BOJ adds to QE but doesn't increase inflation target. The Bank of Japan has bowed to the demands of incoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and increased the size of its asset-purchase program by ¥10T ($119B) to ¥76T, the third hike in the last four months. Some (yen bears) had hoped the bank would double its inflation target to 2%, but it left the goal at 1%, helping the Nikkei to slide 1.2% after it rose sharply yesterday.
ICE resumes talks to acquire NYSE. IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) has reportedly restarted negotiations to buy NYSE Euronext (NYX) for $33 a share in cash and stock, and could announce a deal today. ICE was part of a combined bid with Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) for the Big Board last year, but the transaction fell apart under antitrust scrutiny. NYSE shares surged 21% in AH trading yesterday to $29.20; the firm closed at $24.05, giving it a market cap of $5.8B.
Google to sell set-top box unit to Arris for $2.35B. Google (GOOG) has agreed to sell Motorola Home, a provider of set-top boxes and other hardware, to Arris (ARRS) for $2.35B in cash and stock. The price is well above the latter's market cap of just $1.65B and it will probably have to raise much debt to finance the deal. Google has agreed to cap Arris' liability in TiVo's (TIVO) patent suit against Motorola to "a very small number" even though many think it could be enormous.
Top Stock News
Samsung gains win as Apple's "pinch-to-zoom" patent rejected. The U.S. patent office has ruled that Apple's (AAPL) "pinch-to-zoom" patent shouldn't have been granted, boosting Samsung (SSNLF.PK) in its attempt to overturn a $1.05B U.S. jury verdict against it in its global IP war with Apple. The patent was one of six that Samsung was ruled to have breached in the companies' summer trial and is the second of those six to have been preliminarily struck down.
Roche nears deal to acquire Illumina for $8.1B. Roche (RHHBY.OB) is reportedly close to striking a deal to buy Illumina (ILMN) for $8.1B, or $66 a share. The acquisition could be announced next month, although some analysts remain skeptical it will fly. Illumina jumped 7.9% premarket to $56.25.
Ericsson takes $1.2B charge as it writes off chip JV. Ericsson (ERIC) will take a charge of 8B Swedish kroner ($1.22B) on ST-Ericsson in Q4 and write off its 50% share in the loss-making joint venture that it owns with STMicroelectronics (STM). Ericsson is exploring strategic options for the JV and doesn't intend to buy out STMicro, which plans to exit the company. ST-Ericsson will need another 3B kroner of funding from Ericsson, mainly next year.
SandRidge surges after agreeing to sell Permian assets for $2.6B. SandRidge Energy (SD) jumped 7.7% in post-market trading after it agreed to sell its Permian assets to Sheridan Production Partners for $2.6B. SandRidge said the sale is a key part of its transition from being a natural gas producer to becoming an oil rich E&P company. The proceeds will give SandRidge a cash balance of nearly $3B for debt reduction and developing its Mississippian play.
California Treasurer wants pension funds to exit gun firms. California Treasurer Bill Lockyer wants Calpers and Calstrs, the state's two public pension funds, to sell their stakes in gun makers following the school massacre last week. Meanwhile, President Obama has pledged to tighten gun control, with possible proposals including a renewal of the ban on the sale of assault weapons and compulsory background checks on gun buyers.
RIM's earnings seen continuing to slide ahead of BB10 launch. RIM's (RIMM) FQ3 results are due out after the bell, with analysts expecting that its loss per share narrowed to $0.35 from $0.45 last year while revenue fell 8.6% to $2.65B. The company's in a bit of a holding pattern at what it presumably hopes will be the bottom of its slump as it prepares to launch BlackBerry 10 in H1. RIM's 80M subscribers in FQ2 is giving cause for optimism that BB10 can succeed, says BGC analyst Colin Gillis.
Samsung to move forward with $3.9B Texas investment. After completing talks with Texas' government, Samsung (SSNLF.PK) will proceed with a $3.9B investment to refurbish an existing production line at its chip plant in Austin and on increasing the output of system chips at the facility.
Top Economic & Other News
Fiscal cliff talks hit neutral ahead of House vote on Plan B. The House is due to vote today on John Boehner's "Plan B" budget - which would raise taxes on households earning over $1M a year - as part of the maneuvering over the fiscal cliff talks. President Obama has already said he'll veto the measures, while Administration officials have said that negotiations have hit a block. Still, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist has given his blessing to Plan B.
Government opens up 11.8M acres of Alaska for drilling. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar yesterday presented a plan under which the government will open up 11.8M acres of Alaska's North Slope for energy drilling. The area holds an estimated 549M barrels of economically recoverable oil, or 72% of the crude in the 23M-acre reserve, and 8.7T cubic feet of economically recoverable natural gas.
In Asia, Japan -1.2% to 10039. Hong Kong +0.2% to 22660. China +0.3% to 2168. India flat at 19454.
In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris +0.5%. Frankfurt flat.
Futures at 7:00: Dow flat. S&P flat. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude +1.7% to $89.40. Gold +0.1% to $1669.
Today's economic calendar:
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 GDP Q3
8:30 Corporate Profits
9:45 Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
10:00 Existing Home Sales
10:00 Philly Fed Business Outlook
10:00 Leading Indicators
10:00 FHFA House Price Index
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
4:30 PM Money Supply
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet
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