U.S. To Open Flat To Slightly Higher

by: SA Editors

At 8:37 AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: +1.10; 1,436.40
NASDAQ 100: +2.75; 1,800.50
Dow: +6.00; 12,550.00

International Indexes

NIKKEI 225: +0.22%; 17,047.83 (36.79)
HANG SENG: -0.09%; 19,222.84 (-17.28)
S&P/ASX 200: -0.43%; 5,583.50 (-24.30)
BSE SENSEX 30: +0.33%; 13,384.86 (+44.65)

FTSE 100: -0.25%; 6,183.40 (-15.20)
CAC 40: -0.20%; 5,503.21 (-11.21)
XETRA-DAX: -0.01%; 6,586.30 (-0.61)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: -0.69%; $63.28 (-$0.44)
Gold: -0.19%; $623.10 (-$1.20)
Natural Gas: -1.23%; $6.69 (-$0.08)
Silver: -0.67%; $12.56 (-$0.085)

Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Japan's Export Growth Unexpectedly Accelerates, Easing Slowdown Concerns Japan's export growth unexpectedly accelerated in November, easing concern that the expansion of the world's second-largest economy is cooling. Imports slowed, reflecting a decline in oil prices.

Thailand Plans to Lift Investment Curbs When Baht Stabilizes, Tarisa Says Bank of Thailand Governor Tarisa Watanagase defended measures to control the appreciation of the baht that wiped $23 billion from the value of Thai stocks, and said the rules will be removed once the currency stabilizes.

Asian Stocks Advance to Seven-Month High, Led by Toyota; Thai Shares Fall Asian stocks rose to the highest in seven months. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) and Komatsu Ltd. (OTCPK:KMTUY) climbed after the yen weakened to the lowest against the dollar in more than four weeks, increasing the value of revenue from exports.

Thai Baht Declines by Most in Three Years as Overseas Funds Dump Shares The Thai baht dropped the most in three years as international investors withdrew funds after the government reversed some central bank currency controls that sparked a collapse in the country's benchmark stock index.

European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

U.K. Raises Third-Quarter Economic Growth Estimate on Services, Investment The U.K. economy, Europe's second- biggest, expanded at a faster annual pace than the government estimated in the third quarter, driven by a pickup in services.

Husqvarna to Buy Gardena for $963 Million to Add Consumer Irrigation Lines Husqvarna AB, the world's biggest maker of chainsaws and lawnmowers, agreed to buy Gardena Holding AG of Germany for 730 million euros ($963 million) to add Europe's No. 1 producer of garden sprinklers and water pumps.

Texas Pacific, First Reserve Drop Amec Bid as Company Keeps Books Shut Texas Pacific Group and partner First Reserve Corp. said they've abandoned plans to bid for Amec Plc after the world's third-largest provider of engineering services refused to grant access to its accounts.

European Media Stocks Rise, Led by Publicis; Rio Tinto, Shell Shares Drop European media stocks rose after Publicis Groupe SA (NASDAQ:PUB), the world's fourth-biggest advertising company, agreed to buy Digitas Inc. (OTC:DTAS) of the U.S. for $1.3 billion in cash. Benchmarks in the region were little changed.

Iceland Unexpectedly Lifts Benchmark Interest Rate to Record 14.25 Percent Iceland's central bank unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate to a record 14.25 percent after a widening current account deficit threatened to weaken the krona and push up inflation.

U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Delphi Shareholder Highland Makes $4.7 Billion Offer, Opposes Cerberus Bid Delphi Corp.'s (OTC:DPHIQ) second-largest shareholder, Highland Capital Management LP, has proposed investing $4.7 billion in the bankrupt auto-parts maker.

Raytheon Sells Business-Aircraft Unit to Onex, Goldman for $3.3 Billion Raytheon Co. (NYSE:RTN), the world's largest missile maker, agreed to sell its business-jet unit to Onex Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) for about $3.3 billion, completing an effort to refocus on government and defense clients.

General Mills Net Rises 4.1 Percent on New Cereals, Reduced-Sugar Yogurt General Mills Inc. (NYSE:GIS), the second-largest U.S. cereal maker, said profit rose 4.1 percent on higher sales of Fruity Cheerios and reduced-sugar yogurt.

U.S. Economy Expanded at 2.2 Percent Rate in Third Quarter, Economists Say The U.S. economy probably expanded in the third quarter at the slowest pace of the year, dragged down by weakness in the housing market, economists said before a government report today.

Bristol-Myers Agrees to Settle U.S. Drug-Pricing Probe for $499 Million Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) will settle U.S. investigations into drug pricing for about $499 million, and lowered its earnings forecast for the year.