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  • SEC extends naked shorting ban, maybe more to come. The SEC extended the temporary restrictions on naked short selling of 19 financial stocks to Aug. 12. It did not broaden the stock universe covered by the ban, and it said it won't be extended beyond Aug. 12. SEC chief Christopher Cox said that after the current rule expires, the agency will consider rule changes that would focus on the broader market. It is said to be studying numerous ideas. Shares of the 19 firms enjoyed an initial bounce, but many (MER, FNM, LEH) have since fallen and now approach previous lows - calling the ban's efficacy into question.
  • Housing market rescue plan gets presidential ok. President Bush signs homeowner / Freddie (FRE) and Fannie (FNM) rescue plan into law. "We look forward to putting in place new authorities to improve confidence and stability in markets, and to provide better oversight for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," spokesman Tony Fratto said. The program will allow the FHA to insure up to $300B in refinanced loans for about 400,000 borrowers struggling with monthly payments - after lenders agree to trim the mortgage balance.
  • Inconclusive test results send Wyeth and Elan tumbling. Shares of Wyeth (WYE -5%) and Elan (ELN -29%) drop in the pre-market after announcing full results of a mid-stage study of their experimental Alzheimer's treatment (bapineuzumab). They're sticking to a prior decision to move the drug into late-stage trials, but the inconclusive results underwhelmed experts. Concerns include an apparent randomness to the drug's success, 3 deaths of trial participants, and 12 cases of fluid buildup in the brain.
  • After you finish reading Wall Street BreakfastSeeking Alpha's Market Currentswill keep you current all day long.
  • Car lending cutbacks. Dramatic drops in sales of pickups and SUVs has killed their resale value, forcing domestic carmakers to reassess their leasing strategies. Ford (NYSE:F) raised prices on leased vehicles "due to extreme losses Ford Credit is taking on off-lease vehicles." "If you have any customers that want to lease any of [the affected] vehicles, the time is now," it told dealers in a memo. GM (NYSE:GM) stopped lending to risky buyers.
  • One less charge for UBS. The NY Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit charging UBS (NYSE:UBS) with fraudulently earning more that $100M by misusing its knowledge of the trades of one of its hedge funds.
  • Tumbling profits. Earnings of the 291 S&P 500 component companies that had reported as of Tuesday have dropped 24% from a year ago; as recently as July 3, analysts predicted a drop of just 11%.
  • No place to hide. Economists polled by Reuters didn't have much cheer in their market expectations for G8 nations, calling picking a global market "a bit like choosing between deck chairs on the Titanic." Resource economies are seen as the least-worst; Russia and Canada may benefit from high commodity prices, they said.
  • Corporate debt default surge seen. S&P said Tuesday it sees the default rate on high-yield corporate debt rising to 4.9% over the next 12 months - from a current 1.9%.
  • WTO talks break up. Global trade talks broke down Tuesday over an obscure but complicated plan to help poor countries protect farmers against import surges. "It's a massive blow to confidence in the global economy," ETC spokesman Peter Power said. (Implications, winners and losers). Still, negotiators said that despite the breakdown, the round of talks was not over. "My initial reaction is not a reaction of throw in the towel," WTO chief Pascal Lamy said.
  • ADP: Private employment +9,000 vs. -60,000 consensus. "Though July’s figures showed a slight employment gain, the ... three-month average of -14,000 suggests that the weakened employment situation continues."
  • MBA Mortgage Applications: -14.1% vs -6.2% prior.
  • Consumer Confidence: 51.9 vs. 50.1 consensus and 51 in June - "suggesting there has been no significant improvement, nor significant deterioration, in business or labor market conditions."
  • S&P/CaseShiller: Home prices fell by 15.8% - just less than 16% consensus. Last month: -15.2%. All 20 cities posted declines, including nine record lows, and 10 double-digit drops.
  • Redbook: U.S. retail sales rose 1.2% during July's first three weeks, slightly less than the 1.4% forecast.

Earnings: Before Wednesday's Open

  • American Tower (NYSE:AMT): Q2 EPS of $0.12 in-line. Revenue of $394M (+9.8%) in-line. [PR]
  • ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT): Q2 EPS of $4.19 beats by $1.38. Revenue of $37.84B (+39%) vs. $35.09B. Shares +7.5% in Amsterdam. [PR]
  • Avon (NYSE:AVP): Q2 EPS of $0.55 beats by $0.08. Revenue of $2.71B (+17.5%) vs. $2.6B. [PR]
  • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA): Q2 EPS of $0.21 misses by $0.02. Revenue of $8.55B (+10.9%) in-line. Shares +0.2%. [PR]
  • Corning (NYSE:GLW): Q2 EPS of $0.49 in-line. Revenue of $1.69B (+19.3%) in-line. Approves $1B share buyback. [PR]
  • Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN): Q2 EPS of $0.93 misses by $0.07. Revenue of $912M (+22.9%) vs. $956M. [PR]
  • Gartner (NYSE:IT): Q2 EPS of $0.30 beats by $0.07. Revenue of $344M (+17.5%) vs. $335M. [PR]
  • Hess (NYSE:HES): Q2 EPS of $2.76 in-line. Revenue of $11.72B (+57.9%) vs. 8.39B. Shares [PR]
  • Lazard (NYSE:LAZ): Q2 EPS of $0.54 beats by $0.03. Operating revenue of $494M (+12.4%). [PR]
  • Lloyds (NYSE:LYG): First-half profit falls to £576M ($1.1B), short of the £881M consensus. Bad loans jumped 31% to £1.1B. Lloyds took a £585M writedown on credit-related assets. Shares -4.75% in London.
  • Moody's (NYSE:MCO): Q2 EPS of $0.51 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $488M (-24.5%) vs. $468M. Now sees first-half weakness extending through year-end. [PR]
  • Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY): FQ1 net profit of ¥107.27B ($992M) vs. ¥83.7B consensus. Sales of ¥423B up 24% from ¥340B. Nintendo sold 5.2M Wiis in Q1, 1.7M more than a year ago. [WSJ]
  • Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL): Q2 EPS of $1.93 misses by $0.15. Revenue of $1.21B (+57.7%) vs. $1.02B. [PR]
  • IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI): Q2 EPS of $0.35 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $1.6B (+6.9%) in-line. [PR]
  • Interpublic Group (NYSE:IPG): Q2 EPS of $0.17 beats by $0.01. Revenue of $1.84B (+11.1%) vs. $1.75B. [PR]
  • Office Depot (NASDAQ:ODP): Q2 EPS of $0.04 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $3.61B (-0.7%) in-line. [PR]
  • Owens Corning (NYSE:OC): Q2 EPS of $0.25 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $1.57B (+22.8%) vs. $1.41B. [PR]
  • Siemens (SI): FQ3 net profit of €1.42B vs. consensus of €948M. Sales of €19.18B (+10%) vs. €18.68B. Shares +4.3%. [MarketWatch]
  • SPX Corp. (NYSE:SPW): Q2 EPS of $1.70 beats by $0.13. Revenue of $1.56B (+28.8%) in-line. [PR]
  • Temple-Inland (NYSE:TIN): Q2 EPS of $0.07 beats by $0.123. Revenue of $991M (-3.1%) vs. $978.5M. Shares +1.15%. [PR]
  • Timken (NYSE:TKR): Q2 EPS of $0.96 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $1.54B (+13.8%) in-line. [PR]
  • Tyco Electronics (NYSE:TEL): FQ3 EPS of $0.70 beats by $0.03. Revenue of $3.91B (+19.7%) vs. $3.8B. [PR]

Earnings: After Tuesday's Close

  • Ace (NYSE:ACE): Q2 EPS of $2.18 beats by $0.28. Net premiums written $3.6B (+16.7%) vs. $3.38B. Shares +1.6%. [PR]
  • Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (NYSE:CBI): Q2 EPS of -$1.47 misses by $-0.16. Revenue of $1.43B (+41.2%) vs. $1.51B. Shares +0.15%. Shares -2.7%. [PR]
  • Centex (CTX): FQ1 EPS of -$1.36 misses by $0.25. Revenue of $1.13B (-40.8%) vs. $1.3B. "The housing market worsened in the June quarter, and I don't expect to see it improve this fiscal year." Shares +0.8%. [PR]
  • Cephalon (NASDAQ:CEPH): Q2 EPS of $1.25 beats by $0.18. Revenue of $485M vs. $470M. Sees Q3 EPS of $1.25-1.35 vs. $1.22. Shares +1.1%. [PR]
  • CommScope (CTV): Q2 EPS of $1.00 beats by $0.13. Revenue of $1.09B (+2.1%) in-line. Shares -5.5%. [PR]
  • Dreamworks Animation SKG (NASDAQ:DWA): Q2 EPS of $0.30 beats by $0.07. Revenue of $141M (-36.7%) vs. $122M. Shares +1.15%. "Q3 results are expected to be driven by Kung Fu Panda's continued box office performance." [PR]
  • Electronic Arts (ERTS): FQ1 EPS of -$0.42 misses by $0.09. Revenue of $609M (+41%) vs. $640M. Shares -1.4%. [PR]
  • Embarq (EQ): Q2 EPS of $1.38 beats by $0.10. Revenue of $1.55B (-3.5%) in-line. [PR]
  • EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG): Q2 EPS of $2.52 beats by $0.14. Revenue of $1.03B vs. $1.75B. Shares +0.8%. [PR]
  • Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV): Q2 EPS of $0.83 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $1.3B (+38%) in-line. [PR]
  • FMC Corp. (NYSE:FMC): Q2 EPS of $1.29 beats by $.011. Revenue of $807M (+22.6%) vs. $726M. Shares +3.5%. [PR]
  • Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW): Q2 EPS of $0.49 misses by $0.06. Revenue of $2.92B (+3.6%) vs. $3.04B. [PR]
  • Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI): Q2 EPS of $0.65 misses by $0.03. Revenue of $1.07B (-4.4%) in-line. Shares -18.9%. [PR]
  • Integrated Device Technology (NASDAQ:IDTI): FQ1 EPS of $0.23 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $188M (-5.4%) vs. $184M. Shares -2.7%. [PR]
  • Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX): FQ4 EPS of $0.60 beats by $0.20. Revenue of $566M (-7.8%) vs. $549M. Shares +1.8%. [PR]
  • Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC): Q2 EPS of $1.32 misses by $0.02. Revenue of $2.58B (+37%) vs. $2.68B. Shares -2.8%. [PR]
  • MetLife (NYSE:MET): Q2 EPS of $1.30 misses by $0.21. Revenue of $13.72B vs. $13.89B. Shares -9.8%. [PR]
  • OfficeMax (NYSE:OMX): Q2 EPS of $0.24 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $1.98B (-6.9%) vs. $2.02B. Shares -9.5%. [PR]
  • RF Micro Devices (RFMD): FQ1 EPS of $0.03 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $240.5M (+0%) vs. $237M. Shares +10%.
  • Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW): Q2 EPS of $0.10 misses by $0.04. Revenue of $49.7M (+1.5%) vs. $61.25M. Shares -1%. [PR]
  • United Rentals (NYSE:URI): Q2 EPS of $0.62 misses by $0.05. Revenue of $831M (-13.6%) vs. $880M. [PR]
  • Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA): Q2 EPS of $0.64 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $3.86B (+21.1%) vs. $3.55B. Shares -3.8%. [PR]

Today's Markets

  • Asia climbed Wednesday. Nikkei +1.58% to 13,368. Hang Seng +1.94% to 22,691. Shanghai -0.48% to 2,837. BSE +3.59% to 14,287.
  • In Europe, markets are broadly higher at midday. London +1.3%. Paris +1.2%. Frankfurt +0.8%.
  • Futures: Dow +0.32%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.43%. Crude -0.02% to $122.16. Gold -1.13% to $906.

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