- US: Dow Futures: 12815.00 (-0.50%), S&P 500 Futures: 1362.80 (-0.66%), NASDAQ Futures: 2643.25 (-0.34%)
- Europe: CAC: 3216.37 (-1.80%), DAX: 6680.00 (-1.17%), FTSE: 5667.62 (-0.82%)
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4199.10 (-0.18%), China: 2168.64 (-0.75%), Hong Kong: 19640.80 (0.42%), India: 5205.10 (-0.72%), Japan: 8669.87 (-1.45%).
- Metals: Gold: 1575.70 (-0.30%), Silver: 26.86 (-1.33%), Copper: 3.45 (-2.28%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 90.79 (-2.02%), Natural Gas: 3.04 (1.37%)
- Commodities: Corn: 7.92 (1.83%), Soya Bean: 16.82 (1.85%), Wheat: 9.36 (0.16%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2187 (-0.77%), GBP/USD: 1.5665 (-0.38%), USD/JPY: 78.5900 (-0.00%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.470% (-0.037)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures trading lower: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a lower open on Friday following the three-day rally, amid mixed corporate results, and investors concerns about the growing Spanish debt problems. The Dow futures, the S&P futures and the NASDAQ future are all trading close to half a percent lower.
European markets deep in the red: European markets are trading significantly lower with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading down 1.2 percent at 6680.00, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) slumped 0.8 percent to 5667.62, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) plunged 1.8 percent to 3216.37. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was down 1.8 percent.
Asian markets end lower: Asian markets closed lower on Friday with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closing down 1.4 percent at 8,669.87 points. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed up 0.4 percent on the day and 2.9 percent on the week at 19,640.8, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) ended down 0.7 percent on the day at 2,168.6. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index ended down 7.6 points at 4,199.1 points. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index fell 0.7 percent to 17,160.88 points.
Stocks in Focus
- General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) posted second quarter earnings, excluding one-time items, of 38 cents per share, one cent above estimates. Sales increased 2.5 percent to $36.5 billion, below Wall Street’s expectation of $36.8 billion. GE Capital profit rose 31 percent to $2.12 billion, while revenue declined 8 percent to $11.5 billion.
- Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE:SLB) reported second quarter net profit of $1.40 billion, or $1.05 per share, five cents above estimates, while revenue stood at $10.45 billion, in line Street expectations.
- Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX) posted second quarter earnings per share of 26 cents, in line with analysts’ estimates, while revenue for the quarter came in at $5.5 billion, slightly below Street expectations of $5.59 billion. The company also lowered its full-year outlook.
- Oilfield services provider, Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI), reported better than expected second quarter profit and revenue on increased drilling activity at its operations in Europe and the Middle East.
- Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE:STI) reported second quarter net income of $275 million, or 50 cents per share, topping expectations of 44 cents per share. Revenue increased 3 percent to $2.23 billion that also managed to beat Street estimates.
- Bank holding company, First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE:FHN) reported bigger than expected second quarter loss due to charges related to its mortgage repurchases. Total revenue fell 8 percent to $331.6 million that also trailed estimates of $358 million.
- American Electric Power Company, Inc. (NYSE:AEP) reported second-quarter earnings per share of 75 cents, beating the 72 cents a share estimate. Revenue for the quarter was flat at $3.6 billion versus the $3.57 billion estimate.
- Employment services provider, Manpower Inc (NYSE:MAN), posted second quarter earnings, excluding one-time charges, of 76 cents a share, 5 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue declined 8 percent to $5.21 billion, in line with Wall Street estimates. The Milwaukee-based company forecast third-quarter profit of 64 cents to 72 cents per share. Analysts were expecting 79 cents per share.
- Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), the world’s largest drug maker, said that a U.S. district judge upheld the validity of patents of its pain- drug, Lyrica, thereby blocking the generic versions of one of its best-selling drugs.
- Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) have settled a programming fee dispute which kept 17 Viacom channels off DirecTV for more than a week. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Bank holding company, Fidelity Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSBI), has agreed to be acquired by West Virginia-based WesBanco, Inc. (NASDAQ:WSBC) for $70.8 million.
- The board of oil and gas exploration and production company, Venoco, Inc. (NYSE:VQ), has extended the deadline for Chief Executive Timothy Marquez to secure finances to take it private, to August 31.
- eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) was upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase.
- · SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) was raised to “buy” by analysts at Jefferies, following second quarter earnings that beat estimates. The stock soared 11 percent in New York pre-market trading.
- Network-security company, Palo Alto Networks, priced its initial public offer at $42 per share, above the recently raised range of $38 to $40 per share.
- Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD), the world’s largest mobile operator by revenue, reported first-quarter service revenue that missed the average analysts’ estimates, as economic conditions in Europe worsened and growth in India slowed.
- French advertising agency, Publicis Groupe SA (EPA:PUB), predicted better performance for the rest of the year after posting weak numbers for the second quarter.
- Deutsche Post AG (ETR:DPW) (FRA:DPW), Europe’s largest mail carrier, may face a multi million-euro write-down in the current year, after mail-order company Neckermann filed for bankruptcy, German business daily, Handelsblatt reported.
- · Volkswagen-controlled Swedish truck maker, Scania AB (STO:SCV-B), posted a bigger than expected fall in second-quarter earnings amid lower sales and capacity utilization.
- Anglo-Swiss mining company, Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA), said the chief executive of its Alloys unit, Peet Nienaber, would retire at the end of September for personal reasons.
- Norwegian industrial and branded goods company, Orkla (STO:ORKO), reported second-quarter net income of 285 million kroner ($47 million) that missed the average analysts’ estimate of 727 million kroner.
- Goals Soccer Centres plc (LON:GOAL), the U.K.-based operator of outdoor soccer centers, accepted a 73.1 million pound ($115 million) buyout offer from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of Canada’s largest pension funds.
- German utility, RWE AG (ETR:RWE) (FRA:RWE), slumped 4 percent after analysts at UBS downgraded the stock to “sell” from “neutral.”
- French-listed aerospace and defense group, EADS NV (EPA:EAD), soared 3.7 percent after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to “buy.”
- Akzo Nobel N.V. (AMS:AKZA), the world’s largest paints maker, gained 1 percent in trade today, as Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to “neutral,” and analysts at HSBC and Nomura Securities increased their price targets.
- Analysts at Bank of America Corp. downgraded the ratings of British real estate investment trust, Hammerson plc (LON:HMSO), and property investment and development company, Segro plc (LON:SGRO), to “neutral” from “buy.”
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched the latest version of its popular iPad tablet in China on Friday, weeks after the technology giant paid $60 million to the Shenzhen-based company, Shenzhen Proview Technology Ltd, to settle a trademark lawsuit.
- Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX:S68) has denied media reports of a possible merger with the London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LON:LSE). The British newspaper, Daily Telegraph, had said that the two bourses were working at a potential 7.2 billion pound ($11.3 billion) merger.
- U.S. private equity group, TPG, is planning to table a 3 billion Australian dollars ($3.1 billion) bid for distressed Australian media company, Nine Entertainment Co., according to a report in The Australian Financial Review.
- Dutch brewer, Heineken N.V. (AMS:HEIA), has launched a 5.1 billion Singapore dollars ($4.1 billion) bid for Fraser and Neave Limited (SGX:F99)’s stake in Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd. (SGX:A46), trumping an offer made by a Thai billionaire and his family, earlier this week.
- Australia’s top lenders, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX:NAB), Westpac Banking Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:WBK) (ASX:WBC) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ), could be in for some tough time ahead due to a rise in bad loans, particularly from small-to-medium sized enterprises, according to a report by analysts at Nomura Securities.
- Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (ADR) (NYSE:MTU) (TYO:8306), which holds a stake of around 20 percent in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), slumped 3.4 percent, after the U.S. firm yesterday reported a 50 percent fall in second-quarter profit.
- China National Petroleum Corporation, the nation’s biggest oil producer, is in talks with the government of Ecuador over a potential investment in its $12.5 billion Pacifico refinery project.
- Aussie gas distributor, APA Group (ASX:APA), said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has approved its 1.1 billion Australian dollars ($1.1 billion) hostile bid for energy infrastructure investor Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund (ASX:HDF).
- Citic Securities Co Ltd (HKG:6030) (SHA:600030), the largest-listed Chinese brokerage, reported a 24 percent decline in first-half net profit slid to 2.25 billion yuan from the year ago quarter, according to a preliminary earnings statement.
- Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:TSM) (TPE:2330), the world’s largest contract chip maker, slid 1 percent in Taipei, after lowering its fourth quarter revenue forecast amid a weak global economy. Analysts at Credit Suisse have also slashed its earnings per-share estimate for 2012 by 4 percent and for next year by 5.3 percent.