Wall St. Breakfast's Pre-Market Snapshot:
U.S. Futures As of 8:07 AM EST
S&P 500: -4.50; 1,400.40
NASDAQ 100: -11.75; 1,746.00
Dow: -30.00; 12,222.00
NIKKEI 225: -1.35%; 17,217.93 (-235.58)
HANG SENG: +0.49%; 19,442.01 (+95.41)
S&P/ASX 200: -0.42%; 5,786.00 (-24.20)
BSE SENSEX 30: -2.08%; 12,886.13 (-273.42)
FTSE 100: -0.08%; 6,111.40 (-4.60)
CAC 40: -0.75%; 5,417.67 (-40.73)
XETRA-DAX: -0.80%; 6,586.98 (-53.26)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: +0.16%; $62.10 (+$0.10)
Gold: -0.56%; $661.40 (-$3.70)
Natural Gas: +0.51%; $7.32 (+$0.04)
Silver: -0.29%; $13.61 (-$0.04)
U.S. Breaking News — see today's Wall Street Breakfast for earlier news
Update: YouTube and BBC Sign Three Channel Deal
Google Inc. has had a hard time reaching comprehensive agreements with major media outlets like NBC and Viacom to put their videos on Google's YouTube, but the New York Times reports it has been successful in signing up hundreds of smaller media companies such as the NBA (Monday) and independent label Wind-up Records (Tuesday). But YouTube officials say most of their licensing deals have not been disclosed, that they number over 1,000, and that they are adding over 200 media partners a quarter. The deals, despite their size, seem to be paying off: According to Hitwise, an Internet research firm, over the two weeks after YouTube took down over 100,000 Viacom clips from channels like MTV and Comedy Central, traffic on the site nonetheless went up 14%. And, says the Times, as its audience grows, YouTube becomes increasingly alluring for big media companies. "You fish where the fish are” -- John Caplan of Ford Models agency, a YouTube content partner. Today, the Times says, Google will announce a multiyear agreement with the BBC that will have it create one news and two entertainment channels, two of which will include Google's AdSense ads. BBC content will include celebrity blogs, behind-the-scenes videos, and shows like “Fawlty Towers,” “Doctor Who” and “Life on Earth.” Many of the deals are of a tentative nature, non-exclusive, and withhold some prized content, as partners apparently take a wait-and-see approach before committing full force. Update: The British Broadcasting Corp. has now confirmed its deal with Google, which will include a BBC Worldwide channel including Top Gear, Spooks and the nature documentaries presented by David Attenborough, and a BBC World channel that will carry BBC news clips. MarketWatch reports that the plan is likely to be controversial in the U.K., where the BBC has been criticized for reaching too far into commercial territory.
Sources: BBC, New York Times, Reuters, MarketWatch
Commentary: Google Leads Internet Video Market, Smaller Sites Have Remarkable Showing • Idea for Google: Add Some Ads On Videos • Key Players In The Internet Video Market
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). Competitors: News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS), owner of MySpace. ETFs: Internet HOLDRs (NYSE:HHH), First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index (NYSEARCA:FDN)
Conference call transcripts: Google Q4 2006 Earnings Call Transcript
Related: YouTube BBC channel, YouTube BBC Worldwide channel
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Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Japan Posts Zero Inflation, Struggling to Overcome Years of Falling Prices Japan had zero inflation in January, underscoring the nation's struggle to overcome seven years of slumping prices.
• China Regulator Tightens Controls on Short-Term Foreign Borrowing by Banks China cut the amount that banks can borrow overseas to curb risks and stem foreign-currency inflows that have put pressure on the yuan to appreciate.
• Sakakibara, Former `Mr. Yen,' Says Bank of Japan May Raise Rates in May Eisuke Sakakibara, former currency-policy chief at Japan's Ministry of Finance, said it's possible the central bank will raise interest rates in May rather than wait until parliamentary elections are held in July.
European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• European Stocks Head for Worst Week Since Iraq War Started; Adecco Drops European stocks headed for their worst week since the beginning of the Iraq war as efforts by China to restrain borrowing and concern that U.S. economic growth is slowing extended a sell-off in global equities.
• Schroders Full-Year Net Income Advances 16 Percent on Higher Fee Funds Schroders Plc, London's biggest publicly traded money manager, said 2006 profit rose 16 percent, exceeding analysts' estimates as higher-fee funds added clients. The shares had their biggest gain in three and a half years.
• Buffett Buys More Tesco Stock, Raising Stake to 2.9 Percent From 2 Percent Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKA) increased its stake in Tesco Plc (OTCPK:TSCDY), according to the U.S. insurance and investment firm's annual letter to shareholders.
• AstraZeneca's Brennan Still Plans Diabetes Drug Filing in U.S. Next Year AstraZeneca Plc Chief Executive Officer David Brennan said the U.K. drugmaker still plans to ask for approval of a new diabetes medicine early next year, after a similar Novartis AG treatment was delayed on safety concerns.
• Nokia, Motorola Widen Lead as Asia Demand Spurs Record Mobile-Phone Sales Nokia Oyj and Motorola Inc., the world's two largest mobile-phone makers, widened their lead in the market for handsets as demand in Asia lifted unit sales to a record in the fourth quarter.