At 8:40 AM EDT:
S&P 500: +1.80; 1,424.30
NASDAQ 100: +4.00; 1,807.50
Dow: +23.00; 12,515.00
NIKKEI 225: +0.86%; 17,237.77 (+146.18)
HANG SENG: -0.66%; 19,898.08 (-131.58)
S&P/ASX 200: +1.59%; 5,589.70 (+87.70)
BSE SENSEX 30: -0.63%; 13,566.33 (-85.82)
FTSE 100: +0.07%; 6,198.60 (+4.40)
CAC 40: +0.51%; 5,546.81 (+28.22)
XETRA-DAX: +0.53%; 6,642.45 (+34.86)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: -3.74%; $53.99 (-$2.10)
Gold: -0.02%; $609.30 (-$0.10)
Natural Gas: +0.20%; $6.39 (+$0.01)
Silver: -0.28%; $12.325 (-$0.035)
Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Thailand's Government Tightens Foreign Investment Laws, Imposes New Limits Thailand's military government placed new restrictions on foreign ownership in the nation's companies, rattling investors two weeks after a bungled attempt to impose capital controls.
• China Life Passes ING, Allianz in Value as Shares Surge in Shanghai Debut China Life Insurance Co.'s (NYSE:LFC) yuan-denominated shares more than doubled on their first day of trading on the Shanghai stock exchange, making the company the world's second-biggest insurer by market value.
• Asian Stocks Rebound From Four-Day Slide; Sony, Alinta, China Life Surge Asian stocks rebounded from four days of losses after Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) met its PlayStation 3 shipment targets and Australia's Alinta Ltd. received a buyout offer.
• Cairn India's Shares Fall 20 Percent on Debut on Output Delay Concerns Shares of Cairn India Ltd., which raised $1.93 billion in India's second-biggest initial sale last month, fell as much as 20 percent in its trading debut on concern that the company's oil production may be delayed.
• Alinta's Management Makes Buyout Offer, Says Macquarie May Take a Stake Alinta Ltd., Australia's biggest gas distributor, received a takeover approach from management backed by Macquarie Bank Ltd. in what would be the country's largest buyout of an energy company.
European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• European Stocks Rise for First Time in Five Days; BASF, British Air Climb European stocks gained for the first time in five days after crude oil dropped below $55 a barrel in New York. BASF AG (BF) and British Airways Plc (NYSEARCA:BAB) led an advance by companies that benefit from lower energy costs.
• BP's Production Falls for Sixth Quarter, Hurt by Reduced Flow From Alaska BP Plc (NYSE:BP) said production declined for a sixth quarter on start-up delays in the Gulf of Mexico and reduced crude flow at its Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska.
• Marks & Spencer Sales Momentum Will Slow After Gaining Over Holiday Period Marks & Spencer Group Plc, reporting a sixth straight quarterly sales increase on gains in fashion, said the momentum is likely to slow because of a ``more difficult'' retail climate.
• Ranbaxy Says It May Be Interested in Buying Merck KGaA's Generic Drug Unit Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., India's biggest pharmaceutical company, may bid for the generic-drug unit of Germany's Merck KGaA (NYSE:MRK) in a sale that analysts say could reach 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion).
U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Oil Drops to Lowest Since 2005 on Warm U.S. Weather, Increased Inventories Crude oil plunged to the lowest price since 2005, trading near $54 a barrel as mild weather in the U.S. reduced heating fuel demand and caused inventories to swell.
• GE May Sell Its Plastics Unit, Seeks as Much as $10 Billion, People Say General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) may sell its plastics unit for as much as $10 billion after seeking bids for the operation, people with direct knowledge of the auction said.
• Hedge Fund Borrowing, Margins Examined by SEC, Fed, European Authorities U.S. and European regulators, turning a spotlight on one of Wall Street's most profitable businesses, are conducting a joint probe into whether banks and securities firms set strict enough limits on loans to hedge funds.
• Supervalu Profit Jumps 51 Percent on Purchase of Albertson's Supermarkets Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU), the second-largest U.S. supermarket chain, said third-quarter profit jumped 51 percent after it acquired Albertson's Inc.
• Great Atlantic Records First Profit in Five Quarters After Lowering Costs Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (GAP), the owner of the A&P and Food Emporium supermarket chains, reported its first profit in five quarters after it reduced costs and recorded a tax benefit.