Asia: Japan +0.2% to 20664. Hong Kong -0.6% to 24375. China -0.9% to 3661. India +0.3% to 28298.
Europe: London -0.3%. Paris flat. Frankfurt flat.
Futures: Dow flat. S&P flat. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude -0.6% to $44.90. Gold -0.1% to $1084.60.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.26%
Chain Store Sales
7:30 Challenger Job-Cut Report
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
4:30 Money Supply
4:30 Fed Balance Sheet
Key earnings before the open
AAON, ACTA, AGIO, AGN, AGO, AINV, AMCX, APA, AXAS, AYR, BBEP, BBW, BCE, BDBD, BDX, BECN, CC, CCC, CCOI, CECE, CNK, CNQ, CNSL, CRIS, CRZO, CTB, DDD, DUK, DX, EAT, EBS, EMES, ENOC, ENR, EXK, EXTR, FSV, FSYS, GCAP, GLOG, GLP, GNRC, GOGO, GTXI, GWPH, HCLP, HGG, HII, HILL, HL, HSNI, INFI, INSY, IRC, KOP, KORS, LAMR, LEAF, LPI, LQDT, MBLY, MEG, MFC, MITL, MMP, MMS, MPEL, MYL, NGS, NRF, NRP, NRZ, NVO, NXST, NXTM, NYT, OA, OGE, ONE, OTIV, OWW, PBH, PGNX, PLUG, PRIM, RDEN, RGEN, RICE, RSTI, RVLT, RWLK, SATS, SBH, SEAS, SFY, SGM, SNH, SPH, SRPT, SSTK, STN, SUNE, TA, TAP, TDC, TECH, TESO, THS, TK, TLP, TNK, VER, VIAB, WIN, WPP, YORW, ZEUS
Key earnings after the close
ABTL, ACAD, AHT, AIRM, AL, ALEX, ALNY, AMBR, AMRN, AMRS, ANAC, ANAD, ANET, ASEI, ASYS, ATHX, BBG, BEAT, BIO, BITA, BOJA, BRKS, BRS, CECO, CENX, CERS, CLVS, CPST, CSOD, CUB, CUBE, CVT, CYTX, DIOD, DMD, DRYS, EAC, ED, EFC, EGN, EGOV, EGY, ELON, EOG, ERII, ESPR, EVC, FLDM, FLTX, FPRX, FXCM, FXEN, GALE, GEOS, GNMK, GSBD, GXP, HNSN, HTGC, HUBS, IMI, IMPV, INWK, IRG, JMBA, KTOS, LGF, MAIN, MDVN, MHK, MNST, NDLS, NEWR, NFG, NPTN, NUAN, NUS, NVDA, OLED, ONTY, ORIG, OSTK, OUT, PACD, PETX, PLNR, PODD, POST, PRO, RBA, RBCN, RIGP, RJET, RMAX, RPTP, RRMS, SAAS, SEM, SEMG, SFM, SHO, SKUL, SPPI, SRC, SREV, SSRI, STMP, SWIR, TCRD, TCX, TEAR, TNGO, TPC, TRMR, TRUE, OTCQB:TRXC, TSRO, TWOU, UBNT, VRNS, VSAT, WAIR, WIFI, WING, XOMA, XOXO, ZNGA
U.S. stocks opened lower Thursday as investors continued to wait for the government’s employment report at the end of the week. The focus on the July jobs report, which will be released Friday morning, has intensified as investors seek guidance on the path of interest rates in the U.S. The health of the labor market is a key factor in the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision. And since the central bank has held interest rates near zero since the financial crisis, fueling a rally in stocks, some investors are worried about how the market will adjust to slightly higher rates. In particular, concerns about elevated stock valuations and the pace of earnings growth could weigh on the stock market once the Fed begins to move.
It’s data deluge day in London. For the first time, the central bank will release its rate decision, inflation report and minutes of its last meeting in the same announcement. The data will come out at 12:00 local time, and investors will have only a short while before Governor Mark Carney delivers a press conference at 12:45. Last month, Carney stated the time for tighter monetary policy was approaching.
German industrial orders surged in June, as Europe’s powerhouse shrugged off the waves emanating from China’s slowdown and Greece’s turbulence. Contracts for German goods were up 2% on the month, beating a consensus forecast for a 0.2% gain and overshooting even the highest estimate of a 1.5% increase. German GDP data will be published on Friday.
Greece’s banking share index headed back uphill this morning, following a three-day plunge that wiped out 63% of its market value. At the time of writing, the index was up 12.2%, led by the National Bank of Greece (NBG), which soared 27%. Greek stocks also seem to have a smile back on their face, with the ASE Stock Index +3.7%.
The first Republican showdown will take place tonight, as the top 10 candidates for the GOP ticket square off in the first primary debate. With the rise of Donald Trump and the drama his surge has provoked, the first debate is arguably the most anticipated 2016 election event to date. It will kick off on Fox News (FOX) starting at 9 p.m. ET.
Tesla (TLSA) slips after posting a wider quarterly loss, revising down its sales forecast, and stating that it may need to raise more cash to offset heavy spending. The company posted a net loss of $184M in Q2, compared with a loss of $61.9M in the year-ago period, and it’s now possible Tesla won’t be cash-flow positive until early 2016. The automaker also lowered its full-year sales outlook to 50K-55K cars, from previous forecasts of 55K and 60K vehicles.
Automakers recalled more cars in the U.S. through the end of July (34.5M vehicles) than during any other similar time frame except 2014 – highlighting the lax quality standards of the auto industry and unprecedented government crackdown on safety lapses. Notables: Honda (HMC) recalled 8M vehicles due to defective Takata (TKTDY) air bags; Hummer (GM) got battered with fire hazards linked to its ventilation systems; Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) called back more than 9.6M vehicles due to cybersecurity gaps and rear gas tank fires.
Following in the footsteps of Meerkat and Twitter’s (TWTR) Periscope, Facebook (FB) is rolling out its own livestreaming app. For now, the company is limiting use of the product to celebrities who use its Mentions app, which it introduced last year to encourage “influencers” to use Facebook. A big advantage of the service is that videos will be archived, as opposed to Meerkat, where clips are immediately deleted, and Periscope, where they are only live for 24 hours.
According to Re/code, EMC is contemplating a deal under which it would be acquired by VMware (VMW), the software company in which it is a majority owner. The move is one of several options EMC’s (EMC) board is exploring as part of a wide-ranging strategic review of its operations and as a partial response to activist pressure. Over the last several months EMC has explored selling itself to both Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Cisco (CSCO), as well as acquiring other companies and selling off assets.
The barnacle-encrusted wing fragment that washed up off the coast of Madagascar last week was indeed from doomed flight MH370, Malaysian PM Najib Razak confirmed in an early morning televised address. Although the process could take months, investigators will now start putting thin slices of the Boeing (BA) 777 wing under a high-powered microscope, looking for subtle clues about how it deformed on impact.
Bill Ackman has built a $5.5B stake in Mondelez (MDLZ), betting that the snack maker will become a large target in a wave of consolidation reshaping the food industry. The new move squeezes Mondelez between two well known activist investors. Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management also holds a substantial stake in the food company.
Meanwhile, activist hedge fund Elliott Associates has sold shares in Samsung C&T, after failing to block its $8B merger with affiliate Cheil Industries. Elliott had argued the deal grossly undervalued Samsung C&T, and built a 7.1% stake in the construction company to resist the all-share takeover. That plan was shot down in mid-July after almost 70% of shareholders approved of the merger.
JPMorgan (JPM) is relocating 2,150 jobs from Manhattan to Jersey City to benefit from an incentive program offered by the state of New Jersey. The bank, which was looking at options to expand its regional technology and operations hub, will get $19M in subsidies to make the move across the Hudson.
The SEC has approved a rule requiring companies to reveal the pay ratio between their chief executive officer and their typical worker – beginning in 2017. According to the Economic Policy Institute, average CEO pay at the 350 largest U.S. companies by revenue surged 997% from 1978 to 2014, while compensation of non-supervisory employees rose 10.9%. CEOs also earned about 30x what the typical employee did in 1978, although that figure jumped to more than 300x their employees’ compensation as of 2014.