Bulls Looking To Make It Three in a Row

by: SA Editors

At 8:36 AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: +1.40; 1,403.60
NASDAQ 100: +4.25; 1,800.00
Dow: +19.00; 12,272.00

International Indexes

Asia
NIKKEI 225: +1.23%; 16,274.33 (+198.13)
HANG SENG: +0.96%; 18,960.48 (+179.55)
S&P/ASX 200: +0.54%; 5,482.10 (+29.50)
BSE SENSEX 30: +0.58%; 13,696.31 (+79.58)

Europe
FTSE 100: +0.38%; 6,107.30 (+22.90)
CAC 40: +0.02%; 5,382.29 (+1.04)
XETRA-DAX: +0.53%; 6,397.68 (+33.88)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: +0.37%; $62.69 (+$0.23)
Gold: +0.67%; $646.10 (+$4.30)
Natural Gas: -1.24%; $8.76 (-$0.11)
Silver: +0.94%; $13.89 (+$0.13)

Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Sony's Kutaragi Steps Aside From Day-to-Day Management of PlayStation Unit Ken Kutaragi, the developer of Sony Corp.'s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation game console, stepped aside from day-to-day management of the unit after production delays forced the company to slash shipment targets.

India's Economic Growth Accelerates to 9.2 Percent on Increased Spending India's economic growth unexpectedly accelerated to 9.2 percent last quarter, driven by government and consumer spending that may force the central bank to raise its key interest rate a fourth time in a year to curb inflation.

Richard Li's Bid to Sell PCCW Stake for $1.2 Billion Blocked by Investors Richard Li, the son of Hong Kong's richest man, failed to sell his controlling stake in PCCW Ltd. (PCW) for HK$9.2 billion ($1.2 billion) after shareholders rejected the bid as too low.

Asian Stocks Rise to Six-Month High on U.S. Growth; Honda, Samsung Advance Asian stocks climbed to a six-month high after the U.S. economy grew at a faster pace last quarter than an earlier estimate and South Korea's government increased its 2006 forecast for exports.

Carlyle Seeks $4 Billion for Advanced Semiconductor Buyout, People Say Carlyle Group plans to borrow $4 billion to fund the leveraged buyout of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (NYSE:ASX), said three people with knowledge of the deal.

European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Pound Climbs to Highest Since 1992, When U.K. Left Exchange-Rate Mechanism The pound climbed to its highest against the dollar since September 1992 when billionaire investor George Soros and other speculators drove the U.K. currency out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

EU Raises Growth Forecast to 0.6 Percent a Quarter for First-Half 2007 The European Commission said the economy of the dozen euro nations will start 2007 stronger than it anticipated a month ago, bolstering the case for higher interest rates.

Stocks Advance in Europe, Led by Commodity Producers; Salzgitter, BHP Rise European stocks rose for a second day, pushed higher by BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) and Rio Tinto Plc (RTP), after metal prices advanced and investors bet on more takeovers among commodity producers.

Credit Suisse Manager, Officials Arrested in Romanian Assets-Sale Probe A Credit Suisse Group manager, two government officials and a Bulgarian citizen were placed under temporary arrest while Romanian prosecutors pursue a criminal investigation into the sale of state-owned assets.

Stora Enso's Ryoeppoenen Says Coated Magazine-Paper Market Is Still Tough Stora Enso Oyj (SEO), the world's biggest papermaker, said demand for coated paper used to print magazines has failed to pick up in the fourth quarter. The European newsprint market remains healthier.

U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

U.S. October Personal Spending Rises 0.2 Percent; Incomes Grow 0.4 Percent Personal spending in the U.S. rebounded last month, fueled by income growth that may keep the economy from weakening.

Wal-Mart's U.S. Same-Store Sales Drop 0.1 Percent, Worst Result in Decade Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT), the world's largest retailer, said U.S. same-store sales fell 0.1 percent in November, the worst performance in more than 10 years, as holiday discounts on toys and electronics failed to lure customers.

Dollar Falls, Heads for Second Monthly Decline, as Consumer Spending Slows The dollar headed for a second consecutive month of declines on speculation a slowing U.S. economy will prompt the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates.

Initial Unemployment Claims in U.S. Climb by 34,000, More than Estimated The number of U.S. workers filing first-time applications for state unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week to the highest in more than a year.

U.S. Stock Futures Rise, Led by Exxon Mobil, Limited; Tivo Shares Decline U.S. stock-index futures rose before economic reports that may show inflation remains under control and consumers are still spending.