10:00 A.M. ET: New Home Sales Change (MoM) (July)