China has suspended work at more than 250 aluminum and magnesium factories - and others that generate metal dust - for potential safety violations. The suspension is in response to the explosion at a Zhongrong Metal Products plant that killed 75 people on Saturday. The Zhongrong factory supplied auto parts to GM (NYSE:GM) and many other companies, and the new closure will greatly affect international supply chains.
After many months of talks, Russia and Iran have yet to agree over the concrete details of their oil-for-goods deal, although new reports state that the agreement will be much smaller than previously expected. Russian and Western media outlets initially said that the agreement would see Iran export up to 500K barrels of oil per day, but Moscow's Kommersant business daily now cites sources saying the controversial deal will be closer to 70K.
Vladimir Putin has also fired back at the West with retaliatory measures, after shrugging off Western sanctions for months. Russia has now banned the import of a wide range of food items including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy from the U.S., EU, Australia, Canada and Norway. PM Dmitry Medvedev also commented on the proposed airspace flight ban for EU and U.S. airlines saying a final decision had not yet been reached.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa has ordered BNY Mellon (NYSE:BK) to still hold on to the $539M of Argentine money designated to go to the holders of the country's restructured bonds. Despite its default, the country has threatened BNY Mellon for not disbursing the funds stating that the bank is violating its duties as a trustee. Argentina's GDP is expected to shrink this year, as fallout from the debt crisis keeps the region's No. 3 economy barred from foreign debt markets.
BofA is nearing a $16B-$17B settlement with the Department of Justice over mortgage-related misconduct prior to the financial crisis. The deal would have Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) paying about $9B in cash to government entities, with the additional money going towards consumer relief. A previous report had BofA upping its settlement bid to $14B last week, but the DOJ is still holding out for $17B.
Google is now giving better search rankings to Web pages that are encrypted. The company hopes that its new search algorithm will make the Web more secure, and encourage developers to better protect websites and information. Separately, Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) YouTube division announced yesterday that it had acquired Directr, an app used by small businesses to create marketing videos.
Parent Deutsche Telekom has confirmed that it currently has no offer for T-Mobile USA (NASDAQ:TMUS) which would boost the No.4 U.S. telecom provider's position. "We have always said that we would be open to offers for T-Mobile US which would improve its position and that of its shareholders," announces Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) CEO Tim Hoettges. "At the moment we don't have an offer which fits those criteria."
Priceline is investing $500M in Chinese online travel leader Ctrip (NASDAQ:CTRP) through a convertible bond, and has been granted permission to buy Ctrip shares in the open market over the next 12 months. Between the bond and the share purchases, Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) can hold up to a 10% stake. The companies are also expanding their existing partnership (formed in 2012), to include expanded access to accommodations and Priceline's rentalcars.com and OpenTable inventory.
Japanese partners in the Cameron LNG terminal say the project has secured its last investment approval by obtaining $7.4B in financing. The move brings Japan a step closer to importing significant amounts of LNG from the U.S.'s abundant supply of shale gas. The Cameron project is owned by Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE), GDF Suez (GDFZY), Mitsui & Co. (OTCPK:MITSY), and a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corp. (OTCPK:MSBHY) and Nippon Yusen KK (OTCPK:NPNYY).
Newmont Mining is expressing interest in restarting merger talks with Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX), after Newmont (NYSE:NEM) CEO Gary Goldberg announced that he was open to resuming discussions. Goldberg, however, says he has not heard from the company since April, when the merger talks between the two global gold miners collapsed.
J.M. Smucker has agreed to purchase Sahale Snacks, a maker of nut and fruit snacks, and expects to close the deal by the middle of September. Sahale's owners include P-E firm Palladium Equity Partners, which bought a minority stake in 2007 and announced a follow-on investment in 2012. J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM) said on June 5 that its FQ4 profit fell 9%, and the new acquisition may be aimed at turning falling earnings around.
Wall Street has been speculating that the Archer Daniels Midland $3.1B deal last month to buy Swiss-based Wild Flavors could foreshadow a move to reincorporate in Switzerland. However, ADM made no mention of it during its earnings report this week. Answering a query from MarketWatch regarding the speculation, ADM declared, "There are no plans to re-domicile offshore; an inversion is likely not even possible given the size of the Wild Flavors acquisition relative to ADM’s overall size."
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In Asia, Japan +0.5% to 15232. Hong Kong -0.8% to 24388. China -1.3% to 2187. India -0.3% to 25589.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris -0.4%. Frankfurt flat.
Futures at 6:20: Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude -0.2% to $96.76. Gold -0.3% to $1304.20.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.46%
Today's economic calendar:
Chain Store Sales
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
9:45 Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
3:00 PM Consumer Credit
4:30 PM Money Supply
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet
Notable earnings before today's open: AAON, AES, AFSI, AINV, AMCX, ATHM, AUXL, BCE, BDBD, BPI, BR, CBB, CCOI, CECE, CECO, CNQ, CQB, CRIS, CTB, DUK, EAT, FUR, FWLT, GBDC, GDP, GLP, GOLD, GTN, HAR, HII, HIMX, HRC, HSC, HSNI, HZNP, ICE, IDCC, IRC, KERX, LAMR, LEAF, LG, LINE, LMIA, LNCE, LPI, LQDT, LXP, LXRX, MFC, MMS, MNK, MONT, MPEL, MPW, MYL, NCT, NRF, NRG, NVO, NXST, NXTM, OGE, ONE, OWW, PBH, PHMD, POZN, PRIM, QIWI, RDN, RGLD, RSTI, RTK, SABR, SATS, SFUN, SGM, SNI, SPH, SRE, SRPT, SSYS, SUNE, TDC, TGH, THS, TICC, TK, TPH, VNDA, WEN, WIN, WMC, WWAV, ZEUS
Notable earnings after today's close: AGO, AHT, AIRM, AL, ALIM, ALJ, ALNY, AMRN, AMRS, ANAC, ANET, ASYS, ATLS, AUQ, BCEI, BCOR, BIOL, BNFT, BNNY, BOFI, BPZ, CARA, CBS, CENT, CFN, CLNE, CLVS, CPST, CSC, CUBE, CVT, DAR, DIOD, DMD, DV, EAC, EBS, ECPG, ED, EGOV, ELX, ENOC, FF, FI, FRT, FWM, FXCM, GHDX, GST, GXP, HGR, HTGC, IRG, KTOS, LGF, MASI, MDVN, MED, MELI, MNST, NES, NFG, NOG, NVDA, NWSA, OLED, OPLK, PFMT, PODD, PRO, PSIX, QTWO, RATE, RBCN, RENT, RPTP, RRMS, SCTY, SEM, SFM, SHOR, SLXP, SPPI, SSTK, TEAR, TRNX, TRUE, TUMI, UBNT, UNXL, VOLC, VVUS, WIFI, XOMA, ZNGA
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