Asia: Japan +1% to 19437. Hong Kong -0.2% to 23901. China +1.6% to 3503. India +1.1% to 28736.
Europe: London +0.3%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt -1%.
Futures: Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.3%. Nasdaq -0.2%. Crude -1.6% to $43.18. Gold +0.1% to $1154.40.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 2.1%
FOMC meeting begins
8:30 Housing Starts
8:55 Chain Store Sales
Key earnings before the open
ARCO, BURL, DSW, FDS, IOC, PLUG, RSPP, ZBRA
Key earnings after the close
ADBE, FRSH, ORCL
Wall Street’s strong start to the week may be a tough act to follow today, with stock futures lower as attention turns to the start of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Juiced by a pullback in the dollar, U.S. stocks logged solid gains on Monday, with the S&P 500 rising 27.79 points to 2,081.19, and the Dow industrials gaining more than 200 points. It was also a strong day for biotechnology stocks, which helped drive the Nasdaq Composite 1.2% higher.
The BoJ decided to continue its massive ¥80T stimulus program today despite a tumbling inflation rate, indicating that a steady economic recovery will help it achieve its price target without immediate, additional monetary easing.
The FOMC also begins its two-day meeting on interest rate policy this morning, with nearly all believing that the Fed will delete the word “patient” from its statement.
“Most indicators suggest a sustained (eurozone) recovery is taking hold,” declared ECB President Mario Draghi yesterday, stating that growth forecasts have been revised upwards, and bank lending is improving on both the demand and supply sides.
Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) gains in premarket trade after the Chinese e-commerce giant was upgraded at Stifel Nicolaus, which said regulatory risks surrounding counterfeit items appear to have subsided. The firm ups its rating to buy from hold, added the stock to the Stifel Select List and set a new $99 price target, which is 18% above Monday’s closing price of $84.
Apple (AAPL) is in talks to launch a Web TV service this fall, which will feature about 25 channels, including ABC (DIS), CBS (CBS) and Fox (FOXA). The new service would cost about $30-$40 and would work across all devices powered by Apple’s iOS operating system, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes. A September launch announcement could come in June.
In what would be one of the biggest de-mergers in mining history, BHP Billiton (BHP) has outlined its plan to spin off several of its assets into a new company called South32, named for the line of latitude linking its two main centers in Australia and South Africa. BHP said South32 intends to distribute at least 40% of its underlying earnings as dividends to shareholders and reiterated that it wouldn’t rebase its own dividend lower following the demerger.
In his annual letter to shareholders, GE (GE) CEO Jeffrey Immelt says he plans to stick by his company’s model for housing diverse businesses under one roof even as other U.S. conglomerates are looking to shed units. The letter also says GE will focus on making GE Capital’s operations – whose returns have fallen below the company’s cost of capital – smaller and more connected to GE’s industrial businesses.
General Motors (GM) is facing serious allegations from attorneys involved in its class action ignition switch lawsuit. Sealed documents produced by Delphi Automotive indicate higher-level GM execs knew safety issues with ignition switch existed. The conclusion contradicts the GM-sponsored Valuskas report which tied the ignition switch problems to ineffectiveness from lower-level employees.
Hyundai (HYMLF) is considering producing pick-up trucks, announced R&D director Park Byung-cheol today, saying the company’s Santa Cruz crossover truck concept got “good response” at the Detroit auto show in January.
Lufthansa pilots say they will walk off the job Wednesday on short and mid-haul flights because of a continuing dispute over early retirement benefits and the airline’s plans to expand low-cost offerings.
Dropping its long-standing aversion to mobile gaming, Nintendo (NTDOY) is teaming up with online gaming firm DeNA (DNACF) to develop games for smartphones based on its iconic game characters. The two companies will buy ¥22B worth of shares in each other as part of the capital and product tie-up.
Plug Power (PLUG) tumbles 10% in active, premarket trade, after the fuel cell maker reported a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and sales that missed estimates.