At 8:51 AM EDT:
S&P 500: -2.20; 1,436.50
NASDAQ 100: -7.25; 1,848.50
Dow: -8.00; 12,620.00
NIKKEI 225: +0.34%; 17,261.35 (+58.89)
HANG SENG: +0.18%; 20,064.57 (+36.62)
S&P/ASX 200: -0.48%; 5,646.10 (-27.30)
BSE SENSEX 30: +0.12%; 14,131.34 (+16.61)
FTSE 100: -0.53%; 6,182.60 (-33.10)
CAC 40: -0.53%; 5,561.69 (-29.85)
XETRA-DAX: -0.31%; 6,696.06 (-20.76)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: -1.52%; $50.43 (-$0.78)
Gold: -0.53%; $622.60 (-$3.30)
Natural Gas: -1.40%; $6.54 (-$0.09)
Silver: -1.11%; $12.485 (-$0.14)
U.S. Headlines — see today's Wall Street Breakfast; Breaking stories:
The Labor Department released higher than expected PPI data for December at 8:30 AM EST this morning, sending U.S. futures lower. Prices paid to U.S. producers rose a greater-than-expected 0.9% in December, led by higher energy and food costs. Core prices (which exclude energy and food prices) rose just 0.2%. Both raises were slightly higher than expected; economists surveyed by MarketWatch were looking for a 0.6% gain on producer price index and a flat reading on the core PPI. Core PPI has climbed 2% in the past 12 months - up from 1.6% in 2005. The data increases the likelihood the Fed will hold rates steady when it next meets as inflation is still a concern.
• Sources: Bloomberg, MarketWatch
• Related commentary: 'Era of Low Inflation'? Grandma Begs to Differ, John Hussman: Overbought, Overbullish Climate Leaves No Room to Get Out
• Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: S&P 500 Index - "Spiders" (NYSEARCA:SPY)
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Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Thai Central Bank Cuts New Interest Rate to 4.75 Percent to Spur Economy Thailand's central bank cut its key interest rate for the first time in more than three years to spur the economy after currency controls, more stringent investment rules and Bangkok bombings shook investor confidence.
• Bank of Japan Faces Credibility Test After Reports It Will Delay Rate Rise The Bank of Japan faces a test of its credibility tomorrow after local media said policy makers will delay raising interest rates, spurring concern they are bowing to government pressure.
• Asian Technology Stocks Fall, Led by LG.Philips; Mitsubishi Estate Climbs Asian stocks advanced, led by Mitsubishi Estate Co. and Sumitomo Realty & Development Co., on speculation the Bank of Japan will refrain from raising its 0.25 percent benchmark interest rate tomorrow.
• Wipro's Profit Rises 40 Percent on Software Purchases, Financial Clients Wipro Ltd. (NYSE:WIT), India's third-largest software company, reported profit that beat analysts' estimates, buoyed by acquisitions and orders from banks and retailers.
• General Motors Talks With Malaysia's Proton at `Early' Stage, Wagoner Says General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner, seeking to boost sales in emerging markets, said talks with Malaysia's unprofitable carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd. are at an early stage.
Cell phone maker Sony Ericsson reported record earnings for 4Q06, claiming profits more than tripled. Sales of music and camera phones drove the company's beat quarter. Net earnings improved to €447 million from €146 million during the year earlier period; pretax earnings came in at €502 million. Sales rose 64% to €3.78 billion, driven by strong growth in Asian and South American emerging markets, while total units shipments increased 61% to 26 million. Consensus forecasts were for pre-tax profit of €428 million on sales of €3.2 billion.
• Sources: Press Release, MarketWatch, Reuters
• Related commentary: Redback-Ericsson: A Competitive Threat to Juniper and Cisco?, China's Eventual 3G Rollout Could Favor EU Vendors. Conference call transcripts: LM Ericsson Q3 2006 Earnings Call Transcript
• Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), Soney (NYSE:SNE). Competitors: Motorola (MOT), Nokia (NYSE:NOK). ETFs: Wireless HOLDRS (NYSEARCA:WMH)
More European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Airbus Posts Loss After A380 Delays Raise Costs, Lead Customers to Defect Airbus SAS, the world's largest maker of commercial aircraft, will post a loss for 2006 after delays to the A380 superjumbo jet increased costs and pushed customers to buy Boeing Co. planes.
• ASML Net Quadruples to Record, Tops Estimates, on Demand for Ipods, Xboxes ASML Holding NV (NASDAQ:ASML), maker of the most expensive machines in chip fabrication, said fourth-quarter profit quadrupled on demand for semiconductors used in iPod music devices and mobile phones.
• European Technology Stocks Advance; Rio Tinto, Anglo American Shares Drop European technology stocks rose after ASML Holding NV, the region's biggest maker of semiconductor equipment, said fourth-quarter profit almost quadrupled. Benchmarks in the region were little changed.
• DSG Net Drops 32 Percent; Italian Sales Slump Will Stifle Full-Year Profit DSG International Plc, Europe's second largest electronics retailer, reported a 32 percent drop in first-half profit as its Italian unit slipped to a loss.
• Air France-KLM Chief Spinetta Quits Alitalia Board Before Bidding Closes Air France-KLM Group (AKH) Chief Executive Officer Jean-Cyril Spinetta quit Alitalia SpA's board ahead of the close of bidding for a controlling stake in the Italian airline, suggesting the French carrier may submit a bid.