Morning News: WMT, CP, SHLD, BAC, A, HBC and AV in Focus

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Morning News: WMT, CP, SHLD, BAC, A, HBC and AV in Focus

Every morning we put 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: 12584.00 (0.08%), S&P 500 Futures: 1323.40 (0.08%), NASDAQ Futures: 2557.00 (-0.02%)
  • Europe: CAC: 3032.69 (-0.53%), DAX: 6358.25 (-0.41%), FTSE: 5353.97 (-0.96%).
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4157.40 (-0.19%), China: 2378.89 (1.37%), Hong Kong: 19200.93 (-0.31%), India: 4870.20 (0.25%), Japan: 8876.59 (0.85%).
  • Metals: Gold: 1554.80 (1.18%), Silver: 27.62 (1.54%), Copper: 3.48 (0.20%)
  • Energy: Crude Oil: 93.54 (0.79%), Natural Gas: 2.71 (0.78%)
  • Commodities: Corn: 6.19 (3.60%), Soya Bean: 13.08 (-0.38%), Wheat: 6.40 (4.85%)
  • Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2714 (-0.02%), GBP/USD: 1.5821 (-0.56%), USD/JPY: 80.1800 (-0.19%)
  • 10 year US Treasury: 1.764% (0.002)   




Financial and Economic News Update



U.S. stock-index futures flat: U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a flat open on Thursday amid a report that showed more Americans than expected filed applications for unemployment benefits last week. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ futures were all trading little changed.

U.S. jobless claims unchanged: Labor Department figures showed jobless claims were unchanged at 370,000 in the week ended May 12, a sign that the labor market is making little progress after a recent slowdown in jobs growth. Economists were expecting a drop in claims to 365,000.


European markets fall: European markets are down in trade today, with the German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) trading 0.4 percent lower at 6358.25, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) down 1 percent at 5353.97, and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) losing 0.5 percent to 3032.69. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was trading 0.95 percent lower.

Asian markets end mixed: Asian markets closed mixed on Thursday, with Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) up 0.9 percent to 8,876.59 yen. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) closed 0.4 percent lower at 19,200.9, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) ended up 1.4 percent at 2,378.9 points. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index fell 0.2 percent to 4,157.4. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index rose 0.25 percent to 16,070.48 points.


Company News Update


  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), the world’s largest retailer, posted better than expected first quarter profit and revenue as lower prices continued to attract bargain-hungry customers.
  • ·         Sears Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) posted first quarter adjusted loss of 31 cents a share on revenue of $9.27 billion, better than street expectations of a loss of 67 cents a share on revenue of $9.26 billion.
  • Royal Bank of Canada (USA) (NYSE:RY) and Credit Suisse Group AG  (NYSE:CS) have put in bids to buy the non-U.S. wealth management business of Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), a deal that analysts say could be worth about $2 billion.
  • Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A), the maker of scientific instruments, agreed to acquire the Danish cancer diagnostics company Dako for $2.2 billion, to expand its life-science business.
  • Discount retailer Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) posted first quarter profit of $116.1 million or $1.00 a share, topping expectations, but provided fiscal year forecast that was below consensus estimates.
  • Biotechnology company Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ:HGSI) has rejected GlaxoSmithkline plc  (NYSE:GSK)’s $2.6 billion hostile takeover bid as inadequate, and has adopted a shareholder right’s plan.
  • Drug delivery system specialist Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ:ALKS) reported a smaller than expected fiscal fourth-quarter loss, and provided a fiscal 2013 outlook that topped consensus estimates.
  • Fred Green, Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (NYSE:CP) (TSE:CNR) has resigned, in what is widely seen as a victory for activist shareholder Bill Ackman, who has been pushing for his own set of nominees to join the board.
  • Stern Agee has upgraded computer maker Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)‘s stock to “neutral” from “underperform” citing limited downside.



  • HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HBC), Europe’s largest bank, said that it was on track to reach its 2013 profitability goals, after cutting costs by $2 billion in the first year of the three year turnaround plan.
  • Aviva Plc (ADR) (NYSE:AV), U.K.’s second biggest insurer by market value, recorded a 7 percent drop in first quarter sales of life insurance and pension plans to 6.52 billion pounds ($10.4 billion), that trailed some analysts’ estimates.
  • Clothing retailer French Connection Group (LON:FCCN) said it is unlikely to meet its full-year profit target after sales in the first three months of the financial year fell 9.5 percent.
  • Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that customers of Bankia SA (BKIA) have withdrawn close to 1 billion euros since the day the government said it will take over the bank.
  • SBM Offshore N.V. (AMS:SBMO), the world’s biggest supplier of floating oil and gas platforms, was cut to “underweight” from “equal weight” at Barclays.



  • Japanese consumer credit company Credit Saison Co., Ltd. (TYO:8253) reported net profit for the year ended March 31, that topped market expectations, and forecast a full year net income of 29 billion yen ($361 million).
  • Electronics giant Toshiba Corp (TYO:6502) has halted domestic production of LCD televisions amid falling prices and fierce global competition. Toshiba has already shifted a bulk of its TV production to other countries due to the yen’s strength.
  • Inpex Corp (TYO:1605), Japan’s top oil explorer by market value, will sell a 0.735 percent stake in the Ichthys liquefied natural gas project in Australia to Chubu Electric Power Company,Incorporate (TYO:9502).
  • Chinese online game and messaging company Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG:0700) posted a record 2.8 percent rise in first quarter net profit to 2.95 billion yuan, while revenue jumped 52 percent to 9.65 billion yuan, beating analysts’ estimates.
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), the country’s top lender by market value, posted below forecast results for the fiscal third quarter, but is on track for a bumper full year profit of just over 7 billion Australian dollars ($7 billion).


Economic Calendar for Thursday, May 17, 2012:


08:30 A.M. ET:    Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, May 12, 2012)

08:30 A.M. ET:    Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, May 05, 2012)

09:45 A.M. ET:    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (Week ending Sunday, May 13)

10:00 A.M. ET:    Philadelphia Fed Survey (May)

10:00 A.M. ET:    E-Commerce Retail Sales (Q1)

10:00 A.M. ET:    Leading Indicators (MoM) (April)

10:30 A.M. ET:    EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, May 11, 2012)

12:35 P.M. ET:    St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks.

04:30 P.M. ET:    Fed Balance Sheet

04:30 P.M. ET:    Money Supply


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