At 8:52 AM EDT:
S&P 500: +4.20; 1,429.20
NASDAQ 100: +8.00; 1,811.00
Dow: +35.00; 12,447.00
NIKKEI 225: +0.33%; 16,692.93 (+55.15)
HANG SENG: -1.00%; 18,718.19 (-188.98)
S&P/ASX 200: +0.27%; 5,488.20 (+14.60)
BSE SENSEX 30: +1.43%; 13,181.34 (+186.32)
FTSE 100: +0.50%; 6,186.90 (+30.50)
CAC 40: +0.67%; 5,463.29 (+36.47)
XETRA-DAX: +0.63%; 6,516.82 (+40.65)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: -0.03%; $61.00 (-$0.02)
Gold: +0.08%; $632.20 (+$0.50)
Natural Gas: +2.61%; $7.62 (+$0.19)
Silver: -0.39%; $13.925 (-$0.055)
Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Qantas Rejects $8.6 Billion Takeover Bid Led by Macquarie, Texas Pacific Qantas Airways Ltd., Australia's biggest airline, rejected a A$10.9 billion ($8.6 billion) buyout led by Macquarie Bank Ltd. and Texas Pacific Group, triggering a decline in its shares.
• India Set to Overtake China as Fastest-Growing Economy, Credit Suisse Says India will overtake China next year as the world's fastest-growing major economy on rising consumer and government spending, Credit Suisse's chief Asia economist Dong Tao said.
• Asian Stocks Gain, Led by Canon, After Yen Drops to Record Low Versus Euro Asian stocks rose, led by Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) and Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), after the yen fell to a record low against the euro, improving the outlook for exporters' earnings.
• China Coal Raises $1.69 Billion in Hong Kong Share Offering, Bankers Say China Coal Energy Co., the nation's second-largest coal producer by revenue, raised HK$13.16 billion ($1.69 billion) in its initial public offering after fund managers ordered more than 35 times the stock on offer, said two bankers involved in the sale.
• Toll Holdings to Spin Off Port, Rail Units, Focus on Asian Freight Growth Toll Holdings Ltd., Australia's biggest freight company, will spin off its port and rail units to pursue an expansion of its transport unit in Asia.
European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Autostrade Scraps $18 Billion Abertis Merger Opposed by Italian Government Autostrade SpA, Italy's biggest toll-road operator, abandoned a 13.6 billion euro ($18 billion) merger with Spain's Abertis Infraestructuras SA because of Italian government opposition.
• U.K. Unemployment Unexpectedly Fell in November by the Most in Two Years U.K. unemployment unexpectedly fell in November by the most in almost two years and wage growth accelerated, adding to the case for higher interest rates.
• European Stocks Rise on Takeover Outlook; ABN Amro, British Airways Climb European stocks rose for an eighth day as takeover speculation in the financial and airline industries extended a year-end rally.
• EDF Shares Rise to Record as EU Threatens to Sue Protectionist Governments Shares of Electricite de France SA, Europe's largest utility by market value, jumped to a record on speculation the company will benefit from the European Union forcing member states including France to scrap price caps.
U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• United Airlines, Continental Discuss Possible Merger, People Familiar Say UAL Corp.'s (UAUA) United Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc. (NYSE:CAL) are discussing a merger as consolidation of the industry accelerates, two people familiar with the talks said.
• Stock Futures Rise on Speculation Takeovers to Increase; Airlines Advance U.S. stock-index futures gained on speculation that takeovers will increase and fuel a year-end rally.
• Retail Sales Rise More-Than-Forecast 1.0 Percent; Ex-Autos Up 1.1 Percent Retail sales in the U.S. rose more than expected in November as consumers rushed to take advantage of early holiday discounts, increasing the odds the economy will withstand the slump in housing.
• Home Depot to Enter Chinese Market With Acquisition of 12 HomeWay Stores Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD), the world's largest home-improvement retailer, will make its first foray into China by purchasing Chinese retailer HomeWay.
• Bernanke Edges Away From Threat to Increase Rates, Notes `Mixed' Economy Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his colleagues are edging away from their threat to raise interest rates.