U.S. Futures Trading Higher

by: SA Editors

At 8:35 AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: +2.00; 1,424.20
NASDAQ 100: +0.75; 1,808.75
Dow: +19.00; 12,415.00

International Indexes

Asia
NIKKEI 225: +0.67%; 16,527.99 (+110.17)
HANG SENG: +0.99%; 18,924.66 (+184.67)
S&P/ASX 200: +0.81%; 5,469.70 (+43.90)
BSE SENSEX 30: -2.90%; 13,399.43 (-400.06)

Europe
FTSE 100: -0.00; 6,152.30 (-0.10)
CAC 40: +0.48; 5,410.02 (+25.86)
XETRA-DAX: +0.45; 6,456.44 (+29.03)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: -0.66%; $61.62 (-$0.41)
Gold: -0.35%; $628.80 (-$2.20)
Natural Gas: -3.45%; $7.30 (-$0.26)
Silver: -0.36%; $13.845 (-$0.05)

Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Asian Shares Rise as Yen, Won Drop; Toyota, Hynix Gain, Indian Stocks Fall Asian stocks rose, led by Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) and Hynix Semiconductor Inc., as the yen and the won weakened against the dollar, boosting the value of exports.

China Inflation Rate Has Biggest Jump in 20 Months on Surging Food Prices Inflation in China, the world's fastest-growing major economy, accelerated more than expected in November as food costs increased at the quickest pace in almost two years.

Marubeni, Tokyo Electric Win $3.4 Billion Bid for Mirant Philippine Plants Marubeni Corp. (OTCPK:MARUY), Japan's fifth-largest trading company, and Tokyo Electric Power Co. won a bid to buy Mirant Corp.'s (MIR) Philippine power plants for $3.4 billion, beating out bids from four rival groups.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Bank of India to Buy Indonesian Lenders Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation's second-largest lender by assets, and Bank of India, the South Asian country's sixth-largest lender, have agreed to buy more than 50 percent of two Indonesian lenders.

European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

CSN Raises Offer for Corus to $9.6 Billion to Trump Tata's Increased Bid Cia. Siderurgica Nacional of Brazil raised its offer for Corus Group Plc (NYSE:CGA), the U.K.'s largest steelmaker, to 4.9 billion pounds ($9.6 billion), topping a sweetened bid from Tata Steel Ltd.

European Stocks Advance on Takeover Speculation, Paced by Shares of Corus European stocks advanced as takeovers in the steel and financial industries increased, helping fuel a year-end rally in markets.

Shell Makes Proposals for Sakhalin Venture After Criticisms, Gazprom Says OAO Gazprom said Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE:RDS.A) made new proposals for the Russian company to join its $22 billion Sakhalin-2 oil and gas venture, as President Vladimir Putin expands his control of the world's biggest energy industry.

Lloyds TSB Says Annual Pretax Profit to Rise 6.3 Percent on Cost Controls Lloyds TSB Group Plc (NYSE:LYG), the U.K.'s biggest provider of checking accounts, said 2006 pretax profit probably rose 6.3 percent after it capped bad loans and cut thousands of jobs again this year.

Symrise Shares Surge After $1.9 Billion IPO, Biggest in Germany This Year Shares of Symrise AG, the world's fourth-largest maker of food flavors, rose 8.1 percent on their trading debut after the company raised 1.4 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in Germany's biggest initial public offering this year.

U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Goldman Sachs Hires 17 Amaranth Traders as Flagship Hedge Fund Stumbles Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS), whose flagship hedge fund declined, hired 17 traders from Amaranth Advisers LLC to expand the firm's investments in debt markets, said a person briefed on the matter.

Wall Street Earnings May Peak After Three Straight Years of Record Gains After three years of record earnings, the best may have already come and gone for Wall Street.

Onex, Goldman May Acquire Raytheon's Aircraft Unit, Person Familiar Says Onex Corp., Canada's biggest buyout firm, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) may buy Raytheon Co.'s (NYSE:RTN) aircraft unit for about $3 billion, a person with knowledge of the agreement said.

SAC Capital Buys Phelps Dodge Stake, Will Vote Against Freeport Takeover SAC Capital Advisors LLC, the $10 billion hedge-fund firm run by Steven Cohen, said it bought 5.1 percent of copper miner Phelps Dodge Corp. (PD) and will vote against its proposed takeover by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX).

Economists Cut Forecasts for U.S. Growth as Housing, Manufacturing Slump Economic growth in the U.S. weakened this quarter, and the slowdown will carry into the first half of 2007 as a pullback in manufacturing adds to the effect of the slump in housing, a Bloomberg News survey showed.