- US: Dow Futures: 12547.00 (0.36%), S&P 500 Futures: 1323.30 (0.38%), NASDAQ Futures: 2550.00 (-0.07%)
- Europe: CAC: 3093.34 (-0.67%), DAX: 6289.39 (-0.85%), FTSE: 5519.90 (-0.84%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4048.20 (-0.96%), China: 2260.88 (0.00%), Hong Kong: 18995.13 (-1.42%), India: 5146.05 (-0.37%), Japan: 8798.35 (-0.29%).
- Metals: Gold: 1569.60 (0.26%), Silver: 26.80 (-0.13%), Copper: 3.28 (-0.42%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 78.22 (0.03%), Natural Gas: 2.58 (-0.23%)
- Commodities: Corn: 5.62 (-2.61%), Soya Bean: 13.81 (-1.47%), Wheat: 7.12 (-0.53%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2540 (0.00%), GBP/USD: 1.5581 (-0.07%), USD/JPY: 80.3700 (0.11%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.643% (0.031)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures mixed: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a mixed open on Friday, and bank stocks are expected to rebound after the high-profile downgrade by Moody’s; but weak data from the euro zone are keeping investors cautious. The Dow futures and the S&P futures edged up modestly, while the NASDAQ future was marginally in the red.
European markets in the red: European markets are down in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.9 percent lower at 6289.39, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) down 0.8 percent at 5519.90, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) slid 0.8 percent to 3093.34. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.4 percent in the lower.
Asian markets end lower: Asian markets closed lower on Friday after weak manufacturing data from the United States and Europe increased fears of a slowdown in global growth. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) fell 0.3 percent to end at 8,798.35 points. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed down 1.4 percent at 18,995.13, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) was closed for a public holiday. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index shed 1 percent to end at 4,048.2. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index lost 0.4 percent to close at 16,972.41 points.
Stocks in Focus
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) jumped 2.2 percent in New York pre-market trading after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its credit rating by only two notches instead of the three that the ratings company had previously forecast.
- Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) will be in the spotlight today following the ratings downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service.
- Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) posted fourth quarter profit of $151.6 million, or $1.15 per share, in line with analysts’ estimate, but forecast same-store sales at its three main casual dining brands that was below its long-term range. The parent of Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse also announced a 16 percent dividend increase to 50 cents per share.
- Veteran Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund said that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is panning to make its own smartphone. The company has neither confirmed nor denied the assertion.
- Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) was down in early morning trade after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected a wider use for its blood thinner Xarelto.
- Transportation company Ryder Systems, Inc. (NYSE:R) lowered its earnings projection for the second quarter and fiscal year 2012, citing lower demand for its commercial rental vehicles.
- Medical-device maker Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT) has boosted its quarterly dividend by 7.2 percent to 26 cents per share from 24.25 cents per share.
- Casino operator Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) has won a court ruling that moves its legal battle with Japanese billionaire and former investor, Kazuo Okada back to Nevada state court, where it was first filed in February.
- A U.S. bankruptcy court judge has postponed his decision on a request by American Airlines, Inc. parent AMR Corporation to scrap labor union contracts.
- Cleveland-based real estate investment trust Associated Estates Realty Corporation (NYSE:AEC) will sell 5.5 million common shares in a secondary offering.
- Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) will replace Sara Lee in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) index after the close of trading on June 28.
- Arch Coal Inc (NYSE:ACI) has announced several plans to cut production, and will lay-off off 750 employees, amid a big fall in demand for coal-based electricity.
- Videogame maker Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) has been downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Citigroup Inc. The stock was trading 1.7 percent lower.
- Nomura Securities has cut the earnings per share estimates for advertising agencies, Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE:IPG) and Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC), citing the impact of unfavorable exchange rates.
- Houston, Texas-based Susser Petroleum Partners LP has filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday to raise up to $200 million in an initial public offering of its common stock.
- Banking stocks in Europe rebounded even as Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the debt ratings of 15 major financial firms. Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) (NYSE:CS), Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS), HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HBC) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS) were all off day’s lows.
- German drugmaker Bayer AG (ETR:BAYN) dropped 2.6 percent in trade today after Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) failed to secure approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to expand the use of their blood thinner Xarelto to prevent heart attacks and strokes in patients with acute coronary syndrome.
- Carlos Slim’s Mexican telecoms giant America Movil SAB de CV (ADR) (NYSE:AMX) has raised its stake in Koninklijke KPN N.V. (AMS:KPN) to 21 percent, from 8.7 percent as of yesterday.
- Analysts at Nomura cut the revenue estimate of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) after Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) said the current-generation Lumia handsets won’t be supported by its Windows Phone 8 operating system.
- Vedanta Resources plc (LON: VED) dropped 3 percent in London trading after the Business Standard reported that the Indian government will turn-down Vedanta’s offer to buy stakes in Hindustan Zinc Limited (NSE:HINDZINC) and Bharat Aluminium Co.
- Italian insurer Unipol Gruppo Finanziario SpA (BIT:UNI) will sell 1.7 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in premiums to meet demands from the competition watchdog.
- British-based recruitment services company Michael Page International plc (LON:MPI) was cut to “underperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse. The stock was down 6.6 percent in London trading. Marks and Spencer Group Plc (LON:MKS) also declined 3 percent after Exane BNP Paribas initiated coverage on the stock with an “underperform” rating.
- BHP Billiton Limited (ADR) (NYSE:BHP), the world’s largest miner, will invest 832.47 million Australian dollars ($845 million) to develop a new mine at its Illawarra coal operations in Australia’s New South Wales.
- Scandal-hit Olympus Corp (TYO:7733) is in talks with Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) for a 50 billion yen ($630 million) capital injection in return for a stake, Japanese business daily the Nikkei reported. A separate report in the Nikkei said Sony and Panasonic Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:PC) will joins hands to develop ways to mass produce next generation organic light emitting diode televisions.
- Chinese PC maker Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992) today refuted media reports that the company cut its shipment growth projection this year.
- Samsung Electronics Co. said it has launched an investigation into a complaint that a new Galaxy S III smart phone overheated and exploded in Ireland. Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III smart phones made its debut in the US on Thursday.
- Australian mining company Sundance Resources Limited (ASX:SDL) said the country’s Foreign Investment Review Board has cleared a $1.3 billion takeover of the company by Chinese group Hanlong.
- Nintendo Co., Ltd (TYO:7974), the world’s largest maker of video-game machines,