Wall St. Breakfast's Pre-Market Snapshot:
U.S. Futures As of 8:45 AM EST
S&P 500: -8.00; 1,432.60
NASDAQ 100: -13.25; 1,797.00
Dow: -57.00; 12,427.00
NIKKEI 225: -0.64%; 17,254.73 (-110.32)
HANG SENG: -0.78%; 19,553.87 (-152.92)
S&P/ASX 200: -0.69%; 5,923.20 (-41.00)
BSE SENSEX 30: -1.83%; 12,884.34 (-239.98)
FTSE 100: -0.38%; 6,268.80 (-23.80)
CAC 40: -0.67%; 5,549.87 (-37.19)
XETRA-DAX: -0.88%; 6,797.88 (-60.46)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: +2.70%; $64.63 (+$1.70)
Gold: +0.73%; $673.70 (+$4.90)
Natural Gas: +2.36%; $7.68 (+$0.18)
Silver: +1.32%; $13.455 (+$0.175)
U.S. Breaking News — see today's Wall Street Breakfast for earlier news
Durable Goods Orders Come in Below Expectations; Aircraft Orders Recover
Economists were expecting February durable goods orders to climb by 3.5%-3.8% but it didn't happen. Transportation orders were the only bright spot in the Commerce Department's report this morning; non-defense aircraft orders rose 88% from January, while defense aircraft and parts orders climbed 29.3%. Overall, durable goods orders climbed 2.5% however ex-transportation, durables actually declined 0.1%, their fourth such decline in five months.
Sources: Bloomberg, MarketWatch
Commentary: Decline is on the Horizon: Why Even The Fed Can’t Save Us Now • Delving Into Durables: Yesterday's Overreaction Doesn't Make up for Months of Underreacting
Stocks/ETFs to watch: S&P 500 Index (SPY), Diamonds Trust Series 1 ETF (DIA), iShares Lehman Aggregate Bond (AGG), PowerShares Aerospace & Defense (PPA), iShares Dow Jones US Aerospace & Defense (ITA)
No 'Google Phone' -- But LG to Pre-install Google on Millions of Phones
LG Electronics and Google announced a global collaboration today, to pre-install Google services including search, Maps, Gmail and Blogger to millions of LG mobile phones. They will jointly market LG-Google handsets with one-click Google access. The first shipments are expected from Q2 this year. In its press release, LG said it will pre-install Google on its handsets "for the next few years with at least ten new handsets in 2007." Coverage on GigaOM notes Samsung already has similar deals with both Google and Yahoo!. The Wall Street Journal reports a Google spokeswoman confirmed its deal with LG is similar to previous deals with Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Samsung. She also said a Google-branded phone is not part of the collaboration with LG. The Journal mentions sources familiar with the matter say Google is working independently to develop software which "goes well beyond the applications for phones Google already offers for accessing its services."
Sources: Press release, GigaOM, The Wall Street Journal
Commentary: Google Expands Its Mobile Presence • DoubleClick Exploring a Possible Sale -- WSJ • Yahoo to Offer Cellphone Web-Ad Network
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Google (GOOG), LG Electronics (Seoul: 066570). Competitors: Yahoo! (YHOO), Microsoft (MSFT), Time Warner (TWX), IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI). ETFs: First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index (FDN), First Trust IPOX-100 Index (FPX), iShares S&P Global Technology (IXN)
Conference call transcripts: Google Q4 2006 Earnings Call Transcript
Ford Brings in Sony To Ramp Up Its Vehicle Audio Systems
In another attempt to appeal to brand-conscious consumers, Ford is teaming up with Sony Electronics to offer souped-up audio systems in Ford and Mercury vehicles beginning next year. Ford's first Sony-equipped audio vehicle will be the new Ford Flex, a full-size crossover, the company plans to unveil April 4 at the New York Auto Show. In January Ford inked a deal with software-giant Microsoft to develop a wireless 'Sync' system, allowing drivers to control a range of applications in their car with simple hands-free, voice activated commands.
Sources: AP, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News
Commentary: Ford and Microsoft Unveil 'Sync,' Providing Drivers Knight-Rider Like Voice Activation Features • Big 3 Sit Down With President to Discuss Flex-Fuel Production
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Sony (SNE), Ford (F). Competitors: General Motors (GM), DaimlerChrysler (DCX), Toyota (TM), Honda (HMC), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY)
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Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Asian Stocks Fall, Led by Toyota, on U.S. Consumer Confidence, Home Prices Asian stocks dropped for a second day, led by companies that sell to the U.S. after consumer confidence and home prices declined in the region's largest export market.
• Mizuho Leads $4.9 Billion Bailout of Japanese Credit-Card Company Orient Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (MFG), Japan's second-biggest bank by assets, agreed to lead a 578 billion yen ($4.92 billion) bailout of Orient Corp., after the credit-card company forecast a loss.
• PCCW Managing Director So Quits as Company Reports 22 Percent Profit Drop PCCW Ltd. (PCW) group managing director Jack So quit as Hong Kong's largest phone company reported an unexpected 22 percent slump in annual profit.
• Tokyo Electric to Delay Finishing Two Reactors After Cover-Up of Accident Tokyo Electric Power Co., Asia's biggest utility, will delay completion of two nuclear reactors after admitting that an accident was covered up in 1978, the latest blow to public confidence in Japan's atomic power program.
• Yen Strengthens on Speculation Japanese Investors Repatriating Earnings The yen rose the most in two weeks versus the euro on speculation Japanese investors are bringing funds home before the last day of the financial year this week.
European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• European Stocks Fall on Profit Outlook; Air France, Rio Tinto, H&M Decline European stocks dropped for a third day on speculation the highest oil prices in six months and slowing U.S. economic growth will hurt earnings.
• Porsche Makes Cash Bid for Volkswagen, Valuing Carmaker at $47.8 Billion Porsche AG bid for Volkswagen AG (OTCQX:VLKAY) today, offering a below-market price that values the company at 35.8 billion euros ($47.8 billion) to defend Europe's largest carmaker against hedge funds and buyout firms.
• German Consumer Confidence Rises for First Time in Five Months, GfK Says German consumer confidence rose for the first time in five months, adding to evidence that Europe's largest economy has overcome an increase in sales taxes.
• U.K. Economic Growth Is Unexpectedly Revised Down for the Fourth Quarter The U.K. economy, Europe's second- biggest, grew less than previously estimated in the fourth quarter on slower expansion in health services.
• H&M Profit Climbs 27 Percent on Store Openings in the U.S., Spain, Poland Hennes & Mauritz AB, Europe's second-largest clothing retailer, said first-quarter profit rose 27 percent on sales at new shops in the U.S., Spain and Poland.