- US: Dow Futures: 12641.00 (0.29%), S&P 500 Futures: 1334.00 (0.44%), NASDAQ Futures: 2589.00 (0.42%)
- Europe: CAC: 3068.17 (0.94%), DAX: 6414.42 (0.21%), FTSE: 5432.74 (-0.09%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4165.50 (-2.36%), China: 2346.19 (-1.22%), Hong Kong: 19259.83 (-3.29%), India: 4858.25 (-1.71%), Japan: 8801.17 (-1.12%).
- Metals: Gold: 1541.00 (-1.03%), Silver: 27.52 (-2.99%), Copper: 3.48 (-1.15%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 92.87 (-1.18%), Natural Gas: 2.61 (1.79%)
- Commodities: Corn: 5.94 (2.58%), Soya Bean: 12.91 (0.85%), Wheat: 6.08 (1.50%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2746 (-0.07%), GBP/USD: 1.5938 (0.39%), USD/JPY: 80.4550 (0.27%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.810% (0.045)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures climb: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a higher open on Wednesday as housing starts rose higher than expected at 2.6 percent in April. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ futures were all trading firmly in the green.
European markets mixed: European markets were mixed in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.2 percent higher at 6414.42, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) down 0.1 percent at 5432.74, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) was up close to a percent at 3068.17. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.53 percent higher.
Asian markets end lower: Asian markets lower on Wednesday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) falling 1.1 percent at to 8,801.17. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) closed down 3.19 percent at 19,259.83, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) ended 1.2 percent lower at 2,346.2 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index slid 2.4 percent to 4,165.5. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index fell 1.81 percent to 16,032.48 points.
Company News Update
- Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), the second-largest U.S. discount retailer, posted first quarter adjusted earnings of $1.11 a share, topping analysts’ estimates of earnings of $1.01 a share. Total revenues stood at $16.87 billion, which also beat street expectations.
- Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), the world’s largest maker of agricultural equipment, reported fiscal second quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates, and raised its full-year earnings forecast.
- General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) has agreed to acquire Australian mining-equipment maker Industrea Limited for about 700 million Australian dollars ($696.6 million), in an effort to increase its presence in the booming resources sector.
- · Teen-apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) reported first quarter profit of $3.0 million or 3 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimates, but revenue trailed expectations.
- Office supply company Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) reported 6 percent drop in first quarter net income to $187 million, but reiterated its full-year forecast.
- Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), the largest maker of equipment for computer networks, was upgraded to “overweight” from “equal weight” at Barclays Capital.
- Luggage maker Tumi Holdings Inc. (NYSE:TUMI) reported first quarter net income of $2.9 million or 6 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $0.1 million in the same quarter last year. Sales rose 21 percent to $80 million, in line expectations.
- French oil major Total S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:TOT) said that the gas leak at its North Sea Elgin platform, first reported on March 25, has been stopped after a twelve hour operation to pump heavy mud into the leaking well.
- Deutsche Lufthansa AG (FRA:LHA) is considering a bid for state-owned Portuguese carrier Transportes Aereos Portugueses SGPS SA, a leading European provider of flights to Brazil, as part of its efforts to strengthen its position in South America.
- EADS NV (EPA:EAD) said first quarter operating profit excluding one time items doubled to 480 million euros, and revenue increased 16 percent to 11.4 billion, beating analysts’ estimates, despite a hefty 158 million euros ($203 million) charge related to wing cracks on the A380 super jumbo.
- Banco Espirito Santo SA (ELI:BES), Portugal’s biggest publicly traded bank, reported a bigger than expected 84 percent slide in first quarter net profit to 11.6 million euros ($14.82 million), amid an economic slowdown in its domestic market.
- Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA, the second-biggest luxury goods company, reported full year profit of 1.54 billion euros, beating analysts’ estimates.
- Societe Generale SA (EPA:GLE) upgraded Credit Agricole SA (EPA:ACA) to “buy” from “sell” with a price target of 4 euros.
- China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL), the world’s biggest telecom carrier by subscribers, and the only Chinese operator to not carry the iPhone, is in talks with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to negotiate a deal for the iPhone.
- Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), Australia’s third-largest lender, is planning to invest an additional 300 million Australian dollars ($300 million) to expand its operations in China, the world’s fastest growing major economy.
- Taiwan-based HTC Corp (TPE:2498), Asia’s second-largest smart phone maker, said shipments to the U.S. were being held up by U.S. customs officials because of an exclusion order by the U.S. International Trade Commission.
- Jacques Nasser, Chairman of BHP Billiton Limited (ADR) (NYSE:BHP), the world’s biggest miner, expects commodity markets to ease further.
- Singapore-based agricultural commodities supplier Olam International Ltd. said third quarter profit fell 22.5 percent from a year earlier because of slowing demand.
- Toronto-listed coal miner, SouthGobi Resources Ltd (TSE:SGQ) (HKG:1878), which has significant operations in Mongolia, reported a first quarter net income of $3.1 million, or 2 cents a share, with revenue almost doubling to $40.2 million from $20.2 million in the year ago period.
- Australia’s top transport company Toll Holdings Limited (ASX:TOL) warned its earnings would fall this year due to a weakness in the retail sector.
Economic Calendar for Wednesday, May 16, 2012:
07:00 A.M. ET: MBA Purchase Applications (Week ending Friday, May 11, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Housing Starts (April)
08:30 A.M. ET: Building Permits (April)
09:15 A.M. ET: Industrial Production (April)
09:15 A.M. ET: Capacity Utilization (April)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Petroleum Status Report (Week ending Friday, May 11, 2012)
12:30 P.M. ET: St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks.
02:00 P.M. ET: FOMC Minutes