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Morning Market News: AAPL, ZNGA, EA, WMT, ODP, LOW, DB, EBAY, QCOM, DB

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Morning Market News: AAPL, ZNGA, EA, WMT, ODP, LOW, DB, EBAY, QCOM, DB

Every morning we puts out a news report with the latest news in global stock markets, company news, and global economic news.

Morning Market Update

Market Levels

* US: Dow Futures: 13506.00 (-0.09%), S&P 500 Futures: 1457.10 (-0.13%), NASDAQ Futures: 2850.50 (0.01%)

* Europe: CAC: 3559.31 (-0.63%), DAX: 7398.38 (-0.19%), FTSE: 5898.67 (-0.27%).

* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4402.50 (0.28%), China: 2078.50 (-2.18%), Hong Kong: 20658.11 (0.14%), India: 5610.00 (0.58%), Japan: 9159.39 (0.00%).

* Metals: Gold: 1773.10 (0.02%), Silver: 34.64 (-0.05%), Copper: 3.80 (-0.94%)

* Energy: Crude Oil: 98.87 (-0.13%), Natural Gas: 2.90 (-1.33%)

* Commodities: Corn: 7.66 (1.10%), Soya Bean: 17.03 (-0.54%), Wheat: 9.06 (2.60%)

* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3126 (-0.02%), GBP/USD: 1.6247 (0.19%), USD/JPY: 78.7300 (0.45%)

* 10 year US Treasury: 1.854% (-0.012)

Financial and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures largely unchanged: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a flat open on Monday following the sharp rally last week, set-off by the Federal Reserve’s decision to launch another round of quantitative easing. On the economic front, factory activity in New York declined to minus 10.41 in September, its lowest level in nearly three and a half years, according to the New York Federal Reserve. Economists were expecting a reading of minus 2. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were all trading close to the flat-line.

European markets in the red: European markets are down in trade today with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.2 percent lower at 7398.38, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) down 0.3 percent at 5898.67 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) slid 0.6 percent to 3559.31. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.4 percent lower.

 Asian markets end mostly higher; China down: Asian markets closed mostly higher on Monday, with the HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) up 0.1 percent at 20,658.1. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index rose 12.5 points to 4,402.5, its highest close since May 3. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index rose 0.4 percent. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) slumped 2.1 percent, its worst loss since July 9. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) was closed for a public holiday.

Company News Update


* Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was up close to a percent in early morning trade after AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) said sales of the new iPhone 5 set a record over the weekend. Meanwhile, analysts at BMO Capital Markets raised its price target on the stock to $750 from $680.

* Social-media gaming company Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has countered a copyright-infringement lawsuit filed against it by Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) with its own allegations that EA tried to pressure Zynga into a non-hire agreement.

* Wall-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is likely to be a big beneficiary of the Indian government’s decision to open up foreign investment in retail, at a time when European retailers are struggling amid the region’s debt crisis, according to a Bloomberg report.

* Activist hedge fund Starboard Value has acquired a 13.3 percent stake in office supply retailer, Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP), making it the biggest shareholder of the company, according to a regulatory filing.

* Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) might be in focus today after it withdrew its July 8 offer to buy Canada’s Rona Inc. for C$14.50 ($14.90) a share.

* Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) has named Jon Eilbeck as chief operating officer of the bank’s asset and wealth management business.

* Industrial conglomerate Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) has agreed to buy diagnostics company IRIS International, Inc. (NASDAQ:IRIS) for $19.50 a share, or about $355 million in cash.

* Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATNI) has raised its quarterly dividend by 9 percent to 25 cents per share.

* Independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company EPL Oil & Gas Inc (NYSE:EPL) will acquire some shallow water Gulf of Mexico assets from privately held Hilcorp Energy for $550 million.

* RBC Capital Markets has boosted its price target on online auction company, eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), to $57 from $47.

* Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Citigroup with a target price of $49.

* BMO Capital Markets raised its target price on telecommunications equipment company, Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), to $78 from $77.


* H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (STO:HM-B), the world’s second-largest fashion retailer, reported lower-than-expected third quarter sales as extreme heat wave in a number of European markets kept shoppers away. Revenue excluding value-added for the third quarter stood at 28.8 billion kronor against analysts’ expectations of 29.8 billion-kronor.

* London-listed platinum miner Lonmin Plc (LON:LMI) has slashed its full-year platinum sales forecasts due to the strike at its Marikana mine in South Africa. The world’s third-largest platinum producer now expects sales of between 685,000-700,000 ounces of platinum, compared to earlier forecast of 750,000 ounces.

* Italian broadcaster Telecom Italia Media SpA (BIT:TME) soared 14 percent amid reports that several companies, including Mediaset SpA (BIT:MS), the film and television giant controlled by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, had expressed an interest in buying the company.

* Swedish steelmaker SSAB AB (STO:SSAB-A) tumbled 8 percent after it forecast third quarter operating loss of about 700 million kronor ($106.7 million) due to a dip in demand.

* Debt-ridden U.K. pubs chain Punch Taverns plc (LON:PUB) could be taken over by its lenders in exchange for a debt write-off, the Sunday Times reported without citing sources.

* British telecom company BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) (LON:BT.A) fell 1.6 percent after analysts at Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “outperform.”

* Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (LON:RB) said that chief financial officer, Liz Doherty, will step down, and will be replaced by Adrian Hennah, the current chief financial officer of Smith & Nephew plc (ADR) (NYSE:SNN) (LON:SN).

* Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK) (FRA:DBK) slumped 1 percent in Frankfurt amid a downgrade to “underperform” from “neutral” by analysts at Credit Suisse.

* Consumer goods giant Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) (LON:ULVR) gained 1 percent in London after UBS AG lifted the stock to “buy” from “neutral.”


* Japanese companies, Canon Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:CAJ) (TYO:7751), Panasonic Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:PC) (TYO:6752) and Lion Corporation (TYO:4912) are halting some Chinese production after violent anti-Japanese protests in the country over the weekend raised concerns about employee safety, the Nikkei business daily reported on Monday.

* China Construction Bank Corporation (HKG:0939) (SHA:601939), the country’ second largest bank by assets, is looking to spend as much as $15 billion to acquire all or part of a bank in Europe, according to a report in The Financial Times.

* Troubled Australian iron-ore producer Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) could sell a stake in the company to its largest customer, Chinese steel maker Baosteel, according to The Australian Financial Review.

* Chinese property stocks ended deep in the red after home sales declined 4.7 percent in the week ended September 14 in the 58 cities tracked by Shanghai-based investment advisory company, CEBM Group. China Vanke Co., Ltd. (SHE:200002) the country’s largest developer tanked 2 percent, while Poly Real Estate Group Co., Ltd (SHA:600048), the second-biggest developer, plunged 7 percent.

* Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) (LON:VOD) may make a provision for capital gains tax in India on its 2007 acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HKG:0013)’s Indian operations, Chief Financial Officer Andy Halford told Bloomberg in an interview.

* Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992) has agreed to buy Brazilian electronics maker CCE, according to a securities filing.

* Australian construction firm Leighton Holdings Limited (ASX:LEI) jumped 8.4 percent after it reported the first large scale production of drinking water at its much-delayed Victorian desalination plant.

Economic Calendar for Monday, September 17, 2012:

 08:30 A.M. ET: New York Empire State Manufacturing Survey

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

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