At 8:20 AM EDT:
S&P 500: -2.60; 1,421.80
NASDAQ 100: -2.25; 1,832.25
Dow: +1.00; 12,509.00
NIKKEI 225: -0.62%; 16,838.17 (-104.23)
HANG SENG: -0.94%; 19,385.37 (-182.97)
S&P/ASX 200: +0.80%; 5,564.90 (+44.00)
BSE SENSEX 30: +2.01%; 13,630.71 (+268.55)
FTSE 100: -0.28%; 6,143.40 (-17.30)
CAC 40: +0.35%; 5,521.32 (+19.37)
XETRA-DAX: +0.25%; 6,582.97 (+16.41)
Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)
Oil: -0.98%; $53.49 (-$0.53)
Gold: +0.21%; $614.70 (+$1.30)
Natural Gas: -2.43%; $6.59 (-$0.16)
Silver: +0.12%; $12.46 (+$0.015)
Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• China's Stock Market Tops $1 Trillion in Value, Currency Climbs on Economy China's stock market topped $1 trillion for the first time and the yuan rose past the Hong Kong dollar, reflecting an economy that's grown 10-fold since Deng Xiaoping opened the Communist nation to international investment in 1978.
• Toyota Studies Addition of as Many as 5 North American Plants, People Say Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM), struggling to meet U.S. demand and facing a possible political backlash over its imports from Japan, may build as many as five North American assembly plants in the next 10 years, according to people familiar with the plans.
• Asian Shares Slide; Mitsubishi Estate, PetroChina Drop; BHP Billiton Gains Asian stocks fell, reversing an earlier gain. Mitsubishi Estate Co. paced declines in Japan on concern the Bank of Japan will raise borrowing costs next week.
• OPEC President Says $53 Oil Is `Unacceptable,' Urges Compliance With Cuts OPEC's president, describing crude oil's plunge to $53 a barrel as ``unacceptable,'' urged members to comply with pledged production cuts.
• Infosys Profit Rises More Than Expected to $221 Million on Software Sales Infosys Technologies Ltd., India's second-biggest software company, reported record profit in the third quarter after banks and insurers increased orders.
European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Bank of England Raises Rate as Inflation Accelerates, Surprising Investors The Bank of England unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point, its third increase since August as policy makers said inflation may rise further above its target.
• ECB Leaves Main Rate at 3.5 Percent as Trichet Awaits Inflation Evidence The European Central Bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged as President Jean-Claude Trichet awaits more evidence of accelerating inflation before raising borrowing costs.
• Texas Pacific, Cinven, Permira May Bid for Merck KGaA Generic Drug Unit Texas Pacific Group, Cinven Ltd. and Permira Advisers LLP may bid for the generic-drug division of Germany's Merck KGaA (NYSE:MRK), according to four people familiar with the discussions.
• German Economic Growth Accelerates to Fastest Pace Since 2000 on Exports Growth in Germany's economy, Europe's largest, last year accelerated to the fastest pace since 2000 as companies boosted spending and hiring to meet orders.
• Euro Advances Most in Four Months Against Yen Before ECB's Trichet Speaks The euro rose the most in at least four months against the yen on speculation European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet will today signal policy makers will increase interest rates faster than the Bank of Japan.
U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)
• Oil Drops for a Fourth Day After U.S. Fuel Demand Declines to Two-Year Low Crude oil fell, trading below $54 a barrel, after U.S. demand for fuel plunged to its lowest in more than two years.
• Apple Is Sued by Cisco Over IPhone Name After Talks to Share Brand Fail Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was sued by Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) over its new iPhone a day after Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs introduced the device to fanfare in San Francisco.
• Treasuries Decline After Bank of England Unexpectedly Raises Interest Rate Treasuries fell after the Bank of England unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate, widening the difference in yields between U.S. and U.K. two-year notes to the most since June 2005.
• Equity Office May Get Cerberus Bid That Tops Blackstone Offer, People Say Equity Office Properties Trust, the U.S. office landlord that agreed last year to be acquired by Blackstone Group LP in the biggest real estate buyout ever, may become the object of a bidding contest.