Morning Market News: WFC, YUM, WLP, VZ, WYNN, SHLD, MCD, WPZ, CAG

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Morning Market News: WFC, YUM, WLP, VZ, WYNN, SHLD, MCD, WPZ, CAG

Morning Market News  

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Tuesday include: Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN), Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD), McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ), ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSLA) and Colonial Properties Trust Inc (NYSE:CLP).

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow Futures: 13294.00 (-0.10%), S&P 500 Futures: 1452.90 (-0.20%), NASDAQ Futures: 2719.50 (0.06%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3715.24 (0.29%), DAX: 7718.70 (-0.17%), FTSE: 6062.42 (-0.04%)
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4690.20 (-0.57%), China: 2276.07 (-0.41%), Hong Kong: 23111.19 (-0.95%), India: 6001.70 (0.22%), Japan: 10508.06 (-0.87%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1652.70 (0.39%), Silver: 30.32 (0.79%), Copper: 3.68 (0.11%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 93.47 (0.30%), Natural Gas: 3.22 (-1.50%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 6.85 (0.85%), Soya Bean: 13.91 (1.67%), Wheat: 7.53 (0.20%)
•    Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3080 (-0.28%), GBP/USD: 1.6057 (-0.37%), USD/JPY: 87.4000 (-0.44%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.878% (-0.019)

Market and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures fall: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a lower open on Tuesday, ahead of the fourth-quarter earnings season, which kick’s off with Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) after the closing bell. S&P 500 companies are expected to report earnings growth of 2.8 percent for the fourth quarter, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. On the economic front, small business sentiment was mostly unchanged in December, according to data from the National Federation of Independent Business survey.

European markets mixed: European markets are mixed in a choppy session on Tuesday. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) fell 0.2 percent to 7718.70 points, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was largely unchanged at 6062.42 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) added 0.2 percent to 3715.24 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was up 0.2 percent on Tuesday.

Asian markets end mostly lower: Asian markets closed lower on Tuesday as investors took a break  ahead of corporate earnings for the final quarter of 2012. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) declined 0.8 percent to 10,508 points. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) closed down 0.9 percent at 23,111.1, its lowest since January 2, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) shed 0.4 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index was down 27.1 points at 4,690.2. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index finished up 0.3 percent.

Stocks to Watch

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC)

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) and nine other mortgage lenders entered into settlement agreements with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve. Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) said its portion of the foreclosure settlement will be $766 million and it would record a fourth-quarter charge of $644 million. Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is scheduled to post earnings on Friday. Shares of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) were inactive before the open.

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM)

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) said it expects to post full-year earnings of $3.24 a share, lower than analysts’ estimates, due to weaker-than-expected sales in China. Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) said in a regulatory filing that same-store sales in China fell 6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, versus an earlier forecast of a 4 percent decline. Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), which has more than 5,100 restaurants in China, cited bad publicity from a government review of its chicken supply, for the slump in sales. Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) moved lower before the opening bell.

WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP)

WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) said its full-year 2012 earnings per share will come in at the high end or slightly beyond its prior guidance for a range of $7.30 to $7.40 a share. Analysts are expecting adjusted 2012 earnings of $7.46 a share WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) also announced plans to buy back more shares. WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) shares were inactive before the open.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) Chief Executive Lowell McAdam said the wireless carrier can generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue in coming years from wireless services beyond the mobile phone, in areas as diverse as healthcare and energy management. Speaking to Reuters at the sidelines of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, McAdam said that taking wireless access beyond the mobile device is expected to become a major theme in the coming years. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)’s biggest rival, had said on Monday that it is moving ahead with its plan to develop a wireless home security service. Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) shed more than a percent before the opening bell.

Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN)

Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) has hired Gamal Aziz, the former president and CEO of MGM Hospitality, to head a new subsidiary to develop hotels and casinos outside Las Vegas, Bloomberg reported late yesterday. Chairman Steve Wynn said Aziz will play a crucial role in developing the company’s $4 billion resort on the Cotai Strip in Macau. Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) was granted a piece of land in Cotai in May last year to develop a casino resort. Shares of Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) finished at $121.19 on Monday.

Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD)

Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) said Chief Executive Officer Louis D’Ambrosio will step down on February 2 because of family health matters. Chairman Edward Lampert will take over as the new CEO. Lampert’s ESL Investments had a 34.14 percent stake in Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) as of November 30, 2012. Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) also said it expects record a net loss of between $280 million and $360 million, or $2.64 and $3.40 per share, in the quarter ending February 2. Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) jumped more than 2 percent in pre-market trading.

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD)

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) said Japanese same-store sales in December fell 8.6 percent, the ninth consecutive monthly year on year decline. McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) said the number of customer visits on a same-store basis fell 0.8 percent last month. The fast food chain attributed the slowdown to its decision to refrain from holding many discount promotions in the country.  Shares of McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) fell in early morning trade.

Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ)

Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) is seeking approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a $182 million expansion of its Transco Pipeline to New York City. Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) plans to build an additional natural gas delivery point from its Transco pipeline to Brooklyn and Queens, New York. The proposed project is expected to go into service in late 2014. Shares of Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) closed Monday at $50.08 and were mostly inactive before the open.

ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG)

ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) will sell nearly $240 million of its common stock through an underwritten public offering. The packaged foods company expects to close the offering on January 11, 2013. ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) will use the proceeds to help fund its proposed $6.8 billion acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RAH). ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) fell in pre-market trading.

The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSLA)

The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSLA) has named retail-industry veteran John Goodman as its chief executive. Goodman initially joined the women’s clothing retailer as a board member in September. The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSLA) had fired CEO Susan McGalla in July amid pressure from activist investor Clinton Group, The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSLA)’s second-largest shareholder, to stem a slide in sales. The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSLA)’s shares closed at $2.70 on Monday on the NASDAQ.

Colonial Properties Trust Inc (NYSE:CLP)

Real estate investment trust Colonial Properties Trust Inc (NYSE:CLP) announced its President and Chief Financial Officer, Reynolds Thompson has resigned. Bradley Sandidge, Executive Vice President, Accounting, will assume responsibilities as interim CFO. Shares of Colonial Properties Trust Inc (NYSE:CLP) closed at $21.48 in Monday, and were inactive in morning trade.

Economic Calendar for Tuesday, January 08, 2013:

07:30 A.M. ET:    NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (December)
07:45 A.M. ET:    ICSC-Goldman Store Sales (Week ending Saturday, January 05)
08:55 A.M. ET:    Redbook Index (YoY) (December 30)
08:55 A.M. ET:    Redbook Index (MoM) (December 30)
10:00 A.M. ET:    IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism (MoM) (January)
11:30 A.M. ET:    4-Week Bill Auction
11:30 A.M. ET:    52-Week Bill Auction
01:00 P.M. ET:    3-Year Note Auction
01:30 P.M. ET:    Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker speaks.
03:00 P.M. ET:    Consumer Credit Change (November)

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