Asian Markets Rally; U.S. to Open Up Following CPI Data

by: Dealing Floor

At 8:40 AM EDT:

July Consumer Price Index: Up 0.4%
July Core CPI: Up 0.2%

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: +3.70; 1,291.40
NASDAQ: +7.00; 1,547.50
DOW: -3.00; 11,245.00

International Indexes

Asia
NIKKEI 225: + 1.61%; 16,071.36 (+255.17)
HANG SENG: +1.02%; 17,451.03 (+176.96)
S&P/ASX 200: +0.52%; 4,961.90 (+25.90)
BSE SENSEX 30: +1.20%; 11,448.31 (+135.32)

Europe
FTSE 100: -0.54%; 5,866 (-31.80)
CAC 40: +0.16%; 5,123.20 (+8.18)
XETRA-DAX: +0.35% 5,797.08 (+20.28)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: -0.23%; 72.88 (-0.17)
Gold: +0.65%; 637.00 (+4.10)
Natural Gas: +1.18%; 6.94 (+0.08)
Silver: +0.54% 12.150 (+0.065)

Asia Headlines (via DealingFloor)

- Asian Stocks Advance to Two-Month High as Toyota (NYSE:TM), Samsung Electronics Rise
- Australian Consumer Confidence Tumbles Most in 17 Years on Interest Rates
- Australian Gas May Scrap Papua New Guinea Pipeline; Oil Search Shares Drop
- QBE Insurance First-Half Profit Rises 20 Percent to Record on Acquisitions
- Fuji Heavy to Spend $515 Million Renovating Its Japanese Auto Dealerships
- Australian Gas Light Co. Full-Year Profit Falls 50 Percent on Earlier Gain
- Shinhan Financial Set to Rival Kookmin After Planned Takeover of LG Card
- Lend Lease Second-Half Earnings Gain 67 Percent on Home-Building Projects
- Taiwan’s Economy Probably Slowed in Second Quarter on Consumer Debt, Oil

Europe: In Play Today (via DealingFloor)

- Lanxess reported 2Q net income of E77m, compared to E24m same time last year. Revenue reached E1.75bln, against E1.86bln last year. Expects FY Ebitda to be E660-680m vs a previous forecast of E640-680m, FY sales growth should be moderate.

- KKR Private Equity Investors, a company that invests primarily in private equity investments sponsored by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts reports its results for the period from the date of its formation on April 18, 2006 through June 30, 2006.

- Synthes delivered 1H net income of $243.3m (+8.4%, towards the lower end of expectations), on sales of $1.167bln (+13.7%). 2Q sales growth was 12.9% to $591.2m. “All three product lines (Trauma, Spine & CMF) experienced double-digit sales growth for the first half of 2006.”

- Endesa SA (ELE) and Gas Natural SDG SA: Endesa may be active after E.ON AG’s Chief Executive Officer Wulf Bernotat said the German utility may consider raising its 26.9 billion euro ($34.4 billion) takeover offer for Spain’s largest power company. E.ON may consider doing so if a competing bid by Gas Natural is cleared and Spain’s market regulator allows both contenders to increase their offers, Bernotat said on a conference call.

- RWE AG (OTCPK:RWEOY): Germany’s second-biggest utility wants to raise electricity prices 7.5 percent on Jan. 1, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung said, citing people familiar with the matter. The company also received at least three offers of about 7 billion pounds ($13.3 billion) for its Thames Water unit in the U.K., three people with knowledge of the bidding said.

U.S.: In Play Today (via DealingFloor)

- Investors will again look for inflation data to set the tone for trading when the influential CPI report is released. Also garnering attention at 14:30 CET will be Housing Starts and Building Permits while Capacity Utilization, which currently stands above the level historically consistent with the start of bottlenecks and rising pricing pressures, will hit the wires at 15:15 ET. Last but not least will be the Energy Dept.’s weekly oil report, which will be out at 16:30 CET.

- After the close, Dow component Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) heads a limited list of earners that also includes BEA Systems (BEAS), Limited Brands (LTD), Longs Drug Stores (LDG), and Network Appliance (NASDAQ:NTAP).

U.S. Pre-Market Movers (via Briefing.com)

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) +2.93%; 16.15 (+0.46) -- Co reported Q3 (Jul) earnings of $0.33 per share, $0.03 better than the Reuters Estimates consensus of $0.30. Revenues rose 55.8% year/year to $2.54 bln vs. the $2.44 bln consensus; gross margin was 48.1% vs. the street expectation of 47%.

Harman International (NYSE:HAR) -3.78%; 79.00 (-3.10) -- Excluding restructuring charges and repurchase costs, co reported Q4 (Jun) earnings of $1.09 per share, $0.02 better than the Reuters Estimates consensus of $1.07. Revenues rose 6.3% year/year to $859.1 mln vs. the $874.2 mln consensus. Co reiterated guidance for FY07, still sees EPS of $4.35 (consensus $4.47).

PETsMART (NASDAQ:PETM) -4.41%; 22.33 (-1.03) -- Excluding a $0.02 net charge, co reported Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.27 per share, a penny worse than the Reuters Estimates consensus of $0.28. Revenues rose 13.5% year/year to $1.02 bln vs. the $1.01 bln consensus; Q2 same store sales rose 4.9% vs. the street expectation of +4.3%. Co issued downside guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.20-0.22 (consensus $0.25). For FY07, co sees EPS of $1.30-1.33 (consensus $1.38).

Limited Brands (LTD) -1.64%; 26.37 (-0.44) -- Co announced that Chief Financial Officer Ken Stevens has made the decision to retire. Effective immediately, Martyn Redgrave, Chief Administrative Officer, will assume the responsibilities of CFO in addition to his current duties. The co stated that it expects to report Q2 EPS of $0.28 vs. the Reuters Estimates consensus of $0.25. It expects Q3 EPS to be roughly flat versus last year's break-even result and sees fiscal 2006 EPS in the range of $1.55 to $1.65 (consensus $1.63).

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) +8.81%; 60.41 (+4.89) -- Co reported Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.72 per share, a penny better than the Reuters Estimates consensus of $0.71. Revenues rose 15.2% year/year to $658.7 mln vs. the $657.8 mln consensus. Co issued upside guidance for FY07, sees EPS of $4.49-4.56 (consensus $4.38).