Nikkei, Europe Post Modest Gains; Wall St. to Open Flat

by: SA Editors

At 7:45 AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: -0.90; 1,300.10
NASDAQ: -1.00; 1,576.75
DOW: +5.00; 11,361.00

International Indexes

NIKKEI 225: +0.53%; 16,105.98 (+85.14)
HANG SENG: -0.24%; 17,330.70 (-42.35)
S&P/ASX 200: -0.07%; 5,052.50 (-3.40)
BSE SENSEX 30: -0.10%; 11,465.72 (-11.76)

FTSE 100: +0.54%; 5,932.00 (+31.60)
CAC 40: +0.23%; 5,156.43 (+11.59)
XETRA-DAX: +0.22%; 5,846.55 (+13.04)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: +1.18%; 70.89 (+0.83)
Gold: -0.06%; 624.90 (-0.40)
Natural Gas: -0.57%; 6.65 (-0.04)
Silver: +0.42%; 12.045 (+0.05)

Asian Headlines (via

China Central Bank Raises Benchmark Lending, Deposit Rates to Cool Growth - China raised benchmark lending and deposit rates simultaneously for the first time in two years to curb an investment boom that threatens to fan inflation and leave the nation with too many factories.

Coles Myer Shares Rise on Takeover Interest; Bain, Blackstone Consider Bid - Coles Myer Ltd. shares rose to a record amid speculation a second group of buyout firms will bid for Australia's second-largest retailer.

Hindalco's Talukdar Expects `Strong' Second Quarter on Higher Metal Prices - Hindalco Industries Ltd., India's biggest producer of aluminum, said profit growth will be ``strong'' because of a shortage of the metal.

Asian Stocks Advance for Longest Winning Streak in Four Months; Sony Leads Gain - Asian stocks rose for a fifth day, the longest winning streak in four months, after oil prices fell. Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) and Samsung Electronics Co. led gains by exporters.

Dollar Heads for Weekly Decline as a Report May Signal Economy Is Slowing - The dollar headed for a weekly decline against the euro and yen on speculation a U.S. government report today will show weakening consumer confidence in the world's largest economy.

Indonesia Expands Probe of Human Bird Flu Cases in Remote Region of Java - Indonesia expanded an investigation of human cases of bird flu in a remote village on Java island, including testing more people for the virus, as health officials check whether the disease may have spread from human to human.

European Headlines (via

WPP Profit Rises 31 Percent on Acquisition of Grey Global, New Customers - WPP Group Plc (NASDAQ:WPPGY), the world's second- biggest advertising company, said first-half profit rose 31 percent after gaining new accounts and boosting sales in fast- growing countries including India and China.

European Mining Stocks Drop, Led by Anglo American; Shell, BP Shares Gain - Shares of European mining companies and steelmakers declined after China's central bank raised interest rates in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

BAE to Sell 72 Eurofighters to Saudi Arabia in First Order Outside Europe - BAE Systems Plc (OTCPK:BAESY), Europe's largest weapons maker, will sell Saudi Arabia 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets, the first order for the combat planes outside Europe, under an agreement between the U.K. government and the Middle East kingdom.

Gazprom to Become Largest Stock in MSCI Emerging Markets Index Next Month - OAO Gazprom, the world's largest natural-gas producer, will become the biggest component of the Morgan Stanley Capital International Emerging Markets Index (NYSEARCA:EEM) in September, forcing funds that track the gauge to buy more of the Russian company's stock.

Deutsche Telekom's Ricke Avoids Purchases, Bets on Growth in U.S. Mobiles - Deutsche Telekom AG (DT), Europe's largest phone company, is bidding the most in a U.S. auction for mobile- phone licenses, signaling the former monopoly plans to expand on its own instead of acquiring competitors.

UN Wins Pledges of Soldiers to Join Peacekeeping Force in Southern Lebanon - The United Nations received pledges from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal to provide soldiers for a peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon that will oversee a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah.

U.S. Headlines (via

Dell Shares Decline After Slump in Earnings, SEC Accounting Investigation - Shares of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) fell after the world's largest personal-computer maker reported a slump in fiscal second-quarter profit and said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating its accounting.

Ford Motor Plans to Eliminate 6,000 Salaried Jobs Next Month, Person Says - Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F), after losing U.S. market share for a decade, is preparing to eliminate 6,000 salaried jobs in North America next month, according to a person with knowledge of the plan.

Consumer Confidence in U.S. Probably Declined on Gasoline Prices, Housing - Confidence among U.S. consumers probably fell for the fourth month in five in August as the housing market cooled and gasoline prices rose, economists said before a report today.

TiVo Says EchoStar Ordered to Stop Selling Digital Recorders Over Patents - TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO), which pioneered the market for digital-television recorders, said a judge ordered EchoStar Communications Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) to stop selling competing products that are infringing TiVo's patent.

U.S. Stock-Index Futures Are Little Changed; Dell Declines, Altria Gains - U.S. stock-index futures were little changed before a report that may show consumer confidence among Americans fell this month.

U.S. Pre-Market Movers (via

Dell Inc. (DELL) -6.89%; 21.23 (-1.57) -- Co reported Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.22 per share, in-lin with the Reuters Estimates consensus. Revenues rose 5.0% year/year to $14.1 bln vs. the $14 bln consensus. Dell will launch Dimension desktop computers with AMD processors next month and will introduce a two-socket and multi-processor server using AMD Opteron processors by the end of the year. Dell will increase its investment in customer experience -- spanning the buying experience through service and support -- by an incremental amount of $50 mln to $150 mln for the fiscal year.

Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) -5.83%; 32.95 (-2.04) -- Co reported Q2 revenues of $450 mln vs. $446.5 mln consensus; license revenues were $349.4 mln vs. the street expectation of $358 mln. During the quarter, the company began a voluntary review of the company's historical stock option granting practices and the related accounting. For FY07, co sees revenues of $1.82-1.85 bln (consensus $1.83 bln).

Gap (NYSE:GPS) -4.91%; 16.45 (-0.85) -- Co reported Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.15 per share, a penny better than the Reuters Estimates consensus of $0.14. Revenues were unchanged from the year-ago period at $3.72 bln vs. $3.66 bln consensus. For FY07, co lowered EPS guidance to $1.08-1.12, from $1.23-1.27 (consensus $1.11). "This previous guidance was predicated on the belief that the company's efforts to improve performance would begin to gain traction during the second quarter and build momentum with the fall product flows. Gap Inc.'s overall performance month-to-date is below the company's expectations, driven by Gap and Old Navy."

Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) -3.40%; 35.25 (-1.24) -- Co reported Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.67 per share, two cents better than the Reuters Estimates consensus of $0.65. Revenues rose 9.5% year/year to $2.3 bln vs. the $2.27 bln consensus. Co issued in-line guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.40-0.45 (consensus $0.44). For FY07, co sees EPS of $2.31-2.39 (consensus $2.34).

Marvel Technology Group (NASDAQ:MRVL) -5.27%; 19.40 (-1.08) -- Co reported Q2 (July) revenues grew 47% to $574 mln vs. $582.9 mln consensus. MRVL previously announced that it would not be able to report EPS because of ongoing stock options review.


Altria Group (NYSE:MO) +3.41%; 83.50 (+2.75) -- The parent co. of Philip Morris USA rose after a judge did not impose fines despite finding that the government had proved its case that accused cigarette makers of a decade-long conspiracy to hide the dangers of smoking (Reuters).