Morning News: JPMorgan, Zillow, Chesapeake, ConocoPhillips, Yahoo

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Morning Market Update

Morning News: JPMorgan, Zillow, Chesapeake, ConocoPhillips, Yahoo

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Monday include: JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), Zillow Inc (NASDAQ:Z), Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ), Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG), Edwards Group Ltd – ADR (NASDAQ:EVAC).

Market Levels:

US: Dow Futures: 15044.00 (0.05%), S&P 500 Futures: 1652.00 (0.06%), NASDAQ Futures: 3075.75 (0.20%)
Europe: CAC: 4088.82 (-0.86%), DAX: 8363.97 (-0.33%), FTSE: 6467.26 (-0.51%)
Asia-Pacific: Australia: 5112.50 (-0.03%), China: 2085.60 (0.82%), Hong Kong: 22463.70 (-0.24%), Japan: 13758.13 (0.79%).
Metals: Gold: 1372.70 (0.12%), Silver: 23.25 (-0.31%), Copper: 3.34 (-0.77%)
Energy: Crude Oil: 106.89 (-0.53%), Natural Gas: 3.44 (2.29%)
Commodities: Corn: 4.73 (2.21%), Soya Bean: 12.79 (1.61%), Wheat: 6.49 (0.89%)
Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3346 (0.13%), GBP/USD: 1.5639 (0.06%), USD/JPY: 97.9500 (0.43%)
10-year US Treasury: 2.845% (0.020)

Market and Economic News Update:

U.S. stock-index futures largely unchanged: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a flat open on Monday as Treasury yields continued to climb amid ongoing uncertainty over the Federal Reserve’s plan to eventually taper its asset purchases program. Yields on the 10-year note reached 2.84 percent, the highest since July 2011 Trading is likely to be light with no major economic data on tap. On the earnings front, Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN) and Bob Evans Farms Inc (NASDAQ:BOBE) are schedule to post quarterly results after the close of trading.

European markets decline: European markets are down in trade following continued investor uncertainty about when the U.S. Federal Reserve might begin to scale-back its stimulus program. On the economic front, Germany’s Bundesbank said in its monthly report that an increase in the benchmark rate might happen if greater inflation pressure emerges. The CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) lost 0.9 percent to 4088.82, while the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) slid 0.3 percent to 8363.97. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) edged 0.5 percent lower to 6467.26 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was down 0.9 percent in recent trading.

Asian stocks end mixed; Nikkei up 0.8%: Asian markets struggled for direction on Monday, with regional emerging markets under pressure amid concerns about their widening current account deficits. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) and the NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) both ended the day 0.8 percent higher. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index closed largely unchanged in trade today.

Stocks in News:

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM)

Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) will likely be in focus on Monday following reports that the U.S. bank is being investigated for its hiring practices in China. The New York Times reported in its online Saturday edition that the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking at whether the bank’s Hong Kong office hired the children of key Chinese officials to win underwriting business and other contracts.

Zillow Inc (NASDAQ:Z)

The real estate web site operator has acquired New York City-focused online real estate site StreetEasy for $50 million. The acquisition is expected to close in the next few weeks. Separately, Zillow Inc (NASDAQ:Z) has announced a 2.5 million secondary offering of its Class A shares. The proceeds from the offering will be used for “general corporate purposes”. Shares were down pre-market.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK)

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has raised his ownership stake in Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) to 9.98 percent, according to a regulatory filing. Icahn currently owns about 66.5 million shares of the energy company. Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) closed Friday at $25.00, and are up in recent pre-market trading.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)

The oil company sold its midstream assets in Trinidad and Tobago for $600 million, as it continues to divest non-core assets. ConocoPhillips expects to recognize an after-tax gain of about $290 million from the sale. The company is planning to dispose of non-strategic assets in Algeria and Nigeria, and its stake in the Kashagan oilfield in the Caspian Sea, before the end of 2013. Shares were inactive pre-market.

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has named veteran technology executive, Maynard Webb, as permanent chairman of the company. Webb is a former eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) chief operating officer, and had taken over as interim chairman of Yahoo in April following the departure of Fred Amoroso. Yahoo share closed Friday at $27.32, and are flat in pre-open trading.

The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX)

The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX)’s Asia-focused real-estate fund, Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia fund, has made an offer to acquire Hong Kong-listed property and construction company, Tysan Holdings Limited (HKG:0687), for HK$2.5 billion ($322 million), according to a stock-exchange filing. Blackstone has offered to acquire all the shares for HK$2.86 a share.

United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X)

The steel maker said CEO John P. Surma will step down September 1, and will be succeeded by Mario Longhi, currently the company’s president and chief operating officer. Surma will stay on as an executive chairman through the end of 2013, when he will retire from the company and the board. Separately, U.S. Steel named David Burritt, as its next chief financial officer. Current CFO Gretchen Haggerty announced her intention to retire last month.

St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ)

St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ) will buy Swiss medical technology company Endosense SA for up to $331 million. St. Jude has already made an initial payment of around 159 million Swiss francs ($170 million), and will additionally pay up to 150 million Swiss francs ($161 million), depending on the achievement of a regulatory milestone. Shares closed Friday at $51.47 and were inactive in recent pre-market trading.

Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG)

Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) has submitted a preliminary bid for Quality Healthcare Medical Services, Hong Kong’s largest provider of healthcare services to corporations, according to a Reuters report. Quality Healthcare is being sold by India’s Fortis Healthcare Ltd (NSE:FORTIS) and is valued at roughly $300 million. TPG Capital is also weighing a bid for the business, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Edwards Group Ltd – ADR (NASDAQ:EVAC)

The industrial company is being bought by Sweden’s Atlas Copco AB (STO:ATCO-A) for up to $1.2 billion. Under the terms of the deal, Atlas Copco will initially pay $9.25 per share, plus an additional payment of up to $1.25 a share, depending on Edward Group’s financial performance this year. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

Economic Calendar for Monday, August 19, 2013:

11:30 A.M. ET: 3-Month Bill Auction
11:30 A.M. ET: 6-Month Bill Auction

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