Market News: Facebook, J.C. Penney, Microsoft, Tiffany, Best Buy

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Morning Market Update 

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Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Tuesday include: Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACUR), Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM), Dean Foods Co (NYSE:DF), Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL), Amira Nature Foods Ltd (NYSE:ANFI)

Market Levels:

US:  Dow Futures: 14813.00 (-0.78%), S&P 500 Futures: 1638.75 (-0.98%), NASDAQ Futures: 3087.00 (-1.09%)
Europe: CAC: 4009.21 (-1.44%), DAX: 8303.69 (-1.58%), FTSE: 6450.91 (-0.64%)
Asia-Pacific: Australia: 5141.20 (0.11%), China: 2104.04 (0.36%), Hong Kong: 21874.77 (-0.60%), Japan: 13542.37 (-0.69%).
Metals: Gold: 1417.30 (1.74%), Silver: 24.48 (1.98%), Copper: 3.37 (1.49%)
Energy: Crude Oil: 108.36 (2.30%), Natural Gas: 3.46 (-1.39%)
Commodities: Corn: 4.98 (-0.45%), Soya Bean: 13.85 (-0.29%), Wheat: 6.67 (0.04%)
Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3332 (-0.27%), GBP/USD: 1.5486 (-0.58%), USD/JPY: 97.4600 (-1.07%)
10-year US Treasury: 2.755% (-0.030)

Market and Economic News Update:

U.S. stock-index futures decline: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a sharply lower open on Tuesday after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry signaled potential U.S. military action in Syria in response to suspected chemical attacks in the country. In economic news, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities rose 12.1 percent in June from the same period last year, matching economists’ forecasts.

European markets slump: European markets are down in trade amid investor concerns of a possible U.S.-led military response against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. On the economic front, the German Ifo Business Climate index rose to 107.5 in August, above analysts’ expectations of 107.0.  The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) edged 0.6 percent lower to 6450.91 points. The CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) and the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX), both tumbled close to 1.5 percent. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was down 1.7 percent in recent trading.

Asian stocks end mixed: Asian markets struggled for direction in a choppy session of trade today. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) rose above the 2100-mark after official data showed industrial profits rose 11.6 percent in July from a year earlier. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) fell 0.7 percent, hurt by steep losses in retail stocks. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index managed to eke out a gain of 0.1 percent despite some weak earnings announcements.

Stocks in News:

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)

Shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will likely be in focus on Tuesday after three successive days of gains that put the stock closer to testing its all-time high of $45 set on the day of its market debut on May 18, 2012. Shares rose 2 percent to close Monday trading at $41.34 after hitting $41.94 intraday. Last month, the social media company reported second-quarter results that were significantly better than Wall Street estimates, sending shares up 45 percent since its earnings release.

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)

Activist investor Bill Ackman‘s Pershing Square Capital Management LP sold its entire stake in the retailer, nearly two weeks after he resigned from the board following a public spat with fellow directors. Shares tumbled in recent trading. Pershing Square sold 39.1 million shares to Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), which is now offering the shares to other investors, with Dow Jones reporting that Citigroup would be offering the shares at between $12.50 and $12.90 apiece. The sale marks the end to the hedge fund’s efforts to breathe new life into the Plano, Texas-based retailer.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has slashed its fiscal 2013 estimate of Xbox One console shipments to 6.2 million, compared with original estimates of 7.0 million, according to certain media reports in China. Separately, the company announced that reporters will not be allowed to cover its September 19 analyst meeting in person, and will instead have to watch the event via webcast.

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF)

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF)’s second-quarter profit rose to $106.8 million, or 83 cents a share, from $91.8 million, or $72 cents a share, in the same period last year. The jewelry company’s revenue increased to $925.9 million, from $886.6 million, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting earnings of 74 cents a share on sales of $941.5 million. In addition, the company raised its full-year earnings guidance to a range of $3.50 to $3.60 per share from its earlier view of $3.43 to $3.53 per share.

Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY)

Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) founder and largest shareholder, Richard Schulze, has informed the world’s largest consumer electronics chain about his plan to start selling its stock starting this fall, as part of his personal long-term strategy for asset diversification and liquidity, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late Monday. The sale of shares is set to begin on October 1.

Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACUR)

The specialty pharmaceutical company said a mid-stage study of its painkiller drug made with abuse-deterrent technology, titled Aversion, did not show statistically significant results in reducing likeability among users. As a result, the company said it expects a delay in the submission of a New Drug Application for Aversion H&A. Shares plunged in early-hours trading.

Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM)

Higher poultry prices helped Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) more than double its third-quarter profit, sending shares higher in recent trading. For the quarter ended July 31, the company posted a profit of $67.9 million, or $2.95 a share, compared with $28.7 million, or $1.25 a share, a year-earlier. Revenue jumped 18 percent to $739 million. Analysts had most recently forecast per-share earnings of $2.62 on sales of $722 million.

Dean Foods Co (NYSE:DF)

Dean Foods Co (NYSE:DF) reiterated its third-quarter earnings guidance, accounting for the impact of the food and beverage company’s 1-for-2 reverse stock split. Dean Foods reaffirmed its forecasts for third quarter adjusted earnings of 10 cents to 16 cents per share, and 94 cents to $1.06 per share for fiscal 2013. Shares edged higher in pre-market trading trading.

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (NYSE:JLL)

The real-estate services firm has agreed to acquire privately-held Houston-based property management company Means Knaus Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed. The acquisition will boost Jones Lang’s commercial real estate portfolio by about 16 million square feet, primarily in Houston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, and Los Angeles. Shares were unchanged in early-hours trading.

Amira Nature Foods Ltd (NYSE:ANFI)

Amira Nature Foods Ltd (NYSE:ANFI)’s fiscal first-quarter profit more than doubled, helped by higher volume and prices, sending shares higher in recent trading. For the quarter ended June 30, the maker of Indian specialty rice recorded a profit of $7.3 million, or 21 cents a share, up from $3.3 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, earnings were 21 cents a share, easily topping the consensus estimate of 10 cents a share. Revenue increased 38 percent to $110.3 million, also edging past expectations for $99 million.

Economic Calendar for Tuesday, August 27, 2013:

07:45 A.M. ET:    ICSC-Goldman Store Sales
08:55 A.M. ET:    Redbook Index
09:00 A.M. ET:    S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (YoY) (June)
10:00 A.M. ET:    Consumer Confidence (August)
10:00 A.M. ET:    Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index (August)
11:30 A.M. ET:    4-Week Bill Auction
01:00 P.M. ET:    2-Year Note Auction

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