Oil falls, global stocks higher after Iran deal. Oil was sharply lower and global equities mostly higher at the time of writing following the agreement between Iran and the P5+1 world powers for the Persian nation to limit its nuclear program in return for an easing of sanctions. Although the deal doesn't relax restrictions on Iran's crude oil sales, there are those who hope that the deal will be a precursor to the eventual resumption of exports.
ECB's Hansson: Bank could cut rates further. The European Central Bank is prepared to further lower interest rates and impose a negative deposit rate, Governing Council member Ardo Hansson has told Bloomberg. However, Hansson believes that "the idea of any kind of outright deflationary risk doesn't seem very likely." Hansson's comments come after the ECB surprisingly reduced its main refinancing rate from 0.5% to a record low of 0.25% earlier this month. The euro was -0.3% at $1.3511 at the time of writing.
Microsoft sells over 1M Xbox One consoles within 24 hours. Like Sony (NYSE:SNE) with its PlayStation 4 (PS4) a week earlier, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) sold over 1M Xbox One computer-gaming consoles within 24 hours of the device going on sale on Friday. However, Microsoft achieved its record tally in 13 countries, while Sony launched the PS4 in just the U.S. and Canada. Piper Jaffray reckons that Sony and Microsoft will each sell 3M consoles globally by the end of the year.
Top Stock News
Chrysler mulls raising $1.5-2B in IPO. Chrysler is reportedly considering setting the price range of its IPO so that it would raise $1.5-2B, which would value the 41.5% stake held by the United Auto Workers' retiree healthcare trust at $3.7-5B. Chrysler expects to carry out the listing by mid-December, although the setting of a value could facilitate a deal for Fiat (FIATY) - Chrysler's majority owner - to buy the UAW holding and abandon the IPO.
Major firms poised to benefit from easing of Iran sanctions. A number of international companies could benefit from the relaxation of restrictions on Iran, including in the areas of cars, petrochemicals, aviation parts, gold, and insurance for oil cargoes. Peugeot Citroen (OTCPK:PEUGF) and Renault (OTC:RNSDF) are particularly pleased with the deal, although because the EU's oil embargo will remain in place, major crude providers such as Total (NYSE:TOT), Eni (NYSE:E) and Statoil (NYSE:STO) won't enjoy an immediate boon. American companies don't stand to profit either, due to a decades-old ban on trade between the U.S. and Iran.
Comcast, Charter plot carve up of Time Warner Cable. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR) have reportedly discussed breaking up Time Warner Cable (TWC) in any joint bid for the company in order to overcome antitrust objections to a deal. The transaction would resemble Comcast's and Time Warner's acquisition of Adelphia Communications in 2006, when Comcast gained 1.7M customers and Time Warner 3.3M.
U.K. accuses RBS of profiting by killing off healthy companies. The British government has accused RBS (NYSE:RBS) of forcing "vibrant" small businesses into financial trouble, "squeezing them for exorbitant fees and charges, and ultimately seizing their assets to swell its own vast property empire." The allegations are part of a report by businessman Lawrence Tomlinson, who is a key adviser to Business Secretary Vince Cable.
"Hunger Games" sequel burns brightly on opening weekend. Lions Gate's (NYSE:LGF) "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" generated $161M on its debut weekend in the U.S. and took in another $146.6M internationally. The brisk opening shows that films for the Instagram-teenager set can still deliver high traffic numbers. Hollywood studios have been in the crosshairs of analysts for their reliance on make-or-break "tent-pole" strategies.
Lloyds to sell 30-50% stake in TSB public float. Lloyds (NYSE:LYG) is set to sell 30-50% of its stake in the 631 banking branches being rebranded as TSB when the operations are spun-off in 2014. TSB CEO Peter Pester said the roadshow will begin relatively soon. The British banking giant was ordered by European regulators to sell the branches as a penalty for receiving a £20B bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.
Teva slams report that it forecasts steep fall in Copaxone revs. Teva (NYSE:TEVA) has criticized a report that it expects profits from its multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone to drop by 42% in 2014. Teva said the report, which appeared in Israeli publication The Marker and which provided forecasts for 2013-2018, "appears to be from an outdated presentation, is incomplete and does not reflect our full analysis." Teva intends to provide its 2014 outlook next month. Shares were little changed premarket.
GE expects software fix for engine ice problem by March. GE (NYSE:GE) expects to have developed a software solution by March to the problem of ice building up in its GEnx engines, which are used on Boeing (NYSE:BA) 747-8 and 787 aircraft. In a further blow to the Dreamliner, the ice has caused aircraft flying through thunderstorms at high altitudes to experience temporary losses of thrust in six incidents since April.
Storm causes cancellation of hundreds of flights. Hundreds of flights have been called off - with AMR (AAMRQ) particularly affected - due to a storm that has been dumping rain and snow across the south-western part of the U.S. as it heads east. The storm is expected to combine with another one and then make its way up the east coast on Tuesday and Wednesday, causing further disruption during the Thanksgiving travel rush.
TrueCar mulls IPO for H1 2014. Online auto-shopping service TrueCar is reportedly considering carrying out an IPO in H1 next year at a market cap of up to $1.5B. The news comes amid strength in the shares of auto dealers, with Autonation (NYSE:AN) up 24% this year and Penske Automotive (NYSE:PAG) up almost 42%. TrueCar has 325 employees and is profitable.
Top Economic & Other News
BOJ governor confident of reaching inflation target. The Bank of Japan expects its 2% inflation target "to be reached sometime in late fiscal year 2014 or early fiscal year 2015," Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said today. However, he acknowledged that the goal remained "very ambitious" given Japan's 15 years of deflation. Unlike the ECB, Kuroda downplayed the possibility of using negative interest rates, as the effect on the economy is unclear.
Alpha-Rich Stock Movers and Great Calls
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In Asia, Japan +1.5% to 15619. Hong Kong -0.1% to 23684. China -0.5% to 2186. India +1.9% to 20605.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.3%. Paris +0.5%. Frankfurt +0.9%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.35%. Crude -1.4% to $93.52. Gold -1.05% to $1231.50.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.75%.
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