Asia: Japan +0.2% to 18827. Hong Kong +0.3% to 24887. China +0.8% to 3336. India +0.3% to 29459.
Europe: London +0.2%. Paris -0.4%. Frankfurt +0.2%.
Futures: Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude -1.1% to $49.21. Gold +0.3% to $1216.90.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 2%
8:30 Consumer Spending
8:30 Personal Income
8:30 Core Inflation
9:45 PMI Manufacturing Index
10:00 ISM Manufacturing Index
10:00 Construction Spending
Key earnings before the open
AMBC, ANFI, BID, ECYT, EMES, ENDP, EVEP, FSS, GTI, ICPT, JKS, LXU, MHR, NCT, OMG, PMC, SSE, SSYS, STNG, VGR
Key earnings after the close
ARNA, BALT, CHUY, CIM, CKEC, CMLS, CODI, CZR, DTSI, EPIQ, GWRE, HALO, HTGC, INN, MBI, MCEP, MDR, MTDR, MYL, NBR, NTRI, OTC:OPWR, PANW, PRAA, SLXP, SN, STKL, XON
U.S. stock futures are set to post modest gains this mornign, as investors pour though a raft of economic reports due this morning that should provide insight into the health of the U.S. economy.
Consumer spending in January fell for the second straight month, the first two-month decline since early 2009, as Americans paid less for gasoline and saved more money.
Asian stocks rose overnight after China cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point over the weekend, citing lagging economic growth.
In the biggest change to its monetary policy since opening up its economy more than two decades ago, India’s central bank and finance ministry have agreed to introduce inflation targeting to rein in volatile price rises. The 4% inflation target for the 2017 fiscal year will be symmetrical, seeking to keep consumer price growth within two percentage points on either side of the central target.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) posted a 16.7% decline in Q4 net profit over the weekend, and in his letter to shareholders, Warren Buffet says he now believes he’s found the right person to succeed him as CEO. In a separate letter from Charlie Munger, Berkshire’s vice chairman suggests reinsurance head Ajit Jain or energy boss Greg Abel as worthy replacements.
Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) unveils the Galaxy S6 in a bid to reclaim its throne as the global smartphone leader. The S6’s frame is made completely out of aluminum and uses Corning’s (GLW) Gorilla Glass 4 for front and back glass panels. Other features include a wireless charging support, a 16MP rear camera, and a mobile payment system which will use the technology of recently acquired startup LoopPay.
HTC is planning its first move into the crowded virtual reality market with a new headset called Vive, competing against Facebook’s (FB) Oculus Rift, Samsung’s (SSNLF) Gear VR and Sony’s (SNE) Project Morpheus. The device will track head movements as precisely as one-tenth of a degree, and will include a Steam VR base station, which will let users walk around the virtual space instead of using a controller.
NXP Semiconductors agrees to buy Freescale Semiconductor (FSL), in an $11.8B deal that would create a large maker of chips for industries as varied as automobiles and mobile payments. Under the deal’s terms, NXP (NXPI) will pay $6.25 per share in cash and 0.3521 per FSL share. The deal is expected to close in the second half this year..
Herbalife cut the pay of CEO Michael Johnson 36% for 2014 after he failed to meet performance goals. Missing out on the $3.7M incentive plan compensation he received two years ago, Johnson received total compensation of $6.73M in 2014, down from $10.5M the prior year.
GlaxoSmithKline(GSK) and Novartis (NVS) have completed a series of asset swaps worth more than $20B that will reshape the drug makers. Glaxo (GSK) is forming a consumer health joint venture with Novartis (NVS), while at the same time buying the Swiss company’s vaccines business and selling Novartis its cancer drugs portfolio. Following completion of the transactions, Glaxo plans to return £4B ($6.16B) to shareholders.