Morning Market News: Updates on MSFT, VZ, MS, FB, WLP, EBAY, GRPN

Morning Market News: Updates on MSFT, VZ, MS, FB, WLP, EBAY, GRPN

Market Levels



  • US:  Dow Futures: 12676.00 (-0.27%), S&P 500 Futures: 1329.50 (-0.60%), NASDAQ Futures: 2556.00 (-0.31%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3070.14 (-0.57%), DAX: 6242.90 (0.22%), FTSE: 5481.67 (0.05%).
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4136.90 (1.96%), China: 2316.05 (0.40%), Hong Kong: 19427.81 (1.00%), India: 5064.25 (-1.46%), Japan: 8721.02 (1.74%).
  • Metals: Gold: 1618.80 (-0.57%), Silver: 28.26 (-1.69%), Copper: 3.37 (-0.43%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 82.74 (-1.54%), Natural Gas: 2.68 (-0.88%)
  • Commodities: Corn: 5.13 (-1.69%), Soya Bean: 13.24 (0.65%), Wheat: 6.58 (-1.69%)
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2603 (-0.28%), GBP/USD: 1.5653 (-0.39%), USD/JPY: 79.0500 (0.41%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.565% (-0.012)   


Financial and Economic News Update



U.S. stock-index futures fall: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a lower open on Monday, as concerns about the rising borrowing costs in Spain, outweigh the optimism following the victory of the pro-bailout parties in the Greek election. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.3 percent, the S&P 500 was down 0.6 percent and the NASDAQ futures were up close to 0.3 percent.


European markets wobble: European markets are mixed in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.2 percent higher at 6242.90, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) up 0.1 percent at 5481.67, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) slid 0.6 percent to 3070.14. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 1.2 percent lower.



Asian markets end higher: Asian markets closed higher on Monday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) up 1.8 percent to 8,721.02. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) ended up 1 percent at 19,427.8, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) gained 0.4 percent to end at 2,316.1 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index soared 2 percent to 4,136.9. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index was the worst performer in the region, and fell 1.4 percent to 16,712.69 points.


Stocks in Focus




  • Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expected to announce the launch of a new tablet computer that will run on the new version of its Windows operating system.
  • An article in the Wall Street Journal this morning says that certain decisions made by Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) may have contributed to some of the problems experienced during Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s botched initial public offering.
  • Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) will cut the price of its highest-speed Internet service by half. It will cut the price of the 150 megabits per second (mbps) service from $209.99 to $99.99 per month, and will introduce a new 300 mbps service for which it will charge $209.99 a month.
  • Dreamworks Animation Skg Inc (NASDAQ:DWA)’s “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” has hung on to the number one spot at the movie box office for the second consecutive weekend.
  • Pet supplies retailer Petsmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PETM) raised its quarterly dividend by 18 percent to sixteen and a half cents a share from fourteen cents a share, and authorized a new $525 million share buyback program.
  • Yamana Gold Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AUY), Canada’s third-largest producer of the metal by market value, has agreed to acquire Extorre Gold Mines Ltd (NYSEAMEX:XG) for about 414 million Canadian dollars ($404.1 million) in a cash-and-stock deal.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has requested Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMLN) to provide more data on its application involving its diabetes drug metreleptin.
  • Health insurer WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) has agreed to pay $90 million to resolve a lawsuit relating to the conversion of its Anthem unit from a mutual company to a stock-based company. Following this settlement, the company reduced its full year earnings forecast by eight cents a share.
  • Keefe, Bruyette & Woods has initiated coverage on eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) with an “outperform” rating. The stock is trading flat in New York pre-market trading.
  • Daily deal provider Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) has been upgraded to “overweight” from “equal weight” at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). The stock is up 4.6 percent.
  • The board of American River Bankshares (NASDAQ:AMRB) has authorized the repurchase of up to 6 percent of the outstanding common stock during 2012, up from the previous amount of 5 percent of the outstanding shares announced on January 26.



  • German stock market operator Deutsche Boerse AG (ETR:DB1) has requested a European Union court to overturn a ban on its proposed merger with NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX), arguing that the regulators made crucial errors when reviewing the deal. The European Commission blocked the $9.5 billion deal on competition grounds.
  • Spain’s two largest banks, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (ADR) (NYSE:BBVA) and Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:SAN) were down in trade today amid a surge in the country’s borrowing costs.
  • British power-systems company Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (LON:RR) has signed a contract worth more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) with the U.K. Ministry of Defense to deliver reactor cores for the country’s next generation of nuclear-powered submarine fleet.
  • UK telecommunications operator Cable & Wireless Worldwide PLC (LON:CW) has secured approval for the £1.04 billion pound ($1.63 billion) takeover by mobile giant Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD), after its’s largest shareholder, Orbis Investment Management Ltd., dropped its opposition, and backed the deal.
  • Hong Kong investor Henry Cheng Kar-Shun’s Knight Dragon investment company agreed to buy a 60 percent stake in UK property developer Quintain Estates and Development plc (LON:QED)’s Greenwich Peninsula venture for around £150 million.
  • Swiss wealth manager Julius Baer was raised to “neutral”, the equivalent of “hold”, from “underweight” at HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HBC)




  • Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ), Australia’s second-largest newspaper publisher, and owner of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, said it will slash 1,900 jobs over the next three years, as part of a major overhaul to cut costs and halt a slide in revenue.
  • Exchange operator Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Limited (HKG:0388) slumped 4.5 percent in trade today, as analysts voiced concerns about its decision to pay $2.2 billion for the London Metal Exchange (LME). Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing has however defended its purchase price.
  • Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) received a shot in the arm after the Malaysian government dismissed an appeal by local residents against its controversial rare earth processing plant in the country.
  • Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) was upgraded to “hold” from “sell” at Deutsche Bank AG (FRA:DBK). The stock rallied 5.6 percent in Tokyo trading.
  • Australian food and beverage company Lion, owned by Japan’s Kirin Holdings Company, Limited. (TYO:2503) has agreed to buy out Perth-based boutique brewer Little World Beverages Limited (ASX:LWB) for $256 Australian million ($257 million).
  • Nordic diary group Arla Foods has acquired a 6 percent stake in China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited (HKG:2319), the country’s largest milk producer by sales volume, from private-equity firm Hopu Investment Management Co.

 Economic Calendar for Monday, June 18, 2012:


10:00 A.M. ET:    NAHB Housing Market Index (June)

11:00 A.M. ET:    4-Week Bill Announcement

11:30 A.M. ET:    3-Month Bill Auction

11:30 A.M. ET:    6-Month Bill Auction