The Fed is likely to go forward with its plan to wind down its bond-buying stimulus today, cutting its monthly asset purchases to $25B from $35B - on target for shutting the program this fall. During the Fed's announcement, investors will be looking for clues to how much closer the central bank is to raising interest rates, which can be triggered by the recent unemployment drop or firm inflation.
Last-minute plans to avoid an Argentine default are being worked on by members of Adeba, Argentina's banking association. The plan involves the members buying the legal claim and paying off holdout investors, in return for a suspension on Judge Thomas Griesa's ruling which has barred the country from paying its restructured bondholders unless it pays off the holdouts first. Argentina faces a sovereign default tomorrow, if a deal is not reached today.
GM is now facing a lawsuit which was filed in a Manhattan federal court by 658 people who state they were injured or related to a victim killed in an accident due to a faulty ignition switch. The newly filed lawsuit is aimed at covering claims that are not eligible for payments under the conditions of GM's (NYSE:GM) newly setup compensation program.
Toyota held its slim lead as the global leader in vehicle sales reporting total first-half sales at 5.1M vehicles, compared to Volkswagen's (OTCQX:VLKAY) 5.07M. However, Volkswagen is likely to overtake Toyota (NYSE:TM) in the second half of this year as it ramps up its expansion into China, while Toyota cuts back on growth to focus on quality. For the full year, IHS Automotive expects Volkswagen to sell 9.9M vehicles vs. Toyota's 9.5M.
Sprint and T-Mobile are not likely to announce a merger before September, as the two still are preparing a detailed case for a deal to appease U.S. regulators. Last month it was announced that Sprint (NYSE:S) would pay around $40 per share for T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), valuing the latter at nearly $32B. Besides formulating their strategy to clear regulatory scrutiny, other details such as break-up fees still have to be hammered out.
Amazon says that it will invest $2B to expand business in India as competition in the country heats up. "We see huge potential in the Indian economy and for the growth of e-commerce in India," says Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos. The announcement comes just one day after rival Flipkart raised $1B in new funding towards its own expansion.
The New York Department of Financial Services wants government monitors placed in the U.S. offices of Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) and Barclays (NYSE:BCS) as part of its investigation into the foreign-exchange market. The two banks have been chosen to host monitors because data collected over the course of the probe pointed to them for having the greatest amount of potential problems.
Pfizer is still looking to complete its highly desired tax inversion, despite AstraZeneca's (NYSE:AZN) rejection of its £69.4B takeover bid in May. CEO Ian Read is lobbying in Washington for an overhaul of tax rules which he says put U.S. companies at a disadvantage, and predicts that reforms will take years to play out. Read says Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is now "aggressively" pursuing acquisition options and a tax inversion is likely to be part of a future deal.
AstraZeneca has closed on a deal to purchase the rights to lung drugs developed by Almirall (OTC:LBTSF), expanding the drug-maker's respiratory medicine portfolio. "Our agreement with Almirall brings strategic and long-term value to AstraZeneca's (AZN) strong respiratory franchise, one of our key growth platforms," says CEO Pascal Soriot. The acquisition is worth up to $2.1B, with an initial $875M to be paid up front, and up to $1.2B in development.
Following its announcement of a 23% increase in Q2 earnings yesterday, Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) now states its intention to cut its workforce by 12%-15% and close two laboratories in Washington state and two manufacturing plants in Colorado. The layoffs will begin later this year and continue through 2015, eliminating 2,400 to 2,900 positions that will span a range of job types. Through the restructuring, Amgen is hoping to gain additional savings to put toward developing new drugs.
FedEx pleaded not guilty to the several criminal charges which accused it of distributing controlled substances from illegal online pharmacies. Despite multiple warnings from government authorities, the shipping company did not close the pharmacies' accounts, and is charged with changing shipping account classifications. FedEx (NYSE:FDX) allegedly earned $820M for shipping the drugs, and if convicted, it could be forced to pay a fine of twice that amount.
A fresh warning regarding RadioShack's turnaround plan has been issued by Moody's, stating that the electronics chain is likely to run out of cash by the fiscal third quarter of 2015. "Barring a cash infusion, RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) will not have much of a cash cushion to draw upon as it scrambles to remain relevant in the increasingly competitive mobile phone and consumer electronics business," says Moody's.
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In Asia, Japan +0.2% to 15646. Hong Kong +0.4% to 24732. China -0.1% to 2181. India +0.4% to 26087.
In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt -0.1%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude +0.2% to $101.19. Gold -0.1% to $1299.30.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 2.48%
Today's economic calendar:
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:15 ADP Jobs Report
8:30 GDP Q2
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
11:30 Results of $15B, 2-Year FRN Auction
1:00 PM Results of $29B, 7-Year Note Auction
2:00 PM FOMC Announcement
Notable earnings before today's open: AB, ACCO, ADT, AMED, AMT, ATRO, AUO, BAH, BDC, BEN, CFR, CVE, D, DHX, DORM, DX, ENR, EVER, GIB, GRMN, GT, HAE, HES, HSP, HUM, HUN, IACI, ICLR, INGR, LFUS, LL, LO, LPLA, MGAM, MINI, MMYT, MRGE, MWV, NICE, NVMI, PAG, PBI, PEG, PSX, PSXP, PTRY, ROK, RRD, S, SAIA, SEE, SGNT, SMP, SO, SODA, SONS, SPB, SPW, TASR, TFX, TRI, VLO, VLY, WEC, WLP
Notable earnings after today's close: ABX, AEL, AEM, AKAM, ALB, ALL, ALLE, AMC, ANIK, ARII, ASGN, ATEN, ATW, AUY, AVG, BALT, BGC, BMRN, CATM, CAVM, CBT, CENX, CHDN, CJES, CLUB, CMO, CNL, CNW, CODE, COHR, CTRP, CW, CWT, DDR, DRE, DRIV, EGN, EHTH, ELGX, ENTR, EQIX, EQY, ESRT, ESV, EXL, EXR, FBHS, FEIC, FISH, FMC, FNF, FOE, FORM, FORR, GLUU, HIG, HK, HOLX, HOS, HR, HTH, INT, IPI, ISIL, KBR, KEX, KGC, KRFT, KS, LGCY, LNC, LOCK, LPSN, LRCX, MAA, MANT, MDAS, MEOH, MET, MOBL, MOH, MTGE, MTW, MUR, NANO, NE, NEWP, NOW, OI, OTEX, PDM, PEIX, PGTI, PPC, PVA, QUIK, RKUS, ROVI, RRTS, SAM, SBRA, SCI, SFLY, SIMG, SPN, SPRT, SSS, STAA, STAG, STMP, STR, SU, SZYM, TCO, TGB, TGI, TS, TSO, TTEK, TTMI, TWTC, UNM, VGR, VPRT, WDC, WFM, WLL, WMB, WPZ, WSTL, WTW, YELP
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