At 8:45 AM EDT:
S&P 500: -4.50; 1423.00
NASDAQ 100: -6.25; 1806.00
Dow: -32.00; 12,517.00
NIKKEI 225: -1.51%; 17,091.59 (-262.08)
HANG SENG: +0.93%; 20,211.28 (+185.70)
S&P/ASX 200: -0.23%; 5,572.00 (-12.80)
BSE SENSEX 30: -0.08%; 13,860.52 (-11.19)
FTSE 100: -0.38%; 6,262.80 (-24.20)
CAC 40: -0.55%; 5,544.07 (-30.49)
XETRA-DAX: -0.54%; 6,638.40 (-36.00)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: -1.13%; $54.96 (-$0.63)
Gold: -0.16%; $625.20 (-$1.00)
Natural Gas: -0.84%; $6.11 (-$0.05)
Silver: -0.55%; $12.765 (-$0.07)
Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• China Raises Bank Reserve Ratio to 9.5 Percent to Cool Lending, Investment China told banks to set aside more money as reserves to prevent a rebound in lending and investment.
• Asian Stocks Fall for Third Day; PetroChina, BHP Drop on Commodity Prices Asian stocks fell for a third day, the longest slide in seven weeks, as prices of commodities tumbled and a stronger yen hurt Japanese exporters.
• China Railway Engineering Plans $1.5 Billion Share-Sale Offer, People Say China Railway Engineering Group Co., the nation's largest construction company by revenue, hired BOC (International) Holdings Ltd., JPMorgan & Co. (JPM) and UBS AG (UBS) to raise as much as $1.5 billion in an initial public offering, according to three people with knowledge of the plan.
• Daewoo Electronics' Creditors Reject Videocon-Led Group's Revised Offer Creditors of Daewoo Electronics Corp. rejected a bid by India's Videocon Industries Ltd. to reduce its 700 billion won ($752 million) offer for South Korea's third- largest electronics maker.
• QBE to Buy Winterthur U.S. for $1.16 Billion in its Biggest Acquisition QBE Insurance Group Ltd., Australia's largest property and casualty insurer, agreed to buy the U.S. arm of Axa SA's Winterthur (AXA) unit for $1.16 billion, its biggest purchase and second North American acquisition in three weeks.
European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• European Confidence Is Close to Six-Year High; Unemployment at Record Low Confidence in the European economy stayed close to a six-year high and unemployment fell to a record low, indicating domestic demand may help sustain expansion in the euro region as export growth eases.
• Retail Sales in Europe Rose at Slowest Pace in Nine Months in December European retail sales grew in December at the slowest pace in nine months, a sign that economic expansion is easing, the Bloomberg purchasing managers index showed.
• Stocks in Europe Fall for Second Day; Nokia, Ericsson, Total Pace Retreat European stocks dropped for a second day after Motorola Inc. (MOT) said fourth-quarter earnings missed forecasts and investors speculated job growth probably slowed in the U.S. last month.
• Thales's Alcatel Purchases to Increase Sales by $2.5 Billion, Ranque Says Thales SA, Europe's largest military- electronics maker, expects satellite and transport assets it's buying from Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) to boost sales by 1.9 billion euros ($2.5 billion), Chief Executive Officer Denis Ranque said.
• Daimler's Mercedes Sales Advance 3 Percent to Record on S-Class, M-Class DaimlerChrysler AG's (DCX) Mercedes Car Group said sales rose 3 percent to a record last year on greater demand for S-Class, M-Class and a face-lifted E-Class vehicles.
U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• December U.S. Payrolls Rise 167,000; Jobless Rate Holds at 4.5% -- Employers in the U.S. added a greater- than-expected 167,000 workers to payrolls in December and incomes grew by the most in eight months, adding to evidence the economy is weathering a slump in housing and manufacturing. The gain in employment followed a 154,000 rise in November that was larger than previously estimated, the Labor Department reported today.
• Freddie Mac Reports $550 Million Third-Quarter Loss in Accounting Overhaul Freddie Mac (FRE), the second-largest source of money for U.S. home loans, said it had a $550 million net loss in the third quarter and expects to report a similar loss for the fourth quarter as falling interest rates eroded the value of derivatives it used to hedge risk.
• Motorola Shares Drop as Profit, Sales Miss Estimates; Nokia, Samsung Slide Shares of Motorola Inc. (MOT), the world's second-largest mobile-phone maker, plunged 9.2 percent after the company's profit and sales missed analysts' estimates. Samsung Electronics Co. and Nokia Oyj (NOK) shares also slid.
• Gross Says Fed Will Cut Benchmark Interest Rate to 4.25 Percent This Year Bill Gross, manager of the world's biggest bond fund, says the Federal Reserve will lower its benchmark interest rate by a percentage point to 4.25 percent this year to support economic growth.
• Best Buy December Sales Rise on Lower Prices for Flat-Screen TVs, Laptops Best Buy Co. (BBY), the largest U.S. consumer-electronics retailer, said December sales rose after the company lured customers with lower prices on flat-screen televisions and laptop computers.