A tanker loaded with $40M of ultralight oil departed Texas for South Korea late last night, marking the first unrefined American oil export since the 1970s. Although the U.S. policy on oil exports has not changed, the Commerce Department last month began relaxing its definition of "unrefined oil". U.S. condensate supply is surging due to the shale oil boom and the industry is demanding permits and comprehensive public guidance with regard to what oil can or cannot be exported.
Negotiations with holdout investors and a last-minute Argentine bank proposal fell through yesterday, triggering Argentina's sovereign default following its midnight deadline. The default will further hurt Argentina's economy which is already suffering from a recession and will prolong the country's return to the global credit markets. Argentina has been isolated from the international markets since its $100B default in 2002.
U.S. officials are continuing talks in India with the hope that the government will drop its objections for the WTO trade-facilitation deal before tonight's deadline. Newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to open up India's closed economy, but states that he won't sign off on the deal unless the concerns on the restrictions of farmers' subsidies and stockpiles are addressed.
Russia has responded to the EU and U.S. sanctions which hit its country's oil, arms and banking industries, saying that they would lead to higher energy prices in Europe and damage cooperation with the U.S. on international affairs. In what looked like retaliation, Russia declared a ban on most fruit and vegetable imports from Poland due to "sanitary reasons" and said it could extend it to the rest of the EU.
Samsung is planning several new global smartphone launches to retrieve its lost market share and make up for its first year-over-year drop in net profit in almost three years. Two high-end smartphone releases are planned within the next six months; "One model will have a large screen while the other will be built using "new materials", says SVP Kim Hyun-joon. Samsung (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) will also introduce new mid-to-low-end models to counter low-cost Chinese competition.
PayPal now plans on bringing its small-business and consumer lending programs outside the U.S to Germany, Australia and the U.K. The online payment company challenges traditional lending by offering unique products which use alternative methods for approving loans, such as "sales history" with eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) or PayPal. The company also doesn't charge interest on its loans, but rather charges a flat upfront fee and deducts a percentage of each sale to repay the loan.
GE's retail credit unit, Synchrony Financial has priced its 125M-share IPO at $23, the low end of a $23-$26 range. Synchrony (NYSE:SYF) raised $2.88B, and is valued at $19.1B. Shares begin trading this morning and GE (NYSE:GE) will have an 84.9% post-IPO stake. Last year, Synchrony generated two-thirds of its $9.4B revenue from its retail card business.
Sony reports a sharp increase in net profit, which rose to ¥26.8B ($260.8M) from ¥3.1B Y/Y, as gains in its game business outweighed deteriorating results in its mobile unit. Sales rose 5.8% to ¥1.8T, while operating profit nearly doubled to ¥69.8B. However, Sony (NYSE:SNE) still maintains its previous forecasts for a net loss of ¥50B, sales of ¥7.8T and an operating profit of ¥140B for its current fiscal year.
Target is hiring PepsiCo executive Brian Cornell as its new CEO and will appoint him to the position on August 12. For the last several months Target (NYSE:TGT) CFO John Mulligan was placed as the company's interim chief exec, following the resignation of Gregg Steinhafel in May. The incoming CEO is faced with the pressing tasks of fixing Target's disastrous Canadian expansion and restoring retail profit and customer confidence.
Apple will lay off about 200 employees at Beats Electronics following its $3B acquisition of the headphone and music streaming services company. The staff reduction will mainly hit human resources, finance and other departments where there is overlap between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Beats.
Credit Suisse's dark pools are the newest to join the recent high-frequency trading investigation, and are now being probed by several regulatory authorities. "Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) is responding to inquiries from various governmental and regulatory authorities concerning the operation of its alternative trading systems, and is cooperating with those requests," says the Zurich-based bank.
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In Asia, Japan -0.2% to 15621. Hong Kong +0.1% to 24757. China +0.9% to 2202. India -0.7% to 25895.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.7%. Frankfurt -1%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow -0.6%. S&P -0.7%. Nasdaq -0.7%. Crude -1% to $99.32. Gold -0.1% to $1296.20.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 2.55%
Today's economic calendar:
7:30 Challenger Job-Cut Report
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 Gallup US Payroll to Population
8:30 Employment Cost Index
9:45 Chicago PMI
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
3:00 PM USDA Ag. Prices
4:30 PM Money Supply
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet
Notable earnings before today's open: AAWW, ABMD, ACIW, ACOR, ADP, AGI, ALKS, ALU, AMRC, APA, ASEI, ATK, AVP, AYR, AZN, BDX, BG, BGCP, BKCC, BLL, BUD, BWA, BZH, CCJ, CDW, CEVA, CHTR, CI, CL, CME, CNSL, COMM, COP, COT, CRCM, CRR, CTCM, CVI, CVRR, DDD, DISCA, DLPH, DTV, ENDP, EPD, EXC, FCH, FCN, FIG, FLY, FRM, GEL, GG, GIL, GLOP, GMT, GNRC, GTLS, H, HGG, HL, HP, HST, IDA, IMN, INCY, IRDM, IRM, ITT, IVZ, K, KMT, LKQ, LLL, LM, MA, MCK, MD, MDP, MNTA, MOD, MOS, MPC, MPLX, MSCI, MTOR, MWIV, NGD, NI, NJR, NWL, OAK, OCN, ODFL, OXY, PCG, PCRX, PES, PNR, PNW, PPL, PRFT, PWR, Q, RFP, RYL, SBH, SC, SCG, SFY, SHOO, SNAK, SNMX, STC, STRA, STRZA, SUP, SWC, TE, TEVA, TKR, TRP, TWC, UAN, UPL, USAK, VG, VICL, VNTV, VRX, WLT, WWE, XEL, XOM, XRAY
Notable earnings after today's close: ABCO, ABTL, ACGL, ADNC, ADUS, AFFX, AHS, AIV, ARRS, ASH, AVD, AXTI, BAGL, BBG, BBRG, BEAT, BRKS, BYD, CALD, CERS, CPSI, CPT, CTRL, CYH, DATA, DCT, DGI, DVA, DXPE, EEP, EGO, EIX, ELLI, ESIO, EXEL, EXPE, FLDM, FLR, FLT, FNGN, G, GDOT, GFIG, GPRO, HME, HNSN, IMMR, IMPV, JIVE, JLL, KEYW, KOG, KRG, LNKD, LOPE, LRE, LYV, MATX, MCHP, MHK, MRC, MXL, MXWL, NGVC, NKTR, NU, OIS, OMCL, ONNN, OUTR, PCCC, PCYC, PKI, PMCS, PSA, PXLW, RMD, RMTI, SGEN, SKUL, SPF, SPWR, SREV, SSNC, STAA, SWIR, SWN, SYNA, THG, TNAV, TRLA, TSLA, TSYS, VCRA, WU, WWWW, YRCW
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