Wall St. Breakfast's Pre-Market Snapshot:
U.S. Futures As of 8:45 AM ET
S&P 500: -12.00; 1,477.50
NASDAQ 100: -12.00; 2,012.75
Dow: -82; 13,374
NIKKEI 225: -1.60%; 16,158.45 (-262.02)
HANG SENG: +0.77%; 24,069.17 (+183.10)
SHANGHAI SE COMPOSITE: +0.31%; 5,310.72 (+16.67)
BSE SENSEX 30: -0.12%; 15,446.15 (-19.25)
FTSE 100: -0.87%; 6,321.40 (-55.40)
CAC 40: -1.26%; 5,601.40 (-71.32)
XETRA-DAX: -0.76%; 7,663.25 (-58.52)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: +0.24%; $75.26 (+$0.18)
Gold: -0.39%; $688.80 (-$2.70)
Natural Gas: +1.05%; $5.69 (+$0.06)
Silver: -0.59%; $12.375 (-$0.073)
U.S. Breaking Newssee today's Wall Street Breakfast for earlier news
Amazon's Unbox Grabs NBC Programming From iTunes
In a major coup for Amazon.com's Unbox digital download service, NBC will no longer sell its new Fall TV programming through Apple's iTunes, opting to go through Amazon's platform instead. The move means episodes of top iTunes sellers like The Office and Heroes will now sell exclusively through Unbox for $1.99, the same price Apple charged on iTunes. As part of the deal between GE-owned NBC and Amazon, users will be able to download pilots of NBC's new shows for free on Unbox beginning Monday, before their premiers. Apple will continue to sell existing NBC shows through the end of 2007 but will not offer any new NBC shows through iTunes. NBC programming accounts for roughly 30% of iTunes' TV show sales. MarketWatch believes NBC's move to Unbox might also "help alter the balance of power in the online-rental market." Amazon's shares are up slightly in pre-market action as of 8:15 ET.
Sources: Press Release, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, AP, The Seattle Times
Commentary: Amazon gets shot at NBC show revenue [MarketWatch] • Bernstein Sees More Operating Margin Gains Ahead For Amazon • Apple iTunes Outsells Amazon And Target • The Long and Short on Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft And Apple
Stocks/ETFs to watch: AMZN, GE. Competitors: AAPL. ETFs: FDN, HHH, IAH
Earnings call transcript: Amazon.com Q2 2007
Related: Amazon Unbox
MGIC Investment and Radian Group Terminate $4.9B Merger
Mortgage insurers MGIC Investment Corporation and Radian Group Inc. jointly announced early Wednesday that they have agreed to terminate their pending $4.9 billion merger. MGIC had agreed to acquire Radian in February in a stock swap. As of Tuesday's market close, MGIC and Radian shares have fallen 57% and 73%, respectively, since peaking in February on the merger announcement. The companies cited "current market conditions," which "have made combining the companies significantly more challenging." They agreed to withdraw all outstanding litigation and their joint press release said neither party made a termination payment. Shares of MGIC gained 0.6% to $30.34 on Tuesday. Radian shares rose 2.7% to $18.11. MGIC is untraded so far in Wednesday's pre-market, while Radian is down 7.8% to $16.70 on thin volume.
Sources: Press release, MarketWatch
Commentary: MGIC Investment Sues Radian Group For Necessary Merger Information • MGIC Investment, Radian Shares Plunge On Likely $1 Billion Write Down • MGIC Investment Corp. to Buy Radian for $4.9 Billion in Stock
Stocks/ETFs to watch: MTG, RDN. Competitors: PMI, GNW, AGO, OTC:TGIC
Cognos Buys Business Analytics Specialist Applix for $306M
Cognos Inc. said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire business analytics company Applix for $306 million ($17.87/share), net of Applix's cash on hand, a 24% premium over its Tuesday close of $14.37/share. Cognos expects the deal to close in Q4 2007. Applix's business intelligence software helps large companies manage budgeting, strategic planning, forecasting, and financial reporting. The company also offers training, support and consulting. "This acquisition is a terrific strategic fit for Cognos," Cognos CEO Rob Ashe said. "Applix will broaden our solution offering and provide Cognos with an innovative, 64-bit, in-memory analytics capability." Cognos said Applix will complement its flagship products -- Cognos 8 Planning, Cognos 8 Controller, and Cognos 8 Business Intelligence -- in the area of financial performance management. Applix performance analytics will give Cognos clients new/enhanced capabilities to analyze and optimize financial performance, it said. Applix's 12 months revenue is $61.2 million, and it boasts current revenue growth of 45%. Applix shares are up 22.5% to $17.60, and Cognos shares are down 2.6% to $40 in pre-market trading.
Sources: Press release, MarketWatch
Commentary: RBC Sees ORCL, SAP Pressuring BOBJ, COGN • Cognos Incorporated: The Competitive Edge of Intelligent Business
Stocks/ETFs to watch: COGN, APLX. Competitors: BOBJ, ACTU, SAP, ORCL, MSFT
Earnings call transcript: Cognos F1Q08 (Qtr End 5/31/07)
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Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Asian Stocks Fall on Subprime Concern; Mizuho Financial Leads Banks Lower Asian stocks dropped for a second day after comments by a senior Japanese government official reignited concern losses from U.S. subprime mortgages will spread.
• Yen Strengthens as Stocks Decline, Watanabe Comments Spur Risk Aversion The yen, the best-performing of the world's top 16 currencies this month, rose as demand for riskier investments fell after Japan's chief financial regulator said he will monitor credit market losses at the nation's banks.
• China Halts Buying Hong Kong Stocks on Fund Outflow Concern, Officials Say China will delay allowing local investors to buy Hong Kong shares directly until rules have been introduced to limit capital outflows, according to three officials at the country's banking regulator.
European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Bank of England Offers Additional Cash to Reduce Overnight Interest Rates The Bank of England offered to provide additional cash to reduce ``unusually high'' overnight interest rates and said it shouldn't be expected to take additional action to reduce three-month borrowing costs.
• European Investment Banks' Earnings Will Take `Material Hit,' Lehman Says European investment banks will take a ``material hit'' to earnings from writedowns associated with securities related to U.S. subprime loans, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. analysts said in a report.
• Hochtief, Redwood to Buy Deutsche Bahn Real-Estate Unit for $2.23 Billion Hochtief AG agreed to buy the real- estate unit of Germany's state-owned railway operator for 1.64 billion euros ($2.23 billion) as it expands in markets more profitable than construction.