Japanese airlines ground 787s after emergency landing. Boeing (BA) shares were -4.7% premarket following yet another incident with a 787 jet that has prompted All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines to ground all of their Dreamliners. An ANA plane carried out an emergency landing after pilots received a battery-fault warning and smelled smoke. The incident is the latest in a series of problems over the past several days, including fuel leaks and a battery fire.
JPMorgan's net profit surges 54%. JPMorgan Chase's (JPM) Q4 net income jumped 54% to $5.7B as EPS of $1.39 beat consensus but a revenue increase of 10% to $24.4B missed forecasts. JPMorgan has also released internal reports about its $6.2B London Whaling Loss. Shares were -0.2% premarket.
Eurozone divided over strength of euro. The ECB's Ewald Nowotny has moved to downplay fears about the strength of the euro after Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said last night that the currency "is dangerously high." The exchange rate isn't a matter of major concern, said Nowotny, while he doesn't expect a longer-term increase in the currency against the dollar. The euro fell against the greenback following Juncker's comments but recovered to +0.1% midday in Europe.
Top Stock News
Sharp fall in Japanese shares leads global stocks lower. Japanese stocks slumped 2.6% and led most global stocks lower as the yen strengthened for a second day following comments from the country's economy minister that the currency's declines have gone far enough. "The correction was rapid because the market went up too fast," says technical analyst Shoichiro Yamauchi. "The yen weakened too quickly, making investors adjust their positions."
GM foresees flattish 2013 earnings, margins. GM (GM) CFO Dan Ammann expects the company's 2013 pre-tax earnings and margins to be roughly flat compared with 2012. Analysts, in contrast, expect EPS to rise to $3.89 from $3.27. Ammann also sees U.S. industry volumes growing around 5% this year, with a higher mix of luxury vehicles, small cars and flat truck production. European volumes are expected to drop about 4% as consumers continue to shift towards smaller vehicles.
Amerigroup's Carlson tipped for top job at WellPoint. James Carlson, who led Amerigroup as it became one of the biggest insurers focused on Medicaid, is reportedly among the leading candidates to become the new CEO of WellPoint (WLP) to replace the ousted Angela Braly. Carlson joined WellPoint last month following its $4.9B acquisition of Amerigroup, but his position has yet to be defined, nor has his compensation package been made public.
Car sales in Europe hit a ditch. European new-car registrations slumped 16.3% on year to 799,407 vehicles in December, the sharpest decline since October 2010, as high unemployment and an unwillingness by banks to finance consumer purchases took their toll. For 2012, EU sales fell 8.2% to 12.05M, the steepest annual drop since 1993. GM (GM) and Ford (F) registrations in Europe cratered 27% each in December, although those of Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF) and Kia (OTC:KIMTF), with their affordable cars and long warranties, climbed 10.5% and 6.8% respectively.
Top Economic & Other News
China Beige Book finds "shocking" fall in lending. China's Beige Book expects GDP to have picked up to almost 8% in Q4, but lending to companies is sliding. "Very shockingly, most of our bankers say less than 20% of their lending goes to new loans," said the Beige Book's Leland Miller. "Most of it is going to debt rollovers or increases - they are not funding expansion." Miller's also worried about inventory growth in manufacturing and mining.
December prices seen unchanged from November. U.S. inflation data for December is due out this morning, with economists expecting that CPI will come in flat on month vs -0.3% in November. Core CPI is seen at +0.2% vs +0.1%. However, "any signal that things may be heating up could bolster the case for an end to quantitative easing sooner rather than later," says FXStreet contributing analyst Richard Lee.
Eurozone inflation unchanged. Eurozone inflation stayed unchanged in December, coming in an expected +2.2% on year. That's above the ECB's target of just under 2%. Excluding energy and unprocessed food, inflation was +1.6%, also as forecast.
In Asia, Japan -2.6% to 10600. Hong Kong -0.1% to 23357. China -0.7% to 2310. India -0.8% to 19818.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.6%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt -0.3%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow -0.35%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq flat. Crude +0.1% to $93.35. Gold -0.3% to $1678.70.
Today's economic calendar:
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:30 Consumer Price Index
8:50 Fed's Kocherlakota: 'The Macroeconomy and Federal Reserve Actions'
9:00 Treasury International Capital
9:15 Industrial Production
10:00 NAHB Housing Market Index
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
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