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Morning Market Update  

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Friday include: Endo Health Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:ENDP), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI), Liberty Media Corp (Capital) (NASDAQ:LMCA), Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ:PRGS), Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR), Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL), Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA) and Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG).

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow Futures: 13334.00 (0.11%), S&P 500 Futures: 1456.30 (0.19%), NASDAQ Futures: 2729.75 (0.16%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3716.93 (-0.11%), DAX: 7760.64 (0.05%), FTSE: 6072.84 (0.42%)
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4723.80 (-0.36%), China: 2276.99 (0.35%), Hong Kong: 23331.09 (-0.29%), India: 6016.15 (0.11%), Japan: 10688.11 (2.74%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1640.60 (-2.03%), Silver: 29.55 (-3.81%), Copper: 3.68 (-0.94%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 92.19 (-0.79%), Natural Gas: 3.25 (1.63%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 6.89 (-0.22%), Soya Bean: 13.88 (-0.32%), Wheat: 7.56 (-0.17%)
•    Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3048 (-0.01%), GBP/USD: 1.6038 (-0.43%), USD/JPY: 87.8400 (0.69%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.935% (0.023)

Market and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures modestly higher: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Friday following a slightly better-than-expected monthly jobs report. U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said today. Economists had projected that 150,000 jobs were created in December. The unemployment rate edged higher to 7.8 percent. Two other important reports, factory orders for November and the ISM non-manufacturing report for December are scheduled for release at 10 A.M. ET.

European markets mixed: European markets are mixed in a choppy session on Friday. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) gained 0.1 percent to 7760.64 points, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) added 0.4 percent to 6072.84 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) lost 0.1 percent to 3716.93 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was flat in Friday trading.

Asian markets end mostly higher: Asian markets closed higher on Friday, with the NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) playing catch-up with the region on its first trading day of 2013 and closing 2.7 percent higher. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) closed down 0.3 percent for the day, but up 2.9 percent this week at 23,331.1, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) edged 0.4 percent higher on Friday and was up 2 percent for the week. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index fell 16.9 points to 4,723.8. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index finished largely unchanged in trade today.

Stocks to Watch

Endo Health Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:ENDP)

Endo Health Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:ENDP) said it expects its full-year 2012 adjusted earnings to be at or below the low end of the $5 and $5.10 a share range. Endo Health Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:ENDP) also said full-year 2013 earnings should be between $4.40 and $4.70 a share, ex-items, and revenue of between $2.80 billion and $2.95 billion. Shares of Endo Health Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:ENDP) tanked 4 percent in pre-market trading.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) have reportedly shown interest in eye-care company Bausch & Lomb Inc. Warburg Pincus LLC, which took Bausch & Lomb private in 2007, is seeking at least $10 billion, Bloomberg reported citing people with knowledge of the situation. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has retained Morgan Stanley as a financial adviser to consider a possible bid for Bausch & Lomb, while French pharmaceutical company Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) is working with Evercore Partners Inc. (NYSE:EVR). Representatives at Bausch & Lomb, Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Evercore Partners Inc. (NYSE:EVR), declined to comment on the process.

Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI), Liberty Media Corp (Capital) (NASDAQ:LMCA)

Liberty Media Corp (Capital) (NASDAQ:LMCA) has received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to take full control of the satellite radio operator, Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI). Liberty Media Corp (Capital) (NASDAQ:LMCA), which currently, holds a 49.8 percent stake in Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI), said it expects to complete the transfer of control within 60 days. Liberty Media Corp (Capital) (NASDAQ:LMCA) was inactive before open. Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) rose 2 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $3.08.

Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ:PRGS)

Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ:PRGS) reported fourth quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 42 cents a share, topping expectations for 34 cents a share. Revenue fell short of expectations. Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ:PRGS) said it expects its current quarter results to show flat revenue growth as compared to the same period last year. Shares of Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ:PRGS) shed 4 percent in pre-market trading.

Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR)

Movie rental kiosk maker Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR) said its Chief Executive Officer Paul Davis will retire at the end of March and will be succeeded by Scott Di Valerio, the company’s current Chief Financial Officer. Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR) also reaffirmed its fourth-quarter outlook. The company had earlier forecast earnings of 62 cents per share to 77 cents per share on revenue of $552 million to $602 million. Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR) fell in early trade.

Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL)

Athletic apparel retailer Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL) reported a breakeven third quarter, versus analysts’ expectations of earnings of 10 cents per share profit. The company said a less-than-favorable response to its new e-commerce site and a shift in athletic footwear trends hurt sales. Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL) also projected fourth-quarter earnings of 74 cents to 78 cents a share, compared to analysts’ estimates of 82 cents a share. Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL) shares tumbled 5 percent before the opening bell.

Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC)

Fast-food chain Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC) reported first quarter earnings of 11 cents a share, edging past analysts’ estimates by a penny a share, on revenue of $126 million, in line with Street expectations. Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC)’s same-store sales increased 3 percent during the period, with growth of 4.2 percent at company drive-ins and 2.9 percent at franchise drive-ins. In addition, Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC) said it expects full-year 2013 same-store sales gains in the low single-digit range. Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC) shares fell close to 3 percent in pre-market trading.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA)

German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG (FRA:BAYN) (ETR:BAYN) has received regulatory approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to complete the acquisition of the U.S.-based animal health business of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA). Bayer AG (FRA:BAYN) (ETR:BAYN) announced the deal last September, under which it will pay Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA) $60 million upfront payment plus up to $85 million in milestone payments linked to the successful and timely achievement of manufacturing and sales targets. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA) moved higher in pre-market trading.

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG)

Specialty gases distributor Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG) has acquired industrial gas and welding supply companies Metroplex Service Welding Supply and Excel Welding & Industrial Supplies for an undisclosed sum. Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG) has so far acquired 15 businesses with aggregate annual revenues of more than $94 million since the beginning of its fiscal year. Shares of Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG) closed at $93.78 on Thursday, and were inactive in early trade.

Economic Calendar for Friday, January 04, 2013:

08:30 A.M. ET:    Average Hourly Earnings (MoM) (December)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Average Weekly Hours (December)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Average Hourly Earnings (YoY) (December)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Non-farm Payrolls (December)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Unemployment Rate (December)
10:00 A.M. ET:    Factory Orders (MoM) (November)
10:00 A.M. ET:    ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI (December)
10:30 A.M. ET:    EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, December 28, 2012)
11:00 A.M. ET:    EIA Petroleum Status Report (Week ending Friday, December 28)
01:15 P.M. ET:    Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser speaks.
03:30 P.M. ET:    Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen speaks.
05:30 P.M. ET:   St Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks.

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