Petro Poroshenko has been elected as the new Ukrainian President, and said he's prepared to talk to Moscow, as Russia replied in kind. Poroshenko comes into office facing a number of challenges including boosting Ukraine's economy, preventing a civil war and dealing with Russian attempts to destabilize the region. Time will soon tell how Poroshenko will handle relations with Vladimir Putin and the West.
Egyptians go to the polls again today during the second day of a two-day Presidential election. Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is still well ahead of his only opponent, leftist Hamdeen Sabahy. One of the major issues on the ballot is the economy, which is beset by massive poverty, power shortages and significant fiscal problems.
Thailand's new military rulers will try to work today at restoring central parts of their economy after receiving a royal endorsement to rule yesterday. General Prayuth Chan-ocha claims the army had to restore order after nearly seven months of rioting. This weekend the U.S. canceled military exercises in Thailand and threatened to cut military assistance. The question remains whether the U.S. will start to cut economic ties as well.
Pfizer has abandoned its attempt to acquire AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) for £69.4B ($117B), saying that "it does not intend to make an offer" for the U.K. company after the latter rejected Pfizer's latest proposal. Under British law, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) cannot make another bid for AstraZeneca for three-to-six months.
Apple plans to show off a software platform that would "turn the iPhone into a remote control for lights, security systems and other household appliances" at its June 2-6 WWDC conference. Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) home automation solution will reportedly work with Apple TV, iPhone and iPad. As it is, Apple is reported to be launching other platforms allowing iDevices to connect with 3rd-party hardware, such as CarPlay, iBeacon, and a rumored mobile payments service.
Canada is now probing GM as two fatalities in the country were linked to faulty ignition switches. Thirteen deaths in the U.S. have so far been connected to this malfunction, with General Motors (NYSE:GM) being fined by the United States $35 million for not recalling cars with faulty ignition switches as quickly as possible.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has announced a possible TV profit even if the company misses sales forecasts by as much as 16%. A positive return would make it Sony's (NYSE:SNE) first profit from TV units in more than a decade. The statement comes as Hirai debates how to restructure the company's business model.
Suncorp Group is planning a A$500M ($462M) write-down due to an increasing amount of insurance claims and customer competition. The write-down will reduce net profit and cut capital by A$27M ($25M). As a result, top-line growth targets for Suncorp Group (OTC:SNMYF) have been reduced to 4-6% from 7-9%, although the insurer expects to pay a dividend of 60-80% of cash earnings.
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In Asia, Japan +0.2% to 14636. Hong Kong -0.1% to 22944. China -0.3% to 2035. India -0.7% to 24550.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.5%. Paris -0.1%. Frankfurt +0.3%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow +0.38%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +0.5%. Crude -0.3% to $104.04. Gold -0.6% to $1284.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 2.55%
Today's economic calendar:
8:30 Durable Goods
9:00 FHFA House Price Index
9:00 S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index
9:45 PMI Services Index Flash
10:00 Consumer Confidence
10:00 State Street Investor Confidence Index
10:00 Richmond Fed Mfg.
10:30 Dallas Fed Manufacturing Outlook
1:00 PM Results of $31B, 2-Year Note Auction
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