Finance Markets

January 16, 2007

Nasdaq down 0.1 percent at noon

Permalink: Nasdaq down 0.1 percent at noon

Filed under: Equities, Economy, US

Wall Street was mixed at noon on Tuesday as the earnings season prepares to get into full swing, with companies such as Apple, IBM, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and General Electric all scheduled to release their fourth-quarter reports this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.04 percent to 12,560.88, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.1 percent to 2,500.97. The S&P 500, meanwhile, was 0.02 percent higher to 1,431.01.

Homebuilders were lower. KB Home dropped 1.2 percent to $48.76, while Centex fell 2.8 percent to $51.68. The S&P homebuilders index dropped 2 percent.

Technology stocks were responsible for the decline in the Nasdaq. Cisco was 2.9 percent lower to $28.08 on broker downgrades, while Symantec fell 8.8 percent to $18.67 after it said that profits in 2007 will not rise to expected levels. The semiconductor sector also fell on negative news from brokers. Novellus Systems was down 2.2 percent to $32.03 and KLA-Tencor dropped 2.6 percent to $50.83. Intel, which was scheduled to issue its report after the close of trade Tuesday, was 0.5 percent lower to $22.02.

The banking sector saw gains, with Wells Fargo 2.3 percent higher to $36.33 on earnings of 64 cents per share in the fourth quarter.

In the transport sector, FedEx gained 2.7 percent to $111.77 as the Dow Transports Average gained 1.3 percent on the session so far and 5.7 percent since the beginning of the year.


London markets decline on day

Permalink: London markets decline on day

Filed under: Equities, Economy, UK

London equities markets were lower on Tuesday, with the FTSE 100 dropping 0.8 percent to 6,215.7 and the FTSE 250 falling 0.7 percent to 11,124.5.

The tobacco sector was mixed on bids rumors. Gallaher was 0.3 percent higher to £11.38 after it was said that Japan Tobacco could be working to purchase more stock. After the close these rumors were borne out as Japan Tobacco said it had added 6.3 million additional shares. Imperial Tobacco, however, dropped 0.5 percent to £20.99, hurt by a report that it would bid for Spanish cigarette maker Altadis sometime during the year.

There were mixed results in the energy sector as well. Scottish Power was 0.1 percent higher, to 742½p. Scottish & Southern Energy added 2.2 percent to £15.60 for the largest gain of the session on the 100. Both gains came amid bids rumors. Two other energy companies were lower on the session even though they are seen as more likely targets. Kelda dropped 0.1 percent to 926½p, while Centrica fell 0.8 percent to 355¼p.

In the retail sector, Kingfisher dropped 2.1 percent to 232½p on a downgrade of its long-term credit rating by Standard & Poor’s and a lowered earnings estimate from Lehman Brothers. J. Sainsbury, on the other hand, added 0.8 percent to 424½p on rumors that Lord Sainsbury of Turnville’s 15 percent stake in the supermarket is the target of a financial buyer.


European carmakers lower despite higher sales

Permalink: European carmakers lower despite higher sales

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Europe

European equities markets were lower on Tuesday, with the FTSE Eurofirst 300 dropping 0.5 percent to 1,511.95.

The automobile manufacturing sector was lower, hurt by the possibility of interest rates going higher despite higher sales figures. Volkswagen dropped 0.2 percent to €84.38 even though sales of its Audi brand was reported to be selling well in China. Fiat was down 0.4 percent to €15 even though it said that higher sales had allowed it to achieve its full-year target on profits.

Oil companies were also lower as crude oil prices fell again. Norsk Hydro dropped. 1.2 percent to NKr186, while Repsol fell 1.8 percent to €24.95 and Statoil was 2.2 percent lower to NKr158.50. Meanwhile, energy companies were mixed on the session. Endsea was 1.6 percent higher to €37.35 after a court in Madrid lifted an injunction that was preventing Gas Natural from bidding for it. But Eon, which is also interested in Endsea, dropped 0.1 percent to €100.28, while Gas Natural was 0.8 percent lower to €29.60.

Brewers were higher on the session following broker upgrades. Inbev was 1.3 percent higher to €49.22 on a target share price upgrade from €53 to €60 from Sanford C Bernstein. Heineken added 2.8 percent to €38.87 when Morgan Stanley upped its recommendation from “equal weight” to “overweight”. Meanwhile, wine and spirits maker Pernod Ricard was up 2.2 percent to €146.40.


Tokyo department stores lower on sales concerns

Permalink: Tokyo department stores lower on sales concerns

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Asia, Japan

With investors seeming to want to hold off on committing their money anywhere before the Bank of Japan makes its decision on interest rates Thursday, the Tokyo equities markets moved very little on Tuesday. The Nikkei 225 was unchanged at 17,202.46, while the Topix index was lower, but only by 0.1 percent to 1,703.54.

In the retail sector, department stores were lower on worries that early January sales will turn out to have been less than hoped. Mitsukoshi dropped 0.7 percent to ¥562, while Isetan fell 1.1 percent to ¥2,185. Takashimaya was 2.6 percent lower to ¥1,591 and Daimaru was down 2.7 percent to ¥1,507.

After an industry organization predicted double-digit growth for the 2007-2008 fiscal year, stocks related to the manufacture of computer chips saw gains. Tokyo Electron was 1.2 percent higher to ¥9,300, while Advantest gained 1.8 percent to ¥6,660.

The securities sector was still being helped by consolidation rumors. The sector as a whole added 0.5 percent, with Matsui Securities up 0.9 percent to ¥983 and Nikko Cordial added 2.1 percent to ¥1,337. Nikko Cordial, however, is still significantly lower than it was directly before an accounting scandal was revealed in December.

Elsewhere in Asian markets, the Vietnam Index was 3.85 percent higher to 983.6, a new record high, in the wake of a series of initial public offerings there. The benchmark index in Jakarta, meanwhile, was 1.4 percent higher on Tuesday after a gain of 3.1 percent on Monday. It was the biggest two-day gain in seven months, but its Tuesday close at 1,754.29 was below its close at the end of 2006 as enthusiasm was held back by the news that two people had died of bird flu.


January 15, 2007

European oil sector makes gains

Permalink: European oil sector makes gains

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Europe

In slow trading due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in the United States, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 nonetheless gained 0.6 percent on the session to close at 1,520.04.

The oil sector was higher even though crude oil prices remained low. OMV added 0.5 percent to €39.38 despite a UBS target share price downgrade from €45 to €43. Repsol gained 0.7 percent to €25.40, while Neste Oil was 2.5 percent higher to €23.07. Even bigger gains were achieved by Norsk Hydro and Statoil, proposed merger partners. Norsk was up 3.2 percent to NKr188.25, while Statoil added 4 percent to NKr162.

In the aerospace sector, EADS gained 2.7 percent to €25.75 on the news that its Eurocopter unit had won a contract to build 37 helicopters for the French police. Engine makers for airplanes, however, were mixed. MTU Aero Engines added 3.2 percent to €37.16 as Deutsche Bank reiterated its “buy” recommendation on the German manufacturer. However, Deutsche Bank reduced its recommendation for French engine maker Safran from “hold” to “sell” on earnings issues. Safran dropped 1 percent, to €17.20.

Merck added 1.8 percent to €89.04 on a raised price target and reconfirmed “overweight” rating from Lehman Brothers. The German pharmaceuticals company, which offered last week for the 16 percent of Serono that it does not yet hold, added 1.8 percent to €89.04.


Japanese core machinery orders up in November

Permalink: Japanese core machinery orders up in November

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Asia, Japan

Equities markets in Tokyo were up on Monday, with the Nikkei 225 adding 0.9 percent to 17,209.92 and the Topix index ending 1.1 percent higher to 1,704.58. The Topix was helped by new data showing that core machinery orders in the private sector were up 3.8 percent in November. The new numbers helped not only the construction machinery sector but also the banking sector, as the data raised the chances that the Bank of Japan will raise interest rates when it meets later this week.

The banking sector was 2 percent higher as a whole, with Mitsubishi UF up 1.3 percent to ¥1,530,000. Sumitomo Trust & Banking added 2.8 percent to ¥1,325, while SMFG gained 3.3 percent to ¥1,270,000.

The news that Shinko Securities and Mizuho Securities will merge promoted more consolidation speculation in the securities sector, which added 2.7 percent on the session. Daiwa Securities was 3.4 percent higher to ¥1,394. Meanwhile, Nikko Cordial gained 3.3 percent to ¥1,309 after it was learned that Canadian investment management firm Mackenzie Financial has become its largest shareholder.

In the construction machinery sector, Fanuc added 1.5 percent to ¥11,350, while Komatsu was up 1.7 percent to ¥2,365.

Among export-focused stocks, Sharp was 0.4 percent higher to ¥1,992, while Honda gained 1.7 percent to ¥4,690.


January 12, 2007

Dow again in record territory

Permalink: Dow again in record territory

Filed under: Equities, Economy, US

Wall Street saw gains in early afternoon trade on Friday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was once again in record territory after having closed at a new high on Thursday. The Dow was 0.31 percent higher to 12,553.27, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.60 percent to 2,499.67 and the S&P 500 gained 0.48 percent to 1,430.64. The Russell 2000 index of small-caps had gained 0.52 percent to 792.52. Trade volumes were at 857.3 million shares trading hands so far on the session.

The trademark dispute between Apple Computer and Cisco Systems over who can use the name “iPhone” continued to affect share prices. Apple dropped $1.25 to $94.54, while Cisco was 21 cents higher to $28.90.

In the semiconductors sector, Advanced Micro Devices dropped $2.08 to $18.09 after it said that results will not meet expectations in the fourth quarter.

With oil prices slightly higher on the session, the oil sector saw gains. Murphy Oil Corp added 4 cents to $46.29 despite a warning from the refiner that profits will be lower than had been anticipated in the fourth quarter. ExxonMobil was 71 cents higher to $71.70, while ConocoPhillips gained $1.41 to $63.23.

US markets will be closed on Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.


UK pharma sector up on US vote

Permalink: UK pharma sector up on US vote

Filed under: Equities, Economy, UK

The FTSE 100 ended the day and the week ahead on Friday, while the FTSE 250 saw declines for both the session and this week. The 100 added 0.1 percent during the day and was 0.3 percent higher on the week to close at 6,239. Meanwhile the 250 dropped 0.1 percent on Friday and 0.7 percent on the week to 11,111.7.

The pharmaceuticals sector was helped by a vote in the US House of Representatives that would let the government negotiate directly with drug companies on the prices of drugs for Medicare recipients. GlaxoSmithKline was 0.5 percent higher to £13.71, while AstraZeneca gained 1.3 percent to £28.73.

Bids rumors sent Woolworths up 3 percent to 34p. Baugur, which currently owns 10 percent of the retailer, is said to be considering offering a bid of 40p per share. Ladbrokes was helped by talk of a possible bid from private equity, gaining 2.4 percent to 449¼p.

In the oil sector, BP was 1.8 percent higher to 546½p on the news that its chief executive will retire in July, to be replaced by the company’s head of exploration and production.

Lloyds TSB added 1.7 percent to 593p on the possibility that its dividend could go up and after Cazenove upped its recommendation to “outperform”.


Eurofirst gains 1.6 percent on week

Permalink: Eurofirst gains 1.6 percent on week

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Europe

In Europe on Friday, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 added 0.4 percent on the session and 1.6 percent on the week to close at 1,510.44. It was a new six-year high for the index.

Despite the gains, there were big losses for some. Software group SAP dropped 7.7 percent on the session to €39. The decline was blamed on new data showing that license sales were down. The report moved Goldman Sachs to take SAP off its “conviction buy” list and to reduce its target share price from €49 to €39. The decline, the largest for the software developer in over four years, led to a 4.5 percent decline over the week despite gains earlier in the week.

The oil sector was lower on the week after crude oil prices fell by more than 7 percent. Total was down 1 percent to €52.20, while OMV dropped 1.8 percent to €39.30 and Repsol YPF fell 3.1 percent to €25.22.

Another of the week’s losers was Carrefour. The French retailer dropped 5.5 percent on the session to €44.20 on broker downgrades after reports that sales were lower than had been anticipated in the fourth quarter. JP Morgan reduced its recommendation from “neutral” to “underweight” and Commerzbank lowered its rating from “buy” to “hold”. Both brokers also reduced Carrefour’s target share price.

Gainers included Deutsche Borse which added 7.7 percent to €148.75 during the week after it revelaed positive news from its Clearstream unit and as rumors circulated that it could merge with a US exchange operator.


Tokyo electronics sector gains on weak yen

Permalink: Tokyo electronics sector gains on weak yen

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Asia, Japan

The Japanese equities markets were significantly higher on Friday. The Nikkei 225 added 1.3 percent to 17,057.01, while the Topix index gained 1.7 percent to 1,685.27. Export-focused sectors were largely responsible for the gains, helped out by a weaker yen.

The electronics sector was up 2 percent as a whole. Hitachi added 1.3 percent to ¥790, while Sony gained 2.4 percent to ¥5,560 and Matsushita Electric Industrial was 3.3 percent higher to ¥2,385. Matsushita, which makes the Panasonic brand of consumer electronics, had seen losses earlier in the week in connection to its announced plans to build a new factory to manufacture plasma displays.

The automobile manufacturing sector was also 2 per cent higher, with Toyota up 2.1 percent to ¥7,820.

The banking sector was 2.5 percent higher ahead of a Bank of Japan meeting to decide on interest rates, scheduled for next week. Mitsubishi UFJ gained 2.7 percent to ¥1,510,000.

Telecommunications companies had mixed results on the session. NTT DoCoMo added 0.5 percent to ¥193,000, while KDDI was 3.1 percent higher to ¥808,000 on new data that showed its share of the mobile phone market higher since October. Softbank, however, dropped 1 percent to ¥2,460.

In the retail sector, Fast Retailing dropped 13.6 percent to ¥9,600 when it reduced its full-year profit expectations.


January 11, 2007

Nasdaq adds 1.1 percent by noon

Permalink: Nasdaq adds 1.1 percent by noon

Filed under: Equities, Economy, US

The New York equities markets were higher at midday on Thursday, led by the Nasdaq Composite as it hit its highest mark in nearly six years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.7 percent higher to 12,526.59, while the S&P 500 added 0.8 percent to 1,425.69. The Nasdaq was up 1.1 percent, to 2,486.88.

In the internet sector, Yahoo added 2 percent to $29.27 and is up 14.6 so far in the new year. Ebay gained 3.1 percent to $30.21 on the news that it has bought sports ticket reseller StubHub for a cash price of $310 million.

Chipmaker Intel was up 1.9 percent to $21.92, going from the worst performer on the Dow in 2006 to its best so far in 2007, having gained 8.2 percent since the year began.

Apple Computer, however, was 0.7 percent lower to $96.28 after a gain of 13 percent since it announced its new iPhone product. The computer maker was hurt by a lawsuit filed by Cisco which claims that it, not Apple, owns the trademark on the name “iPhone”. Cisco added 1 percent to $28.97.

Despite crude oil prices that continue to decline, ExxonMobil added 1.5 percent to $72.08, but it has still dropped 5.7 percent since the beginning of the year.

In the pharmaceuticals sector, Genenetech was 4.3 percent higher to $87.36. The biotechnology company said that its earnings in the fourth quarter were at 61 cents per share, higher than predictions that it would post earnings of 56 cents per share.


Rate increase sends FTSE 100 lower, then higher

Permalink: Rate increase sends FTSE 100 lower, then higher

Filed under: Equities, Economy, UK

The FTSE 100 in London had a roller-coaster day in which it was up early, dropped after the Bank of England’s decision to raise interest rates by 25 basis points, then rallied late in the day to end up 1.1 percent higher, to 6,230.1. The FTSE 250 also ended the day higher, adding 0.3 percent to 11,123.4

Publishers and other media stocks were up on the day. Reed Elsevier and Yell Group each added 3.5 percent on the session, to 602½p and 598p respectively. Yell was helped by positive comments from Goldman Sachs, while Reed Elsevier gained on talk that private equity might be preparing a bid. Reuters gained 3.6 percent to 451¾p. Meanwhile Pearson, which owns the Financial Times, was 3.7 percent higher to 805p. Elsewhere in media, ITV was up 2.1 percent to 109¼p on a upgrade to “buy” from Deutsche Bank.

Banks saw gains as well, with Lloyds TSB adding 0.9 percent to 583p on rumors that either Banco Santander or BBVA could be interested.

In the mining sector, Kazakhmys gained 3.9 percent to £10.53, while BHP Billiton was 4.9 percent higher to 930p as metals prices began to recover.

Pubs operators declined on negative comment from Deutsche Bank. Enterprise Inns dropped 1.7 percent to £12.77 and Punch Taverns fell 3.7 percent to £11.69.

The homebuilding sector saw losses after interest rates were hiked. Persimmon was 1 percent lower to £14.57, while Redrow fell 3.2 percent to 668½p.


European banks higher as bids rumors circulate

Permalink: European banks higher as bids rumors circulate

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Europe

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up significantly on Thursday, adding 1.8 percent to close the session at 1,503.93.

Banks were higher on bids rumors and broker comments. After Dresdner Kleinwort implied that there was a possibility of merger activity in the Spanish banking sector, Santander and BBVA were both higher. Santander added 1.3 percent to €14.30, while BBVA gained 1.7 percent to €18.73. Swedbank as 5.2 percent higher to SKr262.50 when UBS repeated its “buy” recommendation and upped its target share price from SKr265 to SKr300.

Stock exchanges also did well on the session. Euronext added 3.8 percent to €98.50 on approval of its plans to merge with the New York Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, Deutsche Borse gained 6.3 percent to €150.20 on talk that it could also merge with an exchange operator in the US. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has been mentioned as a possible merger partner.

Roche was 2 percent higher to SFr230.70 on higher profits in the fourth quarter by Genentech, in which the Swiss pharmaceutical company is majority stockholder. Genentech’s fourth quarter profits were up 75 percent on demand for its cancer drugs and higher sales of a new treatment for blindness in older patients.

In the aerospace sector, EADS added 0.8 percent to €25.26 even though UBS reduced its recommendation from “neutral” to “sell” and warned that shareholders earnings could be diluted by a possible equity issue by the company.


January 10, 2007

US computers sector mixed

Permalink: US computers sector mixed

Filed under: Equities, Economy, US

The New York equities markets were mixed at midday on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were each 0.2 percent lower, to 12,396.81 and 1,409.64 respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite was 0.1 percent higher to 2,445.49.

The oil sector was sent lower by the slide in crude oil prices. Hess dropped 1.1 percent to $47.68, while ExxonMobil fell 1.4 percent to $71.05, and Chevron was 1.7 percent lower to $69.43 after it downgraded its earnings projections for the fourth quarter. ConocoPhillips was down 2.4 percent to $65.89 and Occidental Petroleum fell 3.1 percent to $42.32.

The computer sector was mixed. IBM dropped 1.9 percent to $98.14 on a broker downgrade, but Apple Computer gained 4.6 percent to $97.12 after reaching a new all-time high of $97.80 earlier in the session on excitement about Tuesday’s launch of its new iPhone.

Airlines were higher after US Airways upped its offer for Delta Air Lines to $10.2 billion. US Air added 1.7 percent to $58.86, while Delta was 5.4 percent higher to $1.37.

Aluminium producer Alcoa gained 4.2 percent to $29.71 after its fourth-quarter report showed a profit of 74 cents per share for the quarter, better than earlier estimates of 65 cents per share.


Publishers see gains in London

Permalink: Publishers see gains in London

Filed under: Equities, Economy, UK

In London on Wednesday equities markets were lower, with the FTSE 100 down 0.6 percent to 6,160.7 and the FTSE 250 also 0.6 percent lower, to 11,086.

Publishers, however, did well on the session. Reed Elsevier added 1.2 percent to 582p on comments from Credit Suisse that indicated the Anglo-Dutch publisher could be the target of a leveraged buyout. Yell Group, Yellow Pages publisher, was 2.1 percent higher to 578p on mixed remarks from brokers.

In the media sector, BSkyB also benefited from broker comments, adding 1.9 percent to 582p after Tuesday’s upgrade from Morgan Stanley.

Foods retailer Wm Morrison was also higher on the session, adding 6 percent to 286¼p on better sales than expected during the holiday period.

The tobacco sector was mixed. Imperial Tobacco dropped 0.1 percent to £20.80, but British American Tobacco gained 2.2 percent to £14.91 on positive comments from Dresdner Kleinwort.

Telecommunications companies saw declines. BT was 1.2 percent lower to 316½p on a downgrade from Investec, while Vodafone dropped 2.5 percent to 145¾p and Cable & Wireless fell 2.9 percent to 156¾p.

Pubs operators were lower after the chief executive of Enterprise Inns said that the introduction of real estate investment trusts would not likely provide any benefit to shareholders in the short term. Enterprise dropped 2.1 percent to £12.99, while Punch Taverns fell 3 percent to £12.14.


Spanish energy sector mixed on court ruling

Permalink: Spanish energy sector mixed on court ruling

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Europe

Banks were lower in Europe on Wednesday, sending the FTSE Eurofirst 300 down 0.7 percent to 1,477.47. It was the Eurofirst’s lowest close in two weeks.

The energy sector was mixed after the Supreme Court in Spain lifted an injunction that had barred bids for Endsea from Eon and Gas Natural, leaving only one remaining legal hurdle before bids can be offered. Endsea was 2.6 percent higher to €36.37, but Eon dropped 0.2 percent to €96.59 and Gas Natural was 2.1 percent lower to €29.24.

In the banking sector, Erste Bank fell 3.4 percent to €57.55 after Credit Suisse issued a short-term “sell” recommendation on the stock on concerns of immediate concerns about earnings momentum. However, Credit Suisse maintained its overall “neutral” recommendation on the bank. Meanwhile, Raiffeisen International dropped 3.7 percent to €107.46.

There were gains in the semiconductors sector. Infineon added 0.2 percent to €10.96 on an upgraded targets share price from Deutsche Bank based on a better outlook from its wireless unit. STMicroelectronics gained 0.8 percent to €14.65 after an upgrade from “underweight” to “overweight” from Lehman Brothers, which also upped the chipmaker’s target share price.

Among mobile phone manufacturers, Nokia dropped 2.2 percent to €14.63 on a lowered target share price, from €16.50 to €16.30, from Deutsche Bank. Ericsson, on the other hand, received an upgrade from “hold” to “buy” from Deutsche Bank, which also upped its target share price from SKr27.509 to SKr32.50. Still, Ericsson ended the session steady at SKr28.25.


Tokyo markets fall on wide losses

Permalink: Tokyo markets fall on wide losses

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Asia, Japan

The Tokyo equities markets were lower on Wednesday as both domestic and export-reliant sectors saw declines. The Nikkei 225 and the Topix index each dropped 1.7 percent to 16,946.89 and 1,663.

Domestically, the consumer finance sector was mixed when Citigroup said it would close 80 percent of its consumer finance branches in the nation, citing expectations that profitability will decline. While Credit Saison added 1.1 percent to ¥4,560, Takefuji dropped 1.3 percent to ¥5,200.

Japan Airlines was 3.1 percent higher to ¥232 after it said it will record ¥25 billion in extraordinary profit in the fiscal year ending March 31. The air carrier attributed this to a decline in pension obligations.

In the electronics sector, Sony was down 2 percent to ¥5,440 despite receiving a broker upgrade on Tuesday. Matsushita Electric Industrial fell 3.6 percent to ¥2,290 on the news that it will open a new plasma display factory which will cost it $2.4 billion. Some analysts feel that the move is not cost-effective.

The oil sector declined due to the falling price of crude oil. Inpex dropped 2 percent to ¥909,000, while Nippon Oil fell 4 percent to ¥772, hurt not only by lower oil prices but also by a downgrade from Morgan Stanley, which dropped its recommendation from “equal weight” to “underweight”. Bucking the trend, Idemitsu Kosan added 0.2 percent to ¥10,880 as Mitsubishi UFJ Securities began coverage of the oil refiner by setting a target share price of ¥12,500.


January 9, 2007

Apple gains on announcement of iPhone

Permalink: Apple gains on announcement of iPhone

Filed under: Equities, Economy, US

In early afternoon trade on Wall Street on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.35 percent lower to 12,380.23. The Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 were both lower as well, with the Nasdaq down 0.45 percent to 2,427.34 and the S&P down 0.40 percent to 1,407.12. Investors were worried after warnings from a number of companies that fourth-quarter results will not live up to expectations.

The oil sector was lower as crude prices fell again. ExxonMobil dropped 17 cents to $72.48, while Chevron was 55 cents lower to $70.90 and BP fell $1.83 to $62.46 on a report of falling output and narrower margins.

Alcoa, the world’s largest producer of aluminium, which was scheduled to announce its quarterly results after the close of trade, dropped 3 cents to $28.45 on concerns about the contents of the report, which is expected to show a proft of 66 cents per share.

Sprint Nextel, which said that results for 2007 will not be as high as anticipated, fell $2.03 to $17.61 and was the recipient of lowered recommendations from several brokers.

Apple Computer was $2.55 higher to $88.03 when Steve Jobs announced that its new iPhone will go into production, combining its iPod music player with a mobile telephone.


Eurofirst gains 0.2 percent on session

Permalink: Eurofirst gains 0.2 percent on session

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Europe

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 managed to notch an 0.2 percent gain on Tuesday to close at 1,487.30 despite losses in the oil sector.

While the continuing drop in crude oil prices hurt the oil companies, the falling prices helped airlines see gains. Air France-KLM was up 0.5 percent to €34.51, while Alitalia gained 1.5 percent to €1.08 and Iberia added 1.7 percent to €2.95. Amid rumors that Lufthansa could be interested in buying SAS, the Scandinavian carrier added 6.1 percent to SKr139 and Lufthansa gained 1.5 percent to €22.35. The talk of a possible deal has been circulating since Sweden’s newly elected government said in September that they might be interested in selling its stake in SAS.

The chemicals sector was also helped by falling oil prices. BASF was 0.6 percent higher to €73.42, while Akzo Nobel added 1.4 percent to €47.96.

Share prices dropped, however, in the oil sector. Total fell 1.2 percent to €34.51, while Repsol-YPF was 1.9 percent lower to €25.47, Statoil dropped 3.2 percent to NKr153 and Cepsa was down 3.9 percent to ¥54.80.

Elsewhere, Philips Electronics added 1.8 percent to €28.51 when it said it would begin an announced share buyback on 22 January, while France Telecom gained 2.7 percent to €22.25 on an upgrade from “neutral” to “buy” from UBS.


Tokyo markets gain on steel, electronics

Permalink: Tokyo markets gain on steel, electronics

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Asia, Japan

The Tokyo equities markets were higher on Tuesday, with the Nikkei 225 adding 0.9 percent to 17,237.77 and the Topix index gaining 1 percent to 1,692.12. On the other hand, the Mothers market of small and mid-caps saw a loss, dropping 1.3 percent to 1,073.36.

The steel sector added 3 percent as a whole on bids speculation. Nippon Steel added 3.3 percent to ¥649, while JFE Holdings was 4.9 percent higher to ¥5,980.

The electronics sector was up on positive broker comment. Pioneer was up 4 percent to ¥1,716 after Goldman Sachs issued an upgrade from “sell” to “neutral” for the audio equipment manufacturer. Goldman Sachs also upgraded Sony, from “neutral” to “buy”, based on strong Christmas sales for the consumer electronics firm. Sony added 6.5 percent to ¥5,550.

Banks saw gains on the possibility that the Bank of Japan will raise interest rates when it meets next week, on the theory that lending margins might improve if rates go up. Mitsubishi UFJ gained 1.3 percent to ¥1,510,000, while Mizuho Financial added 2.3 percent to ¥880,000.

The consumer finance sector was up on the session. Aiful was up 2.7 percent to ¥3,820, while Takefuji gained 3.5 percent to ¥5,270 and Credit Saison was 5.1 percent higher to ¥4,510.

Securities house Nikko Cordial was still seeing fallout from its recent accounting troubles, dropping 2 percent to ¥1,275.


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