At 8:50 AM EDT:
S&P 500: +0.90; 1,415.60
NASDAQ 100: +2.75; 1,804.00
Dow: +12.00; 12,338.00
NIKKEI 225: +0.62%; 16,473.36 (+102.08)
HANG SENG: -0.96%; 18,842.99 (-183.37)
S&P/ASX 200: -0.03%; 5,465.20 (-1.50)
BSE SENSEX 30: +0.17%; 13,972.03 (+23.03)
FTSE 100: +0.43%; 6,116.70 (+26.40)
CAC 40: +0.20%; 5,361.15 (+10.53)
XETRA-DAX: +0.29%; 6,388.22 (+18.71)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: +0.03%; $62.21 (+$0.02)
Gold: +0.05%; $636.20 (+$0.30)
Natural Gas: +0.23%; $7.74 (+$0.02)
Silver: +0.22%; $13.825 (+$0.03)
Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Asian Stocks Climb to Six-Month High, Led by Canon and Honda; BHP Declines Asian stocks advanced to a more than six-month high, led by Canon Inc. (CAJ) and Honda Motor Co. (HMC), after the dollar's rebound against the yen eased concern the value of Japanese exports to the U.S. will decline.
• Lone Star's Purchase of Korea Exchange Bank Was Illegal, Prosecutors Say Lone Star Funds' 1.4 trillion won ($1.5 billion) purchase of Korea Exchange Bank in 2003 was illegal, South Korean prosecutors said, setting up a court case that may cause the sale to be annulled.
• Elpida, Powerchip Plan $14 Billion Plant to Be Largest Memory-Chip Maker Elpida Memory Inc., Japan's sole maker of computer-memory chips, plans to build a 1.6 trillion yen ($14 billion) factory in Taiwan to overtake Samsung Electronics Co. as the industry's largest producer.
• CanWest Puts Australia's Ten Network Stake Up on Sale as Media Rules Eased CanWest Global Communications Corp. (CWG), Canada's biggest media company, offered to sell Ten Network Holdings Ltd., seeking to cash in on the biggest shakeup in the Australian media in 20 years.
European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Gallaher, Tobacco Shares Surge on Takeover Approach for Cigarette Maker Shares of Gallaher Group Plc (GLH) rose the most ever after the cigarette maker said it may be acquired. A purchase would be the biggest in the European tobacco industry and prompted speculation of other deals.
• ECB Lifts Benchmark Interest Rate to 3.5 Percent, Sixth Increase in a Year The European Central Bank raised interest rates for the sixth time in a year to keep stronger economic growth from fueling inflation.
• Bank of England Keeps Benchmark Interest Rate Unchanged at Five-Year High The Bank of England kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a five-year high today after raising borrowing costs twice in the previous four months.
• European Stocks Rise, Led by Banks, Tobacco Companies on M&A Speculation European stocks rallied after cigarette maker Gallaher Group Plc (GLH) received a takeover approach and speculation increased about banking mergers.
• Bonuses for European Investment Bankers May Be Diminished by Dollar Tumble Investment bankers in Europe may lose a chunk of this year's record bonuses because the dollar's drop against European currencies will erode payouts that can account for as much as 90 percent of annual compensation.
U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• U.S. Municipal Bond Market Roiled by First-Ever Antitrust Investigation The first-ever antitrust probe of the municipal bond market is roiling an industry that states and cities depend on to finance everything from garbage trucks to schools.
• Seminole Tribe of Florida to Purchase Hard Rock From Rank for $965 Million The Seminole Tribe agreed to buy the Hard Rock restaurant, hotel and casino chain from Rank Group Plc for $965 million, the first major purchase of an international company by a native American Indian tribe.
• Home Depot Probe Uncovers 19 Years of `Routinely' Backdating Stock Options Home Depot Inc. (HD), the world's largest home-improvement retailer, said it failed to record $200 million of expenses over 19 years as it ``routinely'' changed dates of stock-option grants to benefit employees.
• Lilly Predicts Profit Increase for Next Year on Sales of Cymbalta, Byetta Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) projected an increase in 2007 earnings on sales of its newest drugs including the diabetes treatment Byetta and the depression pill Cymbalta.
• General Motors' Decline in U.S. Auto Sales Has `Bottomed Out,' LaNeve Says General Motors Corp.'s (GM) decline in U.S. sales has ``bottomed out'' and the company hopes to end a four-year slide in U.S. market share next year, marketing chief Mark LaNeve said.