Morning News: Facebook, Sprint, UnitedHealth, Microsoft, GSK, Novartis

Morning Market Update

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Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Monday include: Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK), Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS), Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN).

Hedge Funds: Small Firms Profit As Big Names Close In 2020

At the beginning of July, Lansdowne Partners, one of Europe's oldest and best-known hedge fund managers, announced that it was closing its flagship hedge fund after a run of poor performance. The closure is the latest in a string of high-profile hedge funds that have decided to shut up shop in recent years. Billionaire investor Read More

Market Levels:

US: Dow Futures: 15140.00 (0.42%), S&P 500 Futures: 1635.90 (0.53%), NASDAQ Futures: 2978.00 (0.73%)
Europe: CAC: 3828.70 (1.95%), DAX: 7995.83 (2.37%), FTSE: 6451.25 (1.17%)
Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4809.50 (-0.67%), China: 1958.27 (-2.40%), Hong Kong: 20582.19 (-1.32%), Japan: 14109.34 (-1.42%).
Metals: Gold: 1232.20 (1.61%), Silver: 19.14 (2.18%), Copper: 3.07 (0.28%)
Energy: Crude Oil: 102.75 (-0.46%), Natural Gas: 3.66 (1.27%)
Commodities: Corn: 4.95 (-2.67%), Soya Bean: 12.37 (-1.36%), Wheat: 6.61 (-1.20%)
Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2846 (0.13%), GBP/USD: 1.4925 (0.24%), USD/JPY: 101.1300 (-0.07%)
10-year US Treasury: 2.695% (-0.044)

Market and Economic News Update:

U.S. stock-index futures gain: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Monday as the second quarter earnings season kicks-off with Dow component Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) posting results after the closing bell. Analysts have forecast the aluminum producer to report earnings of 10 cents a share on revenue of $5.8 billion. On the economic front, consumer credit numbers for May are scheduled for release at 03:00 P.M. ET.

European markets rally: European stocks jumped in trade, lifted by the Friday Wall Street rally. In economic news, German industrial production fell 1.0 percent in May after three consecutive monthly increases. Separately, exports from the country declined 2.4 percent on the month in May. The CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) soared 2 percent to 3828.70, while the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) added 2.4 percent to 7995.83. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) gained 1.2 percent to 6451.25 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was up 2.3 percent in recent trading.

Asian markets end lower: Asian stocks closed lower on Monday amid a heavy sell-off in Chinese property and banking stocks. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) fell 2.4 percent after the Chinese government indicated tighter controls over credit to industries with excess production capacity. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) gave up gains made earlier in the day to end 1.4 percent lower. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index lost 0.7 percent as weak metals prices added pressure on resource stocks.

Stocks in News:

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)

The social network giant will officially roll out its search engine tool, “Graph Search” to U.S. users today, although a small fraction of its 1.1 billion users have had access to the beta version since January. Shares closed Friday at $24.37, and are up in recent pre-market trading.

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR)

Japan’s Softbank Corp (TYO:9984) has secured approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for its $21.6 billion bid to take control of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). U.S. antitrust and national security regulators earlier cleared SoftBank’s takeover bid. The FCC has also cleared Sprint’s offer to buyout the half of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) it doesn’t already own.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH)

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) is better positioned for the revamping of the U.S. healthcare system, and its stock could rise 40 percent over the next two years, Jack Hough wrote in Barron’s July 8 edition. According to Hough, UnitedHealth’s Optum line of businesses “will help drive down costs for its health plans, giving it a competitive edge.” Shares of UnitedHealth are up 22 percent for the year to date.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will shut down its internet television service MSN TV at the end of September. Microsoft had purchased the service, once known as Web TV, for $425 million in 1997 and re-branded it MSN TV in 2001. Microsoft cited the new ways to access the Internet including mobile phones and tablets as a contributing factor to the service’s demise.

GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK)

Shares of GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) will likely be in focus after the Wall Street Journal reported that GSK’s China sales staff allegedly bribed doctors to prescribe Botox. GSK officials declined to comment on the report. The news comes at a time when GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) and several other foreign drug makers are being investigated by Chinese regulators for possible price-fixing.

Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS), Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN)

The Swiss drug maker said its psoriasis treatment secukinumab was more effective in clearing skin than Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN)’s Enbrel. Regulatory submissions for the drug are on track for the second half of 2013. Novartis expects to present full results of the phase three study later this year.

Economic Calendar for Monday, July 08, 2013:

11:30 A.M. ET: 3-Month Bill Auction
11:30 A.M. ET: 6-Month Bill Auction
12:30 P.M. ET: TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index (June)
03:00 P.M. ET: Consumer Credit Change (May)