Market Snapshot

Asia: Japan +1.9% to 20809. Hong Kong +0.9% to 27333. China +2.2% to 4575. India +0.3% to 27804.
Europe: London +0.3%. Paris +1.4%. Frankfurt +1.1%.
Futures: Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude -0.3% to $60.19. Gold -0.1% to $1183.20.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 2.38%

Economic News

8:30 Durable Goods
8:55 Chain Store Sales
9:00 FHFA House Price Index
9:45 PMI Manufacturing Index Flash
10:00 Richmond Fed Mfg.
10:00 New Home Sales

Key earnings before the open



Stock futures hold onto modest gains into today’s open despite a huge miss on durable goods orders, and a warning from Fed Governor Jerome Powell regarding a September rate hike.

Led by a significant decline in transportation orders, durable goods orders fell 1.8% in May, far more than expectations for a modest 0.6% decline. In addition, April was revised sharply lower to -1.5% from -0.5% initially. Excluding the transportation sector, durable goods orders were 0.5% higher last month, in-line with expectations. April, however, was revised from a 0.5% gain to 0.3% loss.

Economic activity in the eurozone grew at the fastest pace in four years in June, providing the latest sign that a recovery in the region is gaining traction. Markit’s Composite Flash Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 54.1 from 53.6 in May, boosted by momentum in Germany and France, the bloc’s two largest economies. The data adds to the evidence that the ECB’s massive stimulus program is taking effect and paints a brighter outlook for eurozone activity.

Although showing some signs of stabilizing, China’s factory activity contracted for the fourth straight month in June, suggesting that more stimulus measures may be on the way. The HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing PMI edged up to 49.6, from 49.2 in May, but remained below the 50 mark which separates contraction from expansion. Manufacturers also continued to cut their staff numbers, with the June reduction the sharpest in more than six years. “This suggests that companies have relatively muted growth expectations,” Markit’s Annabel Fiddes said.

European leaders have given Greece 48 hours to make the final push needed to satisfy creditors and end a five-month standoff over aid that risks splitting the euro. Expectations for a deal climbed sharply yesterday after Athens submitted a set of reform measures that began to converge with the terms demanded by creditors. Leaders now hope to sign off on an agreement by the end of the week, just days before the cash-starved country must repay €1.6B to the IMF.

Samsung Group heir apparent Lee Jae Yong apologized in a nationally televised address on Tuesday for failing to stop the spread of MERS at a Seoul hospital run by a group foundation. About half of the 175 MERS cases in South Korea have been traced to Samsung Medical Center. The outbreak has prompted travel restrictions and scared off tourists, dealing a blow to the country’s economy.


Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial are investing nearly $1B in a joint venture called Koubei that will offer local services like food delivery and booking appointments. The move will see the two establish a foothold beyond e-commerce in what is called the “online to offline” market, which refers to the increasing use of mobile devices to book services. Alibaba (BABA) is also selling U.S. subsidiary 11 Main to online marketplace OpenSky, after its first major foray into the American market failed to gain traction.

Apple is “working on a radical iPhone redesign that will ditch the home button,” AppleInsider reports, citing “a source who in the past has correctly shared information about Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) future product plans.” However, the source adds the redesign won’t arrive within the next two years. In addition to providing more screen real estate for a given form factor, eliminating the home button could enable thinner/lighter iPhone designs.

Starting next month, Amazon (AMZN) will overhaul the way it pays royalties to self-published authors on its e-book platform, by rewarding them based on the number of pages read, rather than the number of times their book has been borrowed. The move applies to books published via the Kindle Direct Publishing service, which follows the pay-per-track model of music streaming services like Spotify.

Despite some inherent risks, the community bank sector is teaming up with Lending Club (LC) on pitching consumer loans. The online lender has announced over 200 partnerships under which it will send direct mailings to bank customers, and share revenue from any loans it makes to them. However, the move has some observers wondering whether community banks are handing a competitor information on customers and making them more likely to pursue the online firm rather than a bank branch.

Britain has cut its stake in Lloyds (LYG) to below 17%, taking the total sum recovered by taxpayers to £11.5B ($18.2B). “Today’s announcement shows the further progress made in returning Lloyds Banking Group to full private ownership and enabling the taxpayer to get their money back,” a Lloyds spokesman said in a statement. A retail sale, in addition to shares sold through a trading plan, could enable a full exit in the next year.

“A serious proposal to buy Syngenta has to be made at full and fair value,” Syngenta (SYT) Chairman Michel Demare said in a video on the company’s YouTube channel. “It has to recognize for shareholders the inherent combination benefits. And it has to provide a high degree of certainty that the transaction will be closed.” Syngenta rebuffed an initial $45B approach by Monsanto (NYSE:MON) in May and recently rejected the latter’s extra $2B offer if the merger failed.

Oracle is expanding its cloud-computing offerings, bringing the company into more direct competition with Amazon Web Services. “We’re prepared to compete with Amazon on price,” said Executive Chairman Larry Ellison in a webcast, after announcing that Oracle (ORCL) would offer online storage and capability for customers to run their applications entirely in the cloud. The company’s cloud business is growing quickly, running at a rate of about $2.3B a year in revenue.

Small-cap banking provider Green Dot has agreed to renew its partnership with Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), signing a five-year contract to remain the program manager for the retail giant’s MoneyCard debit card products. Green Dot’s (GDOT) board also announced the authorization of a $150M share repurchase plan.

Brazil prosecutors investigating the Petrobras (PBR) corruption scandal are asking U.S. authorities for help in building their lawsuit. The federal prosecutor’s office said it was “inspired by the FIFA case,” in which the U.S. brought charges against some of the world soccer organization’s top figures. The scandal continues to wear down poll numbers for Brazilian President Rousseff, whose approval rating recently dropped to 10%.

According to a U.S. congressional report, Takata (TKTDY) skipped some global safety audits for financial reasons, raising fresh questions over the company’s response to its faulty air bag inflators. The Japanese supplier was aware of lapses in manufacturing quality control as early as 2001, was told of three incidents involving defective inflators in early 2007, and waited until late 2008 to issue a recall. Later today, Takata’s North American executive will provide testimony on the company’s response at a hearing in Washington.

Laying more groundwork for an eventual IPO, Uber (UBER) seems to be getting a big Chinese backer as part of its latest funding round. Fund manager Hillhouse Capital Group is leading an investment that involves purchasing bonds that convert into shares at a discount to the ride-hailing company’s IPO price, WSJ reports. Should the deal go through, Uber stands to receive hundreds of millions of dollars of fresh funds from the Hillhouse-led transaction.

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