- US: Dow Futures: 13088.00 (0.05%), S&P 500 Futures: 1404.80 (-0.02%), NASDAQ Futures: 2770.00 (-0.04%)
- Europe: CAC: 3427.08 (-0.78%), DAX: 6982.20 (-0.47%), FTSE: 5701.28 (-1.00%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4303.50 (-0.61%), China: 2043.65 (-0.76%), Hong Kong: 19429.91 (-0.67%), India: 5274.00 (0.39%), Japan: 8775.51 (-0.10%).
- Metals: Gold: 1696.90 (0.55%), Silver: 32.26 (2.62%), Copper: 3.49 (0.84%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 96.89 (0.44%), Natural Gas: 2.78 (-0.68%)
- Commodities: Corn: 8.05 (-1.11%), Soya Bean: 17.74 (-0.45%), Wheat: 8.94 (-1.66%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2566 (-0.21%), GBP/USD: 1.5866 (-0.13%), USD/JPY: 78.4300 (0.22%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.574% (0.025)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures largely unchanged: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a flat open on Tuesday, after a three-day weekend, as investors remained cautious ahead of a closely watched manufacturing survey, as well as an upcoming meeting of European Central Bank policy makers. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were all trading around the flat-line.
European markets trading lower: European markets are down in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.5 percent lower at 6982.20, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) down 1 percent at 5701.28 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) losing 0.8 percent at 3427.08. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.2 percent lower.
Asian markets end mostly lower: Asian markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closing 0.1 percent lower at 8,775.51 points. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) ended down 0.7 percent at 19,429.9, the lowest close since July 27, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) shed 0.8 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index eased 26.2 points to 4,303.5. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index ended up 0.3 percent.
Company News Update
- Chrysler, the automaker controlled by Fiat SpA (BIT:F), said U.S. sales rose 14 percent in August to 148,472 units from 130,120 in the same period last year.
- Dermatology specialist Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp (NYSE:MRX) has agreed to be acquired by Canadian specialty pharmaceutical company Valeant Pharmaceuticals Int (USA) (NYSE:VRX) (TSE:VRX) for $44.00 per share, or about $2.6 billion in cash.
- Pork and hog producer Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) reported first quarter profit of 40 cents per share, four cents below the average analysts’ estimates, while revenue came in at $3.09 billion, also trailing estimates of $3.15 billion. Operating margin in the fresh pork segment contracted to negative 1 percent in the quarter, from 3 percent in the year ago period.
- Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) reported fourth quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 41 cents per share, three cents above estimates. Sales for the quarter were flat at $1.61 billion. The food company also provided strong full-year outlook.
- Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) plans to debut a new tablet PC in the U.S. market on September 7, and said it won’t be drawn into a price competition with other sellers.
- Finnish smartphone maker Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) will start a free music streaming service in U.S. that will work exclusively on its Lumia handsets, in a fresh bid to win back customers from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has been upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” by analysts at JPMorgan Chase, while Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) has been downgraded to “underweight” from “neutral” by JPMorgan Chase.
- Business software maker Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) will appeal a damage award in a long-standing copyright infringement lawsuit against German rival SAP AG (ADR) (NYSE:SAP) (ETR:SAP) (FRA:SAP). Last month, the two firms agreed to a $306 million settlement.
- Food company General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) was down 1 percent in pre-market trading after analysts at JPMorgan Chase cut its rating to “neutral” from “overweight.”
- Videogame retailer GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) was upgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs to “buy” from “neutral,” citing significant upside in the stock.
- International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) was up 0.9 percent after it was upgraded to “overweight” from “equal weight” at Barclays.
- Coal company Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU) was downgraded by research analysts at Dahlman Rose to “hold” from “buy,” and the brokerage firm also slashed its outlook for metallurgical coal used in steel-making.
- German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG (ETR:LHA) (FRA:LHA) said that more than half of all domestic and inner-European flights had to be cancelled after flight attendants went on strike in Frankfurt and Berlin.
- British bank Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) slumped 1.3 percent after revealing plans to offload its insurance business, Direct Line. Separately, analysts at Investec have downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy.”
- Dutch supermarket operator Koninklijke Ahold N.V. (AMS:AH) rose 3.9 percent as the firm said it’s considering selling its 60 percent stake in Scandinavian retailer ICA AB.
- Mining stocks led the FTSE lower, with Kazakhmys plc (LON:KAZ) down 1 percent and Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA) slipping 1.7 percent. Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (LON:ENRC) lost 0.9 percent, while Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) traded 0.7 percent lower. Antofagasta plc (LON:ANTO) eased 0.7 percent, as Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RIO) (LON:RIO) (ASX:RIO) fell 1.7 percent.
- Construction-equipment rental company Ashtead Group plc (LON:AHT) reported a 76 percent surge in first-quarter underlying pretax profit and raised its full-year profit forecast.
- British telecoms giant Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD) shed 2.1 percent after analysts at brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein lowered its rating to “market perform” from “outperform.”
- Oilfield-services company Petrofac Limited (LON:PFC) jumped 1.7 percent after Credit Suisse raised the firm to “outperform” from “neutral.”
- British real estate firm Land Securities Group plc (LON:LAND) was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Exane BNP Paribas, while rival The British Land Company plc (LON:BLND) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG with a target price of 560 pence a share ($8.90).
- Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) closed 0.3 percent lower despite posting an 18 percent rise in monthly sales in Japan, last month. Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:HMC) (TYO:7267) sales fell 4.6 percent, while Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (TYO:7201) sales declined 7 percent, from a year earlier.
- Australian iron-ore producer Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) slashed its full-year capital spending by about a quarter and put its expansion plans on hold, amid weak demand in China and falling iron ore prices.
- Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (TPE:2317) Chairman Terry Gou is demanding a management role in Japanese TV maker Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) as part of an equity tie-up.
- Aluminum Corp. of China Limited (ADR) (NYSE:ACH) (HKG:2600) (SHA:601600) ended 0.3 percent lower in Hong Kong after dropping its $926 million bid for a majority stake in Mongolia-focused coal miner Southgobi Resources Ltd (HKG:1878), in the face of stiff political opposition in Ulan Bator.
- Banks were among the biggest losers in Sydney trading after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 3.5 percent. Westpac Banking Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:WBK) (ASX:WBC) slid 2.1 percent and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) dropped 2 percent.
- Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines (HKG:0670), the country’s second-largest carrier by passengers, will add new planes and expand international services, in a bid to accelerate passenger capacity growth to 10 percent in the second half, Bloomberg reported.
- Australia’s Nine Entertainment Co, which is owned by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, has sold its ACP Magazines division to German publisher, Bauer for about 500 million Australian dollars.
Economic Calendar for Tuesday, September 04, 2012:
09:00 A.M. ET: Markit Manufacturing PMI (August)
10:00 A.M. ET: ISM Manufacturing PMI (August)
10:00 A.M. ET: Construction Spending (July)
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
02:00 P.M. ET: Auto Sales
02:00 P.M. ET: Truck Sales