U.S. Futures Trading Higher; Oil Continues To Slide

by: SA Editors

At 8:05 AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: +1.20; 1,442.00
NASDAQ 100: +1.75; 1,864.00
Dow: +24.00; 12,650.00

International Indexes

NIKKEI 225: -0.04%; 17,202.46 (-7.46)
HANG SENG: -0.20%; 20,027.95 (-40.61)
S&P/ASX 200: -0.01%; 5,673.40 (-0.40)
BSE SENSEX 30: -0.11%; 14,114.73 (-14.91)

FTSE 100: -0.11%; 6,256.30 (-7.20)
CAC 40: -0.14%; 5,622.94 (-8.14)
XETRA-DAX: -0.07%; 6,727.12 (-4.62)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: -2.13%; $51.86 (-$1.13)
Gold: -0.05%; $626.60 (-$0.30)
Natural Gas: +1.30%; $6.69 (+$0.09)
Silver: +0.16%; $12.90 (+$0.02)

Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Asian Stocks Rise, Led by David Jones, Murata Manufacturing; Cnooc Slides Asian stocks rose after retailer David Jones Ltd. said holiday sales beat expectations and Goldman, Sachs & Co. told investors to buy shares of Japanese electronic component makers such as Murata Manufacturing Co.

LG.Philips LCD Posts Third Quarterly Loss on Television Flat-Panel Prices LG.Philips LCD Co. (NYSE:LPL), the world's second-largest maker of liquid-crystal displays, reported its third consecutive quarterly loss because of falling prices of television screens.

Bank of Thailand Deliberately Created Investor `Uncertainty,' Tarisa Says The Bank of Thailand deliberately created ``uncertainty'' in the foreign exchange market to drive out speculators from Japan and the U.S. when it imposed curbs on investment, Governor Tarisa Watanagase said.

EMI to Offer Music Samples With Baidu, Says It Won't Pursue Lawsuit Appeal EMI Group Plc. (OTC:EMIPY), which lost a copyright infringement lawsuit against Baidu.com Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU), will drop its appeal and work with the Chinese Internet search site to win advertising by offering free online samples of its music.

Malaysian Air Shares Drop Most Since 2002 on Plans to Raise $457 Million Shares of Malaysian Airline System Bhd., the nation's biggest carrier, fell the most in five years after the company said it plans to raise 1.6 billion ringgit ($457 million) in a share sale to fund the business.

European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

German Investor Confidence Increases More Than Expected to Six-Month High German investor confidence rose more than forecast to a six-month high in January as Europe's biggest economy overcomes a higher sales tax and a slowdown in export markets.

U.K. Inflation Accelerates to 3 Percent, Fastest Pace in at Least a Decade Britain's inflation rate accelerated to 3 percent in December, the fastest in at least a decade, supporting the Bank of England's surprise decision to raise borrowing costs last week.

Tesco Holiday Sales Rise 5.9 Percent on Premium, Seasonal Foods, Turkeys Tesco Plc, the biggest British supermarket company, boosted holiday sales after offering organic food, cashmere sweaters and flat-panel televisions at more of its stores.

European Stocks Fall for First Time in Four Days, Led by Miners, Retailers European stocks fell for the first time in four days as a drop in metals pushed mining companies lower and retailers slid after Debenhams Plc said sales declined.

BP Investigation Finds Systemic Safety Failures at Refineries, Person Says BP Plc (NYSE:BP) top management will be criticized for systemic failures in a report today on the company's safety practices and the March 2005 oil refinery explosion that killed 15 workers.

U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Citigroup, JPMorgan Slide Further Behind Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley For all their success arranging mergers, securities offerings and loans, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) trail the earnings growth of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).

Chevron, Shell Suffer Setbacks at LNG Projects, Raising Natural Gas Prices Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE:RDS.A) are delaying construction projects from Australia to Nigeria, threatening to drive natural gas prices higher for years to come.

Symantec Says Third-Quarter Profit, Sales Miss Forecast, Citing Data Unit Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ:SYMC), the world's biggest maker of anti-virus software, said third-quarter profit and sales missed its forecast, citing its data management unit.

Express Scripts Announces $25 Billion Exchange Offer for Caremark Shares Express Scripts Inc. (NASDAQ:ESRX) said it is beginning its offer for all outstanding shares of Caremark Rx Inc. (CMX) and said the deal is worth $25 billion, 7 percent higher than CVS Corp.'s (NYSE:CVS) rival bid.

Carlyle Group Raises ElkCorp Offer to $1.05 Billion, Topping Competing Bid Carlyle Group raised its offer to buy roofing company ElkCorp (ELK) to $40.50 a share, higher than a competing bid from Building Materials Corp. of America.