At 8:25 AM EDT:
S&P 500: -2.30; 1,422.50
NASDAQ 100: -2.75; 1,776.25
Dow: -10.00; 12,520.00
NIKKEI 225: +0.74%; 17,353.67 (+127.84)
HANG SENG: -1.90%; 20,025.58 (-387.81)
S&P/ASX 200: -1.14%; 5,584.80 (-64.50)
BSE SENSEX 30: -1.02%; 13,871.71 (-143.21)
FTSE 100: -0.64%; 6,278.60 (-40.40)
CAC 40: -0.80%; 5,566.22 (-44.70)
XETRA-DAX: -0.62%; 6,649.50 (-41.82)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: -4.47%; $58.32 (-$2.73)
Gold: -1.29%; $629.80 (-$8.20)
Natural Gas: -2.16%; $6.16 (-$0.14)
Silver: -2.05%; $12.67 (-$0.265)
Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Asian Resources Stocks Decline on Copper, Oil; Toyota Gains on Weaker Yen Asian resources stocks fell, led by BHP Billiton (BHP) and PetroChina Co. (PTR), after copper prices had the biggest drop since June and oil plunged the most since April 2005.
• Toyota Passed DaimlerChrysler in 2006 U.S. Sales as Asia Has Record Share Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) passed DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX) in U.S. sales in 2006, capping the year with a 12 percent gain that helped Asian automakers win a record annual share of the U.S. market.
• BHP Halts Output at Two Australian Nickel Mines Because of Flood Warnings BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Minara Resources Ltd., Australia's two largest nickel producers, halted output at mines after heavy rain, which may add to supply shortages that have driven prices to a 19-year high.
• Everbright Bank Taps Morgan Stanley to Sell Stake, People Familiar Say China Everbright Bank Co. hired China International Capital Corp. and Morgan Stanley to find a foreign investor before a planned initial public offering this year, three people involved in the plan said.
• Macquarie Bank Plans to Relocate as Many as 100 Jobs to India, People Say Macquarie Bank Ltd., Australia's largest securities firm, plans to shift as many as 100 administrative jobs to India, two people with knowledge of the decision said.
European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Stocks Fall in Europe; Shares of BP, BHP, Volkswagen, DaimlerChrysler Drop European stocks fell after the U.S. Federal Reserve showed increased concern that the economy will slow and inflation will accelerate.
• European Services Growth Unexpectedly Slows, Sign Economy May Have Peaked Expansion in European service industries, the biggest part of the economy, unexpectedly slowed in December, a sign economic growth may have peaked.
• Next Profit May Beat Estimates on Larger Stores, Increased Catalog Sales Next Plc, Britain's third-largest clothing retailer, said annual profit will exceed analyst estimates after it opened larger stores and increased sales through its home shopping catalog.
• Merck Shares Rise on Handelsblatt Report of Possible Sale of Generics Unit Shares of Merck KGaA (MRK), the German drugmaker buying Swiss biotechnology company Serono SA (SRA), rose the most since August after Handelsblatt said Merck may sell its generic-drug division to help finance the purchase.
• U.K Services Expansion, Mortgage Approvals Point to Higher Interest Rates U.K. service industries grew the fastest in a decade and mortgage approvals rose to the highest in three years at the end of 2006, reinforcing the argument for higher interest rates as the economy strengthens.
U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Fed Officials, Noting Risks to Economic Growth, Move Toward Neutral Stance Federal Reserve policy makers moved closer to replacing their bias for higher interest rates with a neutral stance.
• U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rose 10,000 to 329,000 Last Week More Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment compensation last week, adding to evidence the labor market was slowing at the end of 2006.
• Nardelli's Severance Package Called `Egregious,' May Spur U.S. Legislation Home Depot Inc. (HD) Chief Executive Officer Robert Nardelli's "egregious" $210 million severance package may be the catalyst for legislation that tries to rein in executive pay at U.S. companies.
• KKR Will Pay Out $837 Million in Fees in Record Year for Leveraged Buyouts Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is set to pay at least $837 million in fees to investment banks for deals in 2006, more than any other private equity firm, in an unprecedented year for leveraged buyouts.
• Wal-Mart Forecasts Same-Store Sales Will Rise by 1 to 2 Percent This Month Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the world's largest retailer, said January sales at stores open at least a year will rise between 1 and 2 percent following a better-than- forecast December gain of 1.6 percent.
• U.S. Stock-Index Futures Fall; Wal-Mart, Caterpillar Shares Drop in Europe U.S. stock-index futures fell before a report on the services industry that may add to evidence the world's biggest economy is slowing.