** EUROPE: IN PLAY TODAY **
- Vivendi posted 1Q net income of E707m (E560m expected) due to a rise in customer numbers at its mobile phone unit. Ex-item profit came in at E592m (E568m expected). The group announced that the board rejected any calls to split the company. Average growth from operations expected in range of 8% to 10% annually.
- Credit Agricole posted a 53% rise in 1Q net income to E1.39bln (E1.09bln expected). 1Q assets under management rose by 37.7% to E593bln (net income for the division up 30.1% to E377m). Securities unit Calyon posted a 59% surge in net income to E479m.
- Compagnie Generale de Geophysique, Eutelsat Communications will be added to the Stoxx 600 Index on June 19, Havas will be removed.
- Mittal Steel was granted approval by regulators in four different countries for its plan to purchase rival Arcelor.
- Alstom reported FY net income of E178m (E192m expected, net loss of E628m last year), the 1st annual profit since 2001 after sales rose and over 11,500 job cuts. The company plans to make “selective acquisitions” in 2007/08.
- Telekom Austria reported a 39% rise in 1Q profit to E154m (E145m expected) on revenue up 16% to E1.16bln. Wireless sales rose by 31% to E688m. The company confirmed its FY targets, FY net and operating profit expected to rise by 20% while FY sales expected to rise by 5%.
- Xstrata offered to buy Falconbridge for C$20bln, or C$52.50 a share, topping Inco’s offer of C$51.17 per share. The group would pay C$16.1bln for all the shares it doesn’t already own, as it currently holds 19.8% of the company.
- Berkshire Hathaway purchased 57.6m shares of Tesco for $328.7m according to a regulatory filling.
- J Sainsbury expected to report a surge in 2H net income from the 9/1638m reported last year as the food retailer increased sales and market share by slashing prices on key items.
- Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica posted a severe drop in 1Q net income to E25m from E54.4m reported same time last year.
- Hagemeyer will be added to the Stoxx 600 Index on June 19, while Oce will be removed.
- Novartis’ two experimental heart drugs Rasilez and Exforge lowered blood pressure in two separate medical studies.
** US MARKETS **
Dow -0,08%; Nasdaq -0,42%; S&P -0,19%; Soxx -0,56%; Russel2k -0,02%; DJAIG
0,64%; 10yr Bond 0%; 10yr Yield 5,11%; Crude future 69,6; Gold 703,4
¦ Healthcare 0,38%¦ ConsStaples 0,3%¦ Energy 0,25%¦ Telecom 0,06%¦ Industrials
-0,02%¦ Financials -0,12%¦ Materials -0,2%¦ Utilities -0,41%¦ ConsDisc -0,79%¦
** US HEADLINES **
- Bernanke Embraces Greenspan Legacy of Opposition to Hedge-Fund Regulation
- General Electric Exceeds Its Own $20 Billion `Environmental’ Product Goals
- Treasuries May Rise as Consumer Prices Report to Support Rate Pause by Fed
- Dollar Drops Against Yen as Government Report May Show Inflation in Check
- Gold Surges Above $700 an Ounce as Funds Seek Hedge Against Weaker Dollar
- 0il Trades Below $70 as EU Prepares Plan to Resolve Iran Nuclear Dispute
** US AFTER HOURS **
- Hewlett-Packard (+3.5% after hours) posted 2Q/Apr EPS $0.54 ex-item ($0.49 expected) on revenue up 5% YoY to $22.6bln ($22.6bln). HP expects that 3Q revenue will be approximately $21.75bln and FY revenue $91bln (inline with consensus). 3Q EPS ex-item is seen at $0.45-0.48, FY EPS should reach $2.04-2.08.
- Applied Materials (-3.3% after hours) announced 2Q/Apr EPS of $0.26, 3 cents higher than the consensus, on sales up 20.8% YoY to $2.25bln. Expects 3Q sales and orders to rise 5-10% from 2Q, EPS should reach $0.28-0.30.
** US: IN PLAY TODAY **
All eyes will be on the April CPI report (14:30 CET), which will provide investors with the latest read on inflation at the consumer level. The EIAs weekly oil inventories report at 16:30 ET should also garner some attention, especially with the beginning of the summer driving season less than two weeks away.
On the earnings front, retailers top the list again before the bell. Notable names include Ross Stores (ROST), Talbots (TLB) and Zale (ZLC). After the close, BEA Systems (BEAS), Foot Locker (FL), Intuit (INTU), Longs Drug (LDG), PETsMART (PETM), and Gymboree (GYMB) are among the more recognizable companies reporting quarterly results.
** ASIAN MARKETS **
Nikkei 0,92%; Kospi 1,39%; HSI 0,57%; Taiwan 0,66%; China 0,74%; India 1,88%; Thailand -0,23%; Australia -0,03%
** ASIAN HEADLINES **
- Singapore Raises 2006 Growth Forecast After Economy Expands by 6.8 Percent
- Asian Stocks Snap Six-Day Losing Streak; Canon, Hyundai Motor Lead Advance
- China’s Steelmakers Say ThyssenKrupp’s Price Agreement Won’t Set Benchmark
- Honda Plans to Spend $1.46 Billion to Expand in North America and Japan
- China’s Factory Production Growth Eases as Output of Cars and Cement Slows
- Investment in China Property, Roads, Factories Probably Rose 29.1 Percent
- Philippines Posts Biggest Budget Surplus in Nine Years as Spending Trimmed
- SINGAPORE’S 1Q GDP EXPANDS AT ANNUAL 6.8% PACE - CHINA APRIL INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT RISES 16.6% FROM YEAR AGO