Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission are looking to settle their gas dispute today in an ongoing controversy plaguing the region. Earlier this week, Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY) demanded that Ukraine settle the $3.5B it owes, with Ukraine responding that it only owes $2.5B due to Russia's seizure of Crimea. The dispute greatly threatens European supply, as Ukraine is the transit nation for half of the gas Russia sells to the EU.
Municipal-bond prices have soared so far in 2014, compared to the same time one year ago. 2013 was the market's worst year in almost two decades, after registering losses nationwide - ranging from Detroit's municipal bankruptcy-protection filing to pension costs in Illinois. The revival of the $3.7T muni-market comes as bond buyers attempt to find higher returns amid dropping U.S. interest rates. Yields on municipal debt fell to 2.325% this past Wednesday - their lowest in almost a year.
Google is ready for action as the new European Court of Justice's “right to be forgotten” ruling goes into effect today. An online form will allow a request for Europeans to censor links or damaging information. Google (GOOG, GOOGL) has announced plans to create a Europe-based committee to deal with the new privacy concerns. Although the giant will be able to handle the new law, CEO Larry Page warns of risks damaging the next generation of internet start-ups.
Amazon is set to launch a music streaming service for Prime members that provides access to songs that are at least 6 months old, BuzzFeed reports. The report comes 24 hours after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced it's buying Beats and its subscription streaming service, which currently has 250K subscribers. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has also recently struck a Prime Instant Video streaming deal with HBO (NYSE:TWX) that will reportedly cost $300M+ over 3 years.
SpaceX has revealed its new Dragon V2 Vehicle to shuttle astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The capsule competes with rivals Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Sierra Nevada Corporation over winning NASA's "space taxi" contract. SpaceX is also fighting a battle on another front, as it seeks to end a near-monopoly of Pentagon satellite launches enjoyed by a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT).
Pimco may be about to put a stop on an outflow of certain funds after parent company Allianz (OTCQX:AZSEY) saw Pimco's operating profit slump by more than a quarter in Q1. Allianz has called on its subsidiary to prove it can stem the outflows after they dented their own earnings. "Pimco may be about to end a net outflow of client funds that reached €22B ($30B) in the first quarter," says chief exec Douglas Hodge.
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In Asia, Japan -0.3% to 14632. Hong Kong +0.3% to 23081. China -0.1% to 2039. India flat at 24233.
In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt +0.1%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow flat. S&P -0.1%. Nasdaq flat. Crude -0.4% to $103.13. Gold -0.2% to $1254.30.
Ten-year Treasury Yield is flat at 2.47%
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