Spain sends out mayday signal. Spanish Treasury Minister Cristobal Montoro today said that because of the risk premium, Spain is shut out of the markets. Montoro added that the EU should help capitalize the country's banks, departing from PM Mariano Rajoy's line that it doesn't need external help. A big test will come tomorrow, when Spain will try to sell €1B-€2B in bonds. Opinion: Spain and the banking union.
Marriott to go on hiring spree. Marriott (NYSE:MAR) intends to hire up to 10,000 workers in the U.S. this year and open 150 hotels, Chairman Bill Marriott tells Bloomberg, despite concerns about the U.S. recovery and the eurozone debt crisis. Having agreed to buy Gaylord Entertainment last week, Marriott is also planning to make further acquisitions. Opinion: Hotels back on a profitable path.
Top Stock News
MF Global's liabilities estimated at $3B. MF Global Holdings Ltd. (OTC:MFGLQ) could be liable for over $3B in claims, Louis Freeh, the trustee who is supervising its unwinding, said in an update report. Freeh's review adds to one from the trustee of MF's broker-dealer unit, James Giddens, who yesterday said he might sue Jon Corzine and co. for negligence and breach of duties to customers. Opinion: You stand relieved, Mr. Corzine.
Big pharma makes $4.1B-$4.7B bids for Amylin. Amylin (AMLN) has received takeover offers of $25-$29 in a first round of bidding, Bloomberg reports, valuing the diabetes drug company at $4.1B-$4.7B. AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), Sanofi (NYSE:SNY), Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) made proposals, although Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is dropping out. Amylin is asking for revised offers by the end of June and hopes to close a sale in July. Opinion: Amylin goes Wizard of Oz on sharedholders.
Wynn to spend $4B on latest casino in Macau. Wynn Resorts' (NASDAQ:WYNN) latest Macau casino resort will cost $4B, CEO Steve Wynn said today. "Growth of the market has been so spectacular, the expansion so dramatic, it is unrealistic for it to continue at that rate," Wynn said, but Macau doesn't need to sustain that blistering growth for it to remain a profitable play. Opinion: Wynn Resorts: A possible jackpot for casino stocks.
CBS open to sale of $4B-$6B billboard ops. CBS (NYSE:CBS) will listen to bids for its outdoor billboard unit after being approached by bankers interested in finding buyers, Bloomberg reports. A sticking point could be the price, with the WSJ saying that CBS wants $6B but that potential suitors value the unit at closer to $4B. CBS has indicated in the past that it's open to a sale at the right price. Opinion: CBS is a core media holding.
India's ONGC eyes ConocoPhillips Canadian ops. India's state-run ONGC is considering bidding for part of ConocoPhillips' (NYSE:COP) Canadian oil sands holdings, which are worth around $5B, Reuters reports. Conoco has been looking to sell several assets as part of its global restructuring. First round bids are due soon and are likely to attract interest from other international parties as well. Opinion: Conoco is deeply undervalued.
JPMorgan's CIO loss could hit $4.2B - estimate. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) may report a $4.2B trading loss at its chief investment office, International Strategy & Investment Group forecasts. A pretax loss of that size would help cut Q2 EPS to $0.65, down 30% from an earlier estimate of $0.93. Opinion: Battered JPMorgan could fall to $20/share.
Earnings, shares go down, financial CEO salaries go up. The salaries of the 50 best-paid CEOs of financial firms rose 20.4% in 2011 despite sharp falls in the earnings and stock prices of most big banks and brokerages, Bloomberg reports. KKR (NYSE:KKR) co-CEO Henry Kravis was the best paid with $30M, while Warren Buffett provided the best value in terms of incentive pay vs. stock returns over three years. Opinion: Wall Street compensation and deja vu.
Chevy Volt gets a jolt in California. Incentives and the high price of gas in California are helping push up demand for Chevrolet Volts, The Detroit Free Press reports. It's music to GM's (NYSE:GM) ears because despite having to tweak models to meet stricter emissions guidelines, the company considers Volt sales in California critical to the overall success of its electric-vehicle program. Opinion: Auto sales strong but below expectations.
Top Economic & Other News
G7 to hold emergency call to discuss EU problems. With fears that a capital flight from Spain could turn into a full bank run, G7 finance minsters and central bank governors have arranged an emergency conference call for today to discuss the eurozone crisis. The talks come ahead of a G20 summit scheduled for next week. Opinion: G7 emergency call unlikely to help.
Eurozone retail sales drop faster than expected. Eurozone April retail sales fell 1% on month and 2.5% on year, much worse than expectations of -0.1% and -1.1% respectively. Meanwhile, the final PMI composite index fell to 46 from 46.7. Based on the PMI, "it would not be surprising to see GDP for the region contract by 0.5%" in Q2, says Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson. Opinion: The EU's systemic risk and why this time is different.
In Asia, Japan +1%. Hong Kong +0.4%. China +0.1%. India +0.2%.
In Europe, at midday, London closed. Paris +0.3%. Frankfurt -0.9%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.3%. Nasdaq -0.3%. Crude -0.4% to $83.67. Gold +0.3% to $1618.90.
Today's economic calendar:
7:45 ICSC Retail Store Sales
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
10:00 ISM Non-Manufacturing Index
2:15 PM Fed's Bullard: 'The Aftermath of the Housing Bubble'
7:00 PM Fed's Fisher: 'The Limits of the Powers of Central Banks'
7:30 PM Fed's Evans speaks to the NYU Money Marketeers
Notable earnings after today's close: ULTA