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
Last year was a banner year for hedge funds in general, as the industry attracted $31 billion worth of net inflows, according to data from HFM. That total included a challenging fourth quarter, in which investors pulled more than $23 billion from hedge funds. HFM reported $12 billion in inflows for the first quarter following Read More
* US: Dow Futures: 13320.00 (0.39%), S&P 500 Futures: 1434.00 (0.54%), NASDAQ Futures: 2739.75 (0.62%)
* Europe: CAC: 3401.09 (1.04%), DAX: 7281.79 (1.05%), FTSE: 5825.98 (0.85%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4483.50 (-0.16%), China: 2102.87 (-0.81%), Hong Kong: 20999.05 (0.38%), India: 5708.05 (0.99%), Japan: 8546.78 (-0.58%).
* Metals: Gold: 1771.60 (0.37%), Silver: 34.27 (0.47%), Copper: 3.76 (1.08%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 92.61 (1.49%), Natural Gas: 3.49 (0.49%)
* Commodities: Corn: 7.61 (-0.61%), Soya Bean: 15.54 (-1.60%), Wheat: 8.83 (0.75%)
* Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2921 (0.37%), GBP/USD: 1.6036 (0.19%), USD/JPY: 78.5100 (0.42%)
* 10 year US Treasury: 1.713% (0.039)
Financial and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures trading higher: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Thursday after weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest level since 2008. Jobless claims plummeted to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, hitting the lowest level since February 2008, according to data from the Labor Department. Economists had forecast claims gaining to 370, 0000 last week. In other economic news, the U.S. trade deficit increased to $44.2 billion in August as exports fell to the lowest level in six months. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are all trading around half a percent higher.
European markets gain: European markets are trading higher on Thursday with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) up 1.1 percent at 7281.79, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) added 0.9 percent to 5825.98 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) jumped 1 percent to 3401.09. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) edged 0.7 percent higher
Asian markets end mixed: Asian markets closed mixed on Thursday with the HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) up 0.4 percent at 20,999.05 points, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) fell 0.8 percent. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) dropped 0.6 percent to 8,546.78 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index fell 7 points to 4,483.5, off a session low of 4,460.4. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index ended up 1.07 percent at 18,830 points.
Company News Update
* Recreational vehicles maker Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE:WGO) reported fourth quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 14 cents a share, on revenue of $162.5 million. Analysts had forecast earnings of 17 cents on revenue of $163 million.
* Industrial and construction supplies provider Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) reported third quarter profit of $109.3 million, or 37 cents a share, up from $96.8 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue increased 10 percent to $802.6 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 37 cents on revenue of $805 million.
* Commercial cleaning-products company Zep, Inc. (NYSE:ZEP) reported fourth quarter profit of $7.3 million, or 33 cents a share, up from $4.1 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue for the period declined 1.2 percent to $171.7 million. Analysts had projected earnings of 35 cents on revenue of $175 million.
* Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) has been displaced by Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992) as the number one seller of personal computers, according to new figures from research firm Gartner.
* JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) Chief Financial Officer Doug Braunstein is considering leaving his position and may take up another position at the bank within the next few quarters, according to CNBC’s Kate Kelly.
* Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to sell its Kindle Fire 4G tablet computer. The new 8.9-inch high-end tablets were unveiled last month.
* The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP) has agreed to buy Swiss price information and analytics firm Kingsman SA for an undisclosed sum
* British oil major BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP) and the U.S. Justice Department are close to reaching a settlement over the massive 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, according to The Wall Street Journal.
* The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) has received an order for 50 737 single-aisle jets from Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK). The order is worth $5 billion at list prices, and is Alaska Air’s largest order yet
* The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is being sued by Stan Lee Media over the rights to Marvel characters including Spider Man and Iron Man.
* Corporate Office Properties Trust (NYSE:OFC) is down 0.5 percent in early morning trade after saying that it plans to sell 6 million newly issued common shares stock via a secondary public offering.
* Voxx International Corp (NASDAQ:VOXX) trimmed its full-year earnings outlook, citing weak business performance in Europe.
* Information management firm Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE:IRM) declared a special dividend of $700 million, or about $4.07 a share, after providing a slightly upbeat view for next year.
* Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) was downgraded to “sector perform” from “outperform” by analysts at RBC Capital Markets.
* Analysts at Susquehanna Financial Group raised their price target for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to $880 a share from $750 a share.
* Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) fell 1.5 percent in morning trade after analysts at Goldman Sachs lowered the stock to “neutral” from “buy
* French retailer Carrefour SA (EPA:CA) gained 3.6 percent after third-quarter revenue increased 2.1 percent to 22.6 billion euros, beating the average analyst estimate of 22.4 billion euros.
* British luxury-goods firm Burberry Group plc (LON:BRBY) soared 13 percent after reporting second-quarter same-store sales that topped analyst estimates. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 1 percent in the second quarter. Following the announcement, analysts at Seymour Pierce Ltd. raised the stock to “buy” from “hold.”
* Spanish phone company Telefonica S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:TEF) (MCE:TEF), grappling with growing debt, received a dividend of 4.3 billion euros ($5.5 billion) from its German unit, according to a report in Bloomberg News.
* German conglomerate Siemens AG (ADR) (NYSE:SI) (ETR:SIE) (FRA:SIE) fell 1.2 percent after analysts at Deutsche Bank cut the stock to “hold” from “buy.”
* BAE Systems plc (LON:BA) gained 1.6 percent after Exane BNP Paribas raised the defense firm to “neutral” from “underperform.” Talks over a $45 billion merger between EADS NV (EPA:EAD) and BAE Systems plc (LON:BA) collapsed on Wednesday.
* British food retailer Wm. Morrison Supermarkets plc (LON:MRW) lost 1.2 percent after Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “outperform.”
* WH Smith Plc (LON:SMWH) slid 4 percent in London trading after saying its chief executive officer, Kate Swann will step down.
* Japanese mobile phone company Softbank Corp (TYO:9984) is in advanced talks to buy a majority stake in U.S. operator Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), in a deal expected to exceed 1 trillion yen ($12.8 billion) in value, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
* Major Chinese banks, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HKG:1398) (SHA:601398), Agricultural Bank Of China Limited (HKG:1288) (SHA:601288), Bank of China (HKG:3988) (SHA:601988) and China Construction Bank Corporation (HKG:0939) (SHA:601939), ended significantly higher after an investment arm of China’s sovereign-wealth fund said it bought shares in the lenders in the secondary market on Wednesday.
* ING Groep N.V. (ADR) (NYSE:ING) (AMS:INGA) has agreed to sell its Malaysian insurance unit to Hong Kong-listed AIA Group Ltd (HKG:1299) for 1.3 billion euros ($1.68 billion) in cash.
* Chinese auto stocks were down in trade today after vehicle sales in the country recorded the first monthly decline in eight months. SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SHA:600104), FAW Car Co., Ltd. (SHE:000800) and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (SHA:601238), all ended deep in the red.
* Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992) rose 0.5 percent in Hong Kong after research firm Gartner ranked the Chinese company as the world’s leading personal-computer maker by unit sales.
* Australian rare earth miner Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) tumbled 15 percent after a Malaysian Court delayed the start of production at its plant to consider an application by environmental activists and local residents.
* Smart phone maker HTC Corp (TPE:2498) plunged 6.9 percent after the Taiwanese tech major posted its lowest quarterly profit in seven years this week.
* Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU) slumped 6.6 percent in Sydney after reporting a drop in third quarter revenue due to lower production and demand. Sales revenue for the period came in at $224.5 million, down 58 per cent from $532.5 million in the year-ago period.
Economic Calendar for Thursday, October 11, 2012:
08:30 A.M. ET: Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, October 06, 2012)
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, September 29)
08:30 A.M. ET: International Trade (August)
08:30 A.M. ET: Trade Balance (August)
08:30 A.M. ET: Export Price Index (MoM) (September)
08:30 A.M. ET: Export Price Index (YoY) (September)
08:30 A.M. ET: Import Price Index (MoM) (September)
08:30 A.M. ET: Import Price Index (YoY) (September)
09:45 A.M. ET: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (Week ending Sunday, Oct 07)
10:00 A.M. ET: Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein speaks.
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, October 05, 2012)
11:00 A.M. ET: EIA Petroleum Status Report (Week ending Friday, October 05, 2012)
12:30 P.M. ET: Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank Pres. Charles Plosser speaks.
01:00 P.M. ET: 30-Year Bond Auction
04:30 P.M. ET: Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET: Money Supply
06:00 P.M. ET: St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks.