US Wages Rise as Productivity Increases: Morning Update

US Wages Rise as Productivity Increases: Morning Update
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US Wages Rise as Productivity Increases: Morning UpdateEvery morning ValueWalk puts out a news report with the latest news in global stock markets, company news, and global economic news.

Market Action

  • US:  Dow Futures: 12806.00 (0.49%), S&P 500 Futures: 1348.50 (0.49%), NASDAQ Futures: 2603.25 (0.53%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3383.69 (0.62%), DAX: 6652.59 (0.29%), FTSE: 5785.58 (0.34%).
  • Metals: Gold: 1678.80 (0.40%), Silver: 33.09 (0.94%), Copper: 3.74 (0.01%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 105.12 (0.40%), Natural Gas: 2.30 (-2.16%)


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Market News Update

U.S. stock futures in the green after jobs report: Stock-index futures remained solidly in the green after data on private-sector employment came in slightly ahead of expectations and traders mulled upbeat news on the Greek debt deal. As of 8:20 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 45 points to 12789, S&P 500 futures gained 4.5 points to 1347 and NASDAQ 100 futures rose 10.5 points to
U.S. private sector adds more jobs than expected:  

Private businesses stepped up hiring more than expected in February, according to a widely-watched survey that is often seen as a herald for the crucial monthly employment data due on Friday. Pay roll processor ADP said Wednesday that private-sector employment increased by 216,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Economists had been expecting a rise of 208,000, according to Reuters.

US Wages Jump Amid Modest Productivity Gains:

The productivity of U.S. workers rose at a slower pace in the fourth quarter and labor costs jumped, indicating businesses are reaching the limit of wringing efficiency from their workforce. The measure of employee output per hour climbed at a 0.9 percent annual rate, after a 1.8 percent gain in the prior three months, revised figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Expenses per worker climbed at a 2.8 percent rate, more than twice as much as previously estimated.

U.S. mortgage applications fell last week:

Applications for U.S. home mortgages dipped last week as refinance demand sagged, though activity in home purchases picked up, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 1.2 percent in the week ended March 2.

Euro, European shares stabilize as Greek outcome awaited:

European shares steadied after two days of losses and the euro recovered from a 3-week low on Wednesday as markets await the outcome of the Greek debt restructuring deal, while worrying over the weaker outlook for the global economy. The euro, which plumbed a three-week low of $1.3103 late on Tuesday, was up 0.2 percent at around $1.3136 though it remains vulnerable to any news on the Greek debt deal.

Asian shares end lower:

Asian shares ended lower on Wednesday as Asian investors braced for news on whether Greece would succeed in restructuring its huge debt pile and evidence mounted of a weakening outlook for global economic growth. Japan’s Nikkei average fell for the third session as fears that Greece may not meet its bond swap deadline sapped risk appetite, while Brazil’s weaker annual growth added to fears of a slowdown in the global economy. The Shanghai Composite closed at 2,394.8 points, breaking through the key psychological level of 2,400 points and extending a 1.4 percent decline on Tuesday.

Gold advances:

Gold gained for the first time in four days in New York as some investors bought the metal after its drop to the lowest level in almost six weeks. Gold for April delivery gained 0.5 percent to $1,680.30 an ounce by 8 a.m. on the Comex in New York. It fell to $1,663.40 yesterday, the lowest since Jan. 25.

Oil rises in New York:

Oil climbed from the lowest price in more than two weeks in New York on forecasts that gasoline supplies are falling and employment increasing in the U.S., the world’s biggest consumer of crude. Oil for April delivery rose as much as 90 cents to $105.60 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $105.08.

Company News Update

  • Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) plans to end a network-sharing agreement with billionaire Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. (SKYT) wireless venture as early as next week, according to two people familiar with the plan.
  • Chrysler is recalling nearly 210,000 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles due to potential problems resulting from excessive corrosion that could lead to a loss of control by the driver.
  • According to reports, Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings has quietly met with some of the largest U.S. cable companies in recent weeks to discuss adding the online movie streaming service to their cable offerings, according to sources familiar with matter.
  • Delphi Financial Group Inc. (DFG) investors lost a bid to block a $2.7 billion buyout by rival insurer Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. as a judge rejected arguments that the deal was flawed because it unfairly enriches the company’s top executive.
  • HSBC (HSBA.L) has agreed to sell its general insurance businesses to French insurer AXA Group (AXAF.PA) and Australia’s QBE Insurance Group (QBE.AX) for $914 million in cash, as Europe’s biggest bank moves ahead with its plan to divest non-core assets.
  • Commodities trader Glencore (GLEN.L) is raising a $6 billion syndicated loan to back a $37 billion bid for miner Xstrata (XTA.L) and is also extending $11.85 billion of existing loans, banking sources said on Wednesday.
  • Adidas AG (ADS), the second-largest sporting-goods maker, forecast more modest growth in 2012 profit than analysts had predicted, sending the shares lower.
  • Vivendi SA (VIV), which began a review of its SFR wireless division last month, may eliminate hundreds of marketing and administrative positions to offset a projected slump in earnings of as much as 570 million euros ($749 million) at the unit, top union officials said.

Economic Calendar for Wednesday, March 07, 2012:


07:00 A.M. ET:    MBA Purchase Applications

08:15 A.M. ET:    ADP Employment Report

08:30 A.M. ET:    Productivity-Rev.

08:30 A.M. ET:    Unit Labor Costs – Rev

10:30 A.M. ET:    EIA Petroleum Status Report

03:00 P.M. ET:    Consumer Credit

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