At 8:35 AM EDT:
S&P 500: +0.70; 1,434.50
NASDAQ 100: +3.75; 1,778.25
Dow: +1.00; 12,575.00
NIKKEI 225: +0.01%; 17,225.83 (+1.02)
HANG SENG: -0.19%; 19,964.72 (-37.19)
S&P/ASX 200: +0.17%; 5,669.90 (+9.40)
BSE SENSEX 30: -0.43%; 13,786.91 (-59.43)
FTSE 100: -0.32%; 6,220.80 (-20.10)
CAC 40: +0.23%; 5,545.86 (+12.50)
XETRA-DAX: -0.23%; 6,596.92 (-14.89)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: -0.51%; $60.22 (-$0.31)
Gold: +0.09%; $637.50 (+$0.60)
Natural Gas: +1.07%; $6.32 (+$0.07)
Silver: +0.43%; $12.995 (+$0.055)
Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Nomura Stumbles in Japanese Mergers Market; Goldman, UBS, Citigroup Gain Nomura Holdings Inc. (NYSE:NMR), Japan's largest securities firm, lost its lead as the nation's top adviser on mergers to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) after missing out on the three biggest international acquisitions.
• Asian Stocks Rise, Capping Fourth Year of Gains; Canon, AU Optronics Rally Asian stocks advanced to a seven-month high, completing a fourth straight year of gains. Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), the world's largest digital-camera manufacturer, and LCD-maker AU Optronics Corp. (NYSE:AUO) climbed after consumer confidence rose in the U.S.
• Australian Dollar Set for Highest Year Close in a Decade on Yield Premium The Australian dollar headed for the strongest annual close in a decade as investors flocked to the higher yields available on the nation's government bonds.
• Crude Oil May Rise on Falling U.S. Stockpiles, OPEC Production Cutbacks Crude oil may rise on speculation that U.S. inventories will decline for a sixth week as OPEC members reduce production.
• GM, Ford, Chrysler, After 2006 Losses, May Cede More U.S. Sales to Toyota General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler (DCX), after losing money and U.S. market share in 2006, may face more of the same in 2007 as Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) chips away at their business.
European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• German Consumer Confidence Declines for a Second Month on Tax Increases Consumer confidence in Germany, Europe's largest economy, fell for a second month on concern increases in sales taxes and health-insurance costs will reduce household incomes.
• Suez Shares Climb After Capital Says Pinault Plans $92 Billion Hostile Bid Shares of Suez SA (NYSE:SZE), the world's second-largest water company, rose to a record after Capital magazine said that French billionaire Francois Pinault may make a 70 billion-euro ($92 billion) hostile bid for the company.
• European Stocks Decline, Led by BP, Shell; Suez, Ferrovial Shares Advance European stocks fell on the final trading day of 2006, led by BP Plc (NYSE:BP) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE:RDS.A), after crude oil traded near a four-week low in New York.
• Ferrovial to Sell Property Unit to Promociones Habitat for $2.1 Billion Grupo Ferrovial SA, Spain's second-largest builder, agreed to sell its real-estate division to Promociones Habitat SA for 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion) after its August takeover of airport operator BAA Plc inflated debt.
U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Apple Exonerates Jobs in Options Review, Confirms Fictitious Board Meeting Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) exonerated Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs from wrongdoing in the company's grants of backdated stock options to executives.
• Marsh & McLennan Shares Drop in Europe on Report It Agreed to Sell Putnam Shares of Marsh & McLennan Cos. (NYSE:MMC) fell as much as 1.4 percent in Europe after the Wall Street Journal reported that the world's largest insurance brokerage agreed to sell its Putnam Investments mutual-fund subsidiary for $3.9 billion to Power Corp. of Canada.
• AT&T Moves to End FCC Stalemate Over BellSouth With New Concession Offer AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) moved to break a regulatory deadlock over its effort to buy BellSouth Corp. (BLS), offering concessions including price controls to win approval of the $86 billion deal.
• Goodyear Workers Ratify New Three-Year Contract That Allows Plant Closure Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s (NYSE:GT) largest union, out on strike for three months, ratified a new contract allowing North America's biggest tiremaker to shut a U.S. plant.
• Toys `R' Us Bondholders Gain Confidence in CEO Storch as Profits Return Toys ``R'' Us Inc. bondholders are gaining confidence in Chief Executive Officer Gerald Storch.