Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News

by: Wall Street Breakfast
Wall Street Breakfast
Seeking Alpha's flagship daily business news summary, gives you a rapid overview of the day's key financial news. It is published before 7:00 AM ET every market day and delivered to over 900,000 email subscribers.

Top Stories
Yahoo shocks by poaching Google's Marissa Mayer to be CEO. Marissa Mayer will today start her new job as CEO of Yahoo (YHOO) after the Internet portal pulled a major surprise by poaching her from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), where she was in charge of Google Maps, Earth and Places. Given her engineering background, Mayer is expected to provide more of a product focus. Yahoo is also due to release Q2 results today, with EPS seen rising to $0.23 from $0.18 and revenues 1.8% to $1.1B. Shares were +2.9% premarket.

VMware fires Paul Maritz as CEO - report. VMware (NYSE:VMW) has removed CEO Paul Maritz and replaced him with EMC (EMC) storage COO Pat Gelsinger, CRN reports. It's unclear if Maritz will get another job at EMC, which owns 80% of VMware - Maritz and Gelsinger were rumored to be potential successors to EMC CEO Joe Tucci, who has cancelled plans to retire. It's also been reported that VMware/EMC plan to spin off their cloud services and analytics software operations.

Alcatel-Lucent dives after earnings warning. Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) shares plunged 14.6% premarket after it warned that it expects a Q2 adjusted operating loss of around €40M ($49M), with revenues above €3.5B. Earnings will reflect "good sequential" sales growth in all regions and units, but a slower-than-expected business mix improvement.

Top Stock News
GM to tap turn-around expert for top Opel job. GM (NYSE:GM) is today expected to choose former restructuring consultant Thomas Sedran as interim CEO of its struggling Opel unit to replace Karl-Friedrich Stracke, who was fired on Thursday. Sedran's biggest challenges include dealing with overcapacity and reviving Opel's battered image in Germany.

Senate report details HSBC's dirty dealings. HSBC (HBC) did business with firms linked to terrorism, failed to guard against money-laundering violations in Mexico, and bypassed U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to a 335-page report released by Senate investigators yesterday. HSBC executives will have a chance to defend the bank at a hearing later today.

Groupon CEO's other job. Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) CEO Andrew Mason moonlights as a maitre d' at a Chicago Japanese restaurant. The reason? Mason wants to understand the challenges faced by Groupon's thousands of daily deals partners, and in doing so help his company develop what he calls an "operating system for local commerce," one that covers a variety of sales, booking, marketing, and payment-processing services.

Analysts worried ahead of Intel results. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is due to release Q2 results today, with analysts forecasting that net EPS fell to $0.52 from $0.54 despite a 4.1% rise in revenue to $13.56B. A number of analysts have cut their estimates over the past week, and have expressed worries about the impact of the U.S. and Chinese economies, the eurozone crisis, falling PC sales, Intel's mobile position, and high ultrabook prices.

Top Economic & Other News
Bernanke expected to signal more easing. Ben Bernanke is due to appear before Congress today and tomorrow, when he's expected to say or indicate that the Fed is prepared to ease further but not to give a timetable. If the Fed does eventually decide on QE3, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says it has to do so outside the banking system. "Don't say QE has failed in the US. It has hardly been tried," Evans-Pritchard writes.

CPI seen unchanged. Inflation data for June is due out this morning, with economists expecting that CPI was little changed after falling 0.3% in May. Core CPI is seen at +0.2% for a fourth month in a row. The low inflation figures could give cover to the Fed if it decides on further easing.

BOE's King to face Parliament. The Bank of England's Mervyn King will probably be quizzed by U.K. legislators today over his role in the Libor affair. Although Libor isn't officially on the agenda of a parliamentary hearing King is attending, lawmakers are unlikely to hold back from grilling him on when he first suspected Libor might be rigged and why he intervened to push Barclays' (NYSE:BCS) Bob Diamond out.

Regulators to review futures firms. The National Futures Association and CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) intend to carry out a wide-ranging review of futures firms, including contacting their banks to verify the accuracy of their statements. The review follows the collapse of Peregrine Financial, where $200M has disappeared. CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler is expected to be asked about Peregrine when he testifies at the Senate today.

Moody's takes knife to Italian banks. Moody's has cut the ratings of 13 Italian banks, citing the weakening of the Italian government's credit profile. The move followed the downgrade of Italy to Baa2 from A3 last week. UniCredit (OTCPK:UNCFF) and GE Capital SpA are among the banks whose ratings were cut.

What to read next
Buy Yahoo: New CEO Marissa Mayer Is The Best Hope Yet For A Revitalization
Nokia: Lumia Price Cut Not The Solution To Lagging Sales
Procter & Gamble: Breaking Up The Ackman Party

Today's Markets:
In Asia, Japan +0.3%. Hong Kong +1.8%. China +0.6%. India flat.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.4%. Paris +0.4%. Frankfurt +0.3%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +0.4%. Crude +0.1% to $88.51. Gold +0.1% to $1592.90.

Today's economic calendar:
7:45 ICSC Retail Store Sales
8:30 Real Earnings
8:30 Consumer Price Index
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
9:00 Treasury International Capital
9:15 Industrial Production
10:00 Hearing: 'The Semiannual Monetary Policy' (Bernanke)
10:00 NAHB Housing Market Index

Notable earnings before today's open: AMTD, CMA, EDU, FRX, GS, HST, JNJ, KO, KSU, MAT, MMR, MOS, MTB, OMC, SCHW, STT

Notable earnings after today's close: CSX, FIS, INTC, URI, WYNN, YHOO

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