Oil sells off again. For the first time in nine months, the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil fell below the $100 level in London trading earlier today. The number of investors holding net long positions now stands at a one-year low. Later this week, data on oil stockpiles in the U.S. could pressure the market even further.
Italian prosecutors move in Banca Monte case. Italian judges order more than €1.8B ($2.4B) of assets seized as part of a probe into the dealings of Banca Monte dei Paschi. The funds seized included commissions earned by the Milan branch of Nomura International. Prosecutors say they will continue their investigation over the risky derivatives trade carried out by previous management at the Italian bank.
Top Stock News
Glencore-Xstrata deal cleared for takeoff. China's Ministry of Commerce is expected to announce this week that it has cleared the $30B takeover of Xstrata (OTC:XSRAF) by Glencore International (OTCPK:GLCNF). The development means the last major obstacle for the merger of the two mining concerns will be out of the way. The combined company will boast revenue of almost $250B this year, according to analysts.
Macy's in with an appeal. Macy's (M) filed an appeal to challenge a judge's decision that J.C. Penney (JCP) can carry Martha Stewart-designed products as long as they don't carry her brand name. Attorneys plan to argue the judge on the case erred on several counts in his rulings. The case is of critical importance to J.C. Penney with the retailer's all-in bet on its home goods section leaving it with very little margin for errors or surprises.
Toyota catches ratings upgrade. S&P revised its outlook on Toyota (TM) to Stable from Negative on its view the automaker will accelerate profitability and keep a strong position. Reduced risk of adverse effects from a strong yen and improving market share in the U.S. are also working in the company's favor, according to the ratings agency.
AMR one step closer to leaving bankruptcy. AMR (AAMRQ.PK) filed formal plans to exit bankruptcy with AMR shareholders in line to receive a 3.5% equity stake in the combined carrier. The plan will require court and creditor approval with the $19.9M severance package of departing AMR CEO Tom Horton expected to draw attention again.
Facebook gets cozy with Apple. Facebook (FB) is talking with Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) about bringing Home to iOS and Windows Phone, says Facebook exec Adam Mosseri, while adding nothing has been finalized. Unlike Google with Android, Apple and Microsoft have been reluctant to let third parties heavily modify the UIs for their mobile OS's.
New Bain fund raking in money. Bain Capital says it has reeled in close to half of its target of $6B in funds for a new equity fund. The Bain Capital Fund XI will target investments in North America in the $200M to $500M neighborhood, but will also occasionally invest globally or in bigger deals
HCA lower after issuing profit warning HCA Holdings (HCA) issues preliminary results for the quarter, saying Q1 EPS will come in at $0.02 on sales of $8.44B, below analysts estimates. The company attributes the wider loss to a slowdown in the rate of growth in admissions and a weakness in outpatient volumes. Shares -4.7% premarket.
Carnival opens up its wallet. Carnival (CCL) will reimburse the U.S. government for costs tied to the rescue and assistance of ships stranded at sea earlier this year. The move by the company could be an attempt to calm down rhetoric on Capitol Hill over a potential Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights.
Major Texas power company looks to bankruptcy restructuring. Private power company Energy Future Holdings offered up a proposal to creditors to restructure its bankruptcy to exchange claims for equity. The company is looking to restructure a total of $30B in debt, but may have to improve the initial terms to reach a settlement.
Top Economic & Other News
Moody's lowers China outlook. Moody's cut its outlook on China's government bonds to stable from positive citing risks tied to local government borrowing. The action by the agency follows a similar measure by Fitch Ratings last week.
U.K. inflation unchanged from previous month.The Office of National Statistics in the U.K. reports inflation for March came in 2.8%, the same as February's mark and in-line with the expectations of analysts. The central bank sees inflation nearing 3% later this year with food price increases and higher energy costs kicking in.
China: All grown up and nowhere to go. A number of global investment firms including JPMorgan, Daiwa Capital Markets, Nomura, and Mizuho Securities Asia have trimmed their estimates for economic growth in China following the latest batch of economic data. According the analysis, GDP growth in the 7% to 8% range could be the new normal.
In Asia, Japan -0.4% to 13221. Hong Kong -0.5% to 21672. China +0.5% to 2194. India +1.9% to 18747.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.5%. Paris -0.5%. Frankfurt -0.4%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow +0.5%. S&P +0.5%. Nasdaq +0.5%. Crude -0.6% to $88.14. Gold +3.1% to $1390.13.
Tuesday's economic calendar:
7:45 ICSC Retail Store Sales
8:30 Consumer Price Index
8:30 Housing Starts
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
9:15 Industrial Production
12:00 PM Fed's Duke speaks at American Banking Association
1:00 PM Fed's Kocherlakota: ''Improving the Outlook with Better Monetary Policy'
3:00 PM Janet Yellen discussion on Monetary Policy
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