At 8:37 AM EDT:
S&P 500: +5.10; 1,393.70
NASDAQ 100: +9.25; 1,791.50
Dow: +37.00; 12,190.00
NIKKEI 225: +1.39%; 16,076.20 (+220.94)
HANG SENG: +0.76%; 18,780.93 (+141.40)
S&P/ASX 200: +1.27%; 5,452.60 (+68.30)
BSE SENSEX 30: +0.11%; 13,616.73 (+14.78)
FTSE 100: +0.46%; 6,053.70 (+27.80)
CAC 40: +0.86%; 5,351.92 (+45.68)
XETRA-DAX: +0.60%; 6,319.58 (+37.90)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: +0.28%; $61.16 (+$0.17)
Gold: -0.23%; $642.20 (-$1.50)
Natural Gas: +0.25%; $8.58 (+0.02)
Silver: +0.24%; $13.845 (+$0.033)
Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Japan's Industrial Production Unexpectedly Rises on Auto and Chip Output Japan's industrial production unexpectedly rose to a record, backing the central bank's assessment that the world's second-largest economy is strong enough to withstand higher interest rates. The yen rose.
• Rinker Group Rejects Cemex's $11.7 Billion Takeover Bid as `Far Too Low' Rinker Group Ltd. (RIN), Australia's biggest building materials maker, rejected a hostile $11.7 billion takeover bid by Mexico's Cemex SA (NYSE:CX), saying it may be 36 percent too low.
• AWB Plans to Split Into Two, Giving Wheat Export Monopoly to Grain Growers AWB Ltd., the Australian wheat trader whose former top officials may face criminal charges over kickbacks paid to Saddam Hussein, will hand over its A$3.3 billion ($2.6 billion) export monopoly to farmers.
• Asian Stocks Rise to Six-Month High on Japan Production, Bernanke Comments Asian stocks climbed to a six-month high, led by Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) and Hynix Semiconductor Inc., after Japan's industrial production rose to a record and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said U.S. growth will pick up next year.
• Yuan Rises to Highest Since End of Dollar Link Before Paulson Visits China The yuan rose to the highest since China ended its decade-old link to the dollar after U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said gains will help resolve ``tension'' in the trade relationship.
European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• European Stocks Rise on Takeover Speculation; Volkswagen, MAN, EMI Advance European stocks climbed, snapping the longest losing streak in 15 months, after BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) said it may seek acquisitions, fanning optimism takeovers will increase in the mining industry.
• U.K. Mortgage Approvals Reach Three-Year High Even as Interest Rates Climb U.K. mortgage approvals unexpectedly rose in October to the highest level in almost three years, adding to the case for higher borrowing costs.
• Ackermann's $4.2 Million Settlement on Bonuses Is Approved by German Court Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann and five former Mannesmann AG officials won approval for a 5.8 million-euro ($7.6 million) settlement of Germany's first criminal inquiry into executive pay.
• EU Tells Members to Allow 7 Percent Less Carbon Emissions Than Proposals The European Union demanded that nine member governments be harsher in capping the release of carbon dioxide beyond 2007 so it can ensure its emissions-trading regime creates an incentive to rein in pollution.
• Novartis Ready to Sell Gerber Baby-Food Unit to Focus on Drugs, Vaccines Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS), Europe's third-largest drugmaker, may sell its Gerber baby food unit to focus on medicines and vaccines.
U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Economy Expands at a 2.2 Percent Pace, More Than Economists Had Estimated The U.S. economy expanded at a faster-than-expected annual rate of 2.2 percent from July through September, reflecting an increase in inventories that may limit growth this quarter.
• Houghton Mifflin Will Be Sold for $3.4 Billion to Riverdeep, People Say Houghton Mifflin Co., publisher of the ``Curious George'' children's books and the American Heritage Dictionary, will be sold for about $3.4 billion to a company controlled by former Credit Suisse Group banker Barry O'Callaghan, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
• Bernanke Watches Rising Cost of Labor for Signs Inflation Will Accelerate Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said a new source of inflation may be emerging in rising wages and salaries even as energy prices retreat.
• U.S. Stock-Index Futures Advance; Shares of Apple Computer, Pfizer Climb U.S. stock-index futures rose before reports on growth and housing starts that will enable investors to gauge the strength of the world's largest economy.
• Tiffany Profit Rises 23 Percent as Gehry Designs Boost U.S. Jewelry Sales Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), the world's second-largest luxury jeweler, said third-quarter profit rose 23 percent on sales in the U.S. and raised its annual earnings forecast because of demand from holiday shoppers.