MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures gain; AIG outlines plans

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By Polya Lesova and Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures erased early losses Thursday, turning modestly higher after data on U.S. economic growth and the labor market proved better than anticipated.

Markets sanguine about European sovereign woes

Anglo Irish Bank will need more money, and Spain's credit ratings have been downgraded. Never mind, say the markets. The euro has risen and sovereign spreads narrowed, says Dow Jones Newswires' David Cottle.

Separate reports had U.S. economic growth revised up to 1.7% for the second quarter and initial jobless claims falling by 16,000 to 453,000 last week.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\z10 (DJZ10 10,715, -65.00, -0.60%)  gained 28 points to 10,808.

S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,137, -3.60, -0.32%)  rose 2.80 points to 1,143.7, and Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\z10 (NDZ10 1,991, -18.00, -0.90%)  added 6 points to 2,015.

U.S. stocks ended slightly lower on Wednesday, with the blue-chip Dow industrials /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,778, -57.60, -0.53%)  falling 0.2%. The Dow, however, is still on track to register its best September performance since 1939, according to data from Dow Jones Indexes.

At 9:45 a.m. Eastern, the September Chicago purchasing managers index will be released. It will come a day ahead of the closely watched Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index.

After the market opens, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to testify on financial regulatory reform in Washington.

Investors also digested a barrage of news from Europe. Ireland detailed the soaring cost of bailing out its troubled banking sector, and Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Spain’s credit rating, a much-awaited move. See story on Spain’s debt-rating cut.

On the positive side, Germany said the number of its unemployed declined in September.

Most Asian markets finished lower overnight; in Japan, the Nikkei Stock Average dropped 2%. See Asia Markets report.

In Europe, stock markets also posted losses, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:SXXP 260.15, -0.87, -0.33%)  falling 0.2% in afternoon trading. See Europe Markets report.

”We have seen some fairly good numbers today from the euro zone â€" Germany saw the unemployment rate decline,” said Mads Koefoed, a strategist at Saxo Bank. “These numbers suggest that we still have some sort of recovery going on in Europe.”

TODAY'S TOP MARKET STORIES

S&P 500 (1 YEAR)

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Earnings Watch | Earnings, updates, warnings

THE MARKET BY SECTOR | Industries • Tech Stocks | Energy Stocks | Retail Stocks • Financials | Airline Stocks | Pharma and Biotech

EXPANDED MARKETS NEWS • Bonds | Oil news | Gold news • Currencies | Market Data | Economic Calendar • See all the latest markets video

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However, “the problem for stocks has been that the last few days have been all about the sovereign debt concerns,” Koefoed said.

Ireland and Spain were once again in the spotlight Thursday.

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Indications: U.S. stock futures fall; AIG outlines plans

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By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures edged lower Thursday, tracking losses in European equities, while American International Group Inc. mapped out its plan to repay all its obligations to U.S. taxpayers.

Investors also digested a barrage of news from Europe. Ireland detailed the soaring cost of bailing out its troubled banking sector, and Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Spain’s credit rating. On the positive side, Germany said the number of its unemployed declined in September.

Markets sanguine about European sovereign woes

Anglo Irish Bank will need more money, and Spain's credit ratings have been downgraded. Never mind, say the markets. The euro has risen and sovereign spreads narrowed, says Dow Jones Newswires' David Cottle.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\z10 (DJZ10 10,810, +30.00, +0.28%)  fell 18 points to 10,762.

S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,144, +3.10, +0.27%)  dropped 2.40 points to 1,138.50, and Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\z10 (NDZ10 2,015, +6.25, +0.31%)  slipped 3.75 points to 2,005.20.

U.S. stocks ended slightly lower Wednesday, with the blue-chip Dow index /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,835, -22.86, -0.21%)  falling 0.2%. The Dow, however, is still on track for its best September performance since 1939, according to data from Dow Jones Indexes.

Thursday’s economic calendar is a busy one. Data on weekly jobless claims and the third release of second-quarter gross domestic product are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

The highlight is likely to come at 9:45 a.m., when the September Chicago purchasing managers index will be released. It will come a day ahead of the closely watched Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index.

After the market opens, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to testify on financial regulatory reform in Washington.

Most Asian markets finished lower overnight; in Japan, the Nikkei Stock Average dropped 2%. See Asia Markets report.

In Europe, stock markets also posted losses, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:SXXP 261.58, +0.56, +0.21%)  falling 0.2% in afternoon trading. See Europe Markets report.

”We have seen some fairly good numbers today from the euro zone â€" Germany saw the unemployment rate decline,” said Mads Koefoed, a strategist at Saxo Bank. “These numbers suggest that we still have some sort of recovery going on in Europe.”

TODAY'S TOP MARKET STORIES

S&P 500 (1 YEAR)

• Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks in focus • Today's biggest advancing, declining stocks • Sign up for free, breaking-news email alerts

Earnings Watch | Earnings, updates, warnings

THE MARKET BY SECTOR | Industries • Tech Stocks | Energy Stocks | Retail Stocks • Financials | Airline Stocks | Pharma and Biotech

EXPANDED MARKETS NEWS • Bonds | Oil news | Gold news • Currencies | Market Data | Economic Calendar • See all the latest markets video

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However, “the problem for stocks has been that the last few days have been all about the sovereign debt concerns,” Koefoed said.

Ireland and Spain were once again in the spotlight Thursday.

The Central Bank of Ireland outlined the costs of rescuing its troubled banking sector. It estimated that the total capital required for nationalized Anglo Irish Bank amounts to 29.3 billion euros ($39.8 billion). The Irish government has already injected €26 billion in the bank. Under a stress-case scenario, however, an additional €5 billion of capital could be required.

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NYSE Arca Morning Update - 08:30:00 ET

NYSE Arca Morning Update for Thursday, Sep 30, 2010 :

STOCKS TRADING ON NYSE Arca AT A PRICE 15% OR MORE AWAY FROM
THE PREVIOUS TRADE DAY'S CONSOLIDATED CLOSE PRICE (AS OF 08:30:00 ET)

Stock Wednesday's Close Current Price Pct Change Current NYSE ARCA Vol
HYC $4.24 $6.14 44.8% 409,603


10 MOST ACTIVE STOCKS ON NYSE ARCA AS OF 08:30:00 ET

BASED ON DOLLARS TRADED: | BASED ON SHARES TRADED:
Stock $ Volume Price PctChg | Stock Share Vol Price PctChg
SPY $43,597,580 $114.29 ( 0.1%) | AIB 1,132,284 $1.27 (21.6%)
QQQQ $7,754,672 $49.30 0.0% | C 918,060 $3.93 0.0%
GLD $6,296,493 $128.32 0.3% | YRCW 677,237 $0.26 (17.6%)
AIG $6,070,430 $39.81 6.2% | HYC 409,603 $6.14 44.8%
BHP $5,608,010 $76.65 0.0% | SPY 381,293 $114.29 ( 0.1%)
BP $3,815,674 $40.61 1.5% | NOK 288,033 $10.08 2.7%
C $3,614,414 $3.93 0.0% | QQQQ 157,248 $49.30 0.0%
DB $3,413,346 $55.07 3.5% | AIG 155,684 $39.81 6.2%
NOK $2,917,002 $10.08 2.7% | BAC 112,717 $13.16 0.4%
HYC $2,473,827 $6.14 44.8% | FAZ 106,827 $13.51 1.0%


Price changes may be affected by symbol splits and dividends.

Consolidated close price is the last print (excluding prints with trade
conditions) prior to 4PM ET.

This information is also updated on our web page every morning at 8:35ET:
http://www.tradearca.com/data/volume/daily_update.asp

This material is for informational purposes only.
NYSE Euronext and its affiliates ("NYSE Arca") are not soliciting any action based upon it.
This material is not to be construed as an offer to buy or sell any security in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation would be illegal.
Any opinions expressed in this material are NYSE Arca opinions only.
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Copyright [2010] by NYSE Euronext. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution prohibited without prior express consent.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cheapening Currency Also Has Risks

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It is interesting to watch Wall Street defy reality. This is a scene we’ve observed since the early 1960s, the effect of debt on the economy and the nation and in turn on its currency. The result of the profligacy over all those years is the biggest bull market in history in gold and silver. As we write gold is toying with $1,300 and silver with $21.50. Each day a new high is reached in spite of a pending options expiration and the perpetual market rigging and manipulation by the US government.

One of the things that astound us is that few professionals have seen this coming over the past 10-1/2 years, and even those that do believe do not think this is an earth-shaking event. What we are about to experience is an event that only occurs every 300 to 500 years. All we can imagine is that they have a very limited perspective of history and particularly economic and financial history.

Unbeknownst to most gold and silver shares, coins and bullion have been under accumulation since 2000, by the smart money. Gold alone on a compound basis has been up just under 20% annually. It should also be noted that gold demand rose 36% in the second quarter.

Several events of recent vintage have changed the atmosphere in which gold and silver reside. Six or eight months ago the major NYC banks arranged for a major rally in the dollar, which ran from 74 to 89. It is now back to 79. The problems in Greece were the catalyst, as well as other EU-euro zone member problems. This caused the euro to fall from $1.50 to $1.19. It is now at $1.35. This temporarily boosted the dollar. About 11 weeks ago we predicted a new quantitative easing program in the US and it was put into operation about a month ago. This is the way the Federal Reserve again intends to keep the US economy from collapsing. The result of this move is that again foreign centr al banks are moving to cheapen their currencies, because the dollar is again falling in value. That is reflected in the increasing foreign exchange dollar reserves of many countries. What they do to cheapen their currencies in US dollar terms is to print their own national currency and purchase dollars. With those dollars they buy US Treasuries or spend them. That process cheapens their currency in dollar terms. This is called intervention.

The prevailing attitude is that if a nation doesn’t cheapen its currency others will and that would leave a nation at a disadvantage in terms of trade and pricing exports. This has been going on for years and US administrations have overlooked the practice. That is because it cheapens exports into the US, holds down inflation and creates buyers for Treasury and Agency bonds and US stocks and investments. Unfortunately for the US other nations have decided US debt is so onerous that they are diversifying into other cu rrencies, purchasing items such as commodities and in some cases buying gold. The argument against gold has been that there is no interest on the investment. They perpetually do not understand that gold has been appreciating in value for the last ten years just shy of 20% annually. Thus their argument for not owning gold is incorrect. It has cost nations dearly and will continue to do so. The real reason that they do not purchase gold is because of pressure from the US government.

The most visible intervention in the currency markets was that of Japan in a desperate attempt to cheapen the value of the yen in violation of agreements with other major nations. Their manipulation into the $4 trillion Forex market was totally unsuccessful. Japan and others are faced with increases in money and credit by the Fed in its efforts to again liquefy the US economy. Any attempt to fight another $2.5 trillion by foreign nations is going to be futile. The currencies of almost every nation will rise and there is little they can do about it. The US dollar has been abandoned in an effort to save an American economy that is in serious trouble. The currency devaluations will come, but will be unsuccessful. Russia is an exception and has thus far failed to use stimulus to weaken its rouble. Every time the IMF tries to suppress gold prices with its gold sales, Russia is right there buying it up, which must infuriate the elitists in Europe and the US. Almost 2/3s of their economy’s growth loss has been due to drought and fires, but with close to $500 billion in foreign exchange, they have no trouble buying gold, which puts those reserves at close to 24 million ounces. It is an easy way to dump dollars.

Over and over again we hear central banks worldwide announcing how they are going to defend their currencies in order to keep their exports inexpensive. We wonder when someone in Washington is going to catch on to what has be en perpetually done to injure the US economy? Free trade, globalization, offshoring and outsourcing doesn’t work. It has cost 8 million American jobs over the past 12 years and lowered wages from $30.00 an hour to $14.00 an hour, and caused a depression. British mercantilism has never worked except for those demeaning their currencies. The only answer for America is to impose stiff tariffs on foreign goods and services and junk NAFTA, CAFTA and the WTO. Just look at what China has done as an example. The yuan is undervalued by 40% and they could care less. They keep right on devaluing their currency and then complain about the loss in the value of the dollar and US Treasuries they buy as a result of currency manipulation. If the US is ever to survive economically they have to put an end to criminal devaluations.

Government goes on its merry way because they have a Federal Reserve. There will be no cutback in deficit spending.

All t he government has to do is request that the Fed purchase their debt and they do so by creating money and credit out of thin air. This is monetization and it’s inflationary. This is how government pays for mandated services. The taxes for such were already extracted from the public, but unbeknownst to most of the public these funds have already been spent. This is how Social Security, Medicare and all those other bailout services are being funded. Foreigners are buying only 25% of US government debt. The slack is and has been assumed by the Fed, which the people eventually get to pay for. Today we are in a lull, a sort of magical time, when the very superstructure of the system is being destroyed, but it is not particularly noticeable. The economy, we might add, is going sideways, with the assistance of $2.5 trillion a year. That can last for several years but in the end inflation goes rampant and sometimes becomes hyperinflation as we have seen in the Weimar Republic and m ost recently in Zimbabwe. Inflation, as consumers can attest to, is already climbing and the roar of higher inflation is not far off. One of the events that will kick that off will be bank lending of the funds they hold, some $1.5 trillion, which presently are sterilized, but become monetized once they are lent or spent. We can assure you that day is just over the horizon. This, once raging, will cause political, social and perhaps military conflict. If you look back in history when such problems existed those in power create another war or they subject their own people. Historically this hasn’t been difficult, but today is different, because talk radio and the Internet have allowed people to know and understand what has been and will be forced upon them and by whom.

 

Richard Russell:

They call it competitive devaluations or more vulgarly "beggar thy neighbor." In the new rough world of 2010, eve ry nation wants to export. The biggest aids in exporting are (1) cheap labor, (2) access to ample raw materials, (3) a "cheap," low-priced, competitive currency. China keeps its yuan on the "cheap" side by forcing it below the purchasing power of the dollar. Treasury Secretary Timmie Geithner and more recently, Barack Obama himself, have been badgering the Chinese to halt their "manipulations" and to allow the yuan to float higher. China's answer is "We can't hear you," and when pressed further the Chinese retort, "We'll allow the yuan to float when it serves China's purposes." In order to compete with the mighty Chinese exporting machine, the rest of the Asian nations force their currencies down. The net result is a series of competitive devaluations. The sum of the story is that every nation wants to export. and no nation wants a strong currency. So what's the US's answer? Our answer is that if China won't allow the yuan to rise, then we'll flood the market with new dollar s and allow the dollar to sink. That's the trade-off, China must allow the yuan to rise or the US will set off quantitative easing #2. The US must be competitive, even if we have to sacrifice the almighty dollar. The Chinese complain that to allow their currency to rise too far will mean millions of their factories will be forced into bankruptcy and millions of Chinese will lose their jobs. China's reserves include a staggering $2.5 trillion in dollar-denominated US securities (mostly treasuries). If the dollar sinks, China stands to lose hundreds of billions of dollar in purchasing power. China, it seems to me, is stalling, playing for time, while it gets rid of its dollar liabilities by switching to shorter maturities, by increasing its mix of other currencies while decreasing its dollar position, and by buying gold with its dollars. Meanwhile, the Fed's policy-makers are ready to take the big gamble with the dollar. At last Tuesday's meeting, Fed Chairman Bernanke hinted that the Fed is ready to flood the system with additional dollars in a campaign to push longer-term interest rates lower, and to pressure the dollar to the downside. This announcement served to drive the dollar index down to its lowest level since last March.

Last week the Dow rose 2.4%, S&P 2.1%, Nasdaq 3.5% and the Russell 2000 rose 3%. Cyclicals rose 1.9%; transports 1.8%; consumers 2.1%; utilities 2%; banks 0.2%; broker/dealers were unchanged; high tech rose 2.6%; semis 3.5%; Internets rose 3.9% and biotechs 1.5%. Gold bullion rose $22.00, the HUI rose 2% and the USDX rose 2.6% to 79.28.

Two-year T-bills fell 2 bps to 0.43%; ten-year T-notes fell 14 bps to 2.60% and 10-year German bunds fell 8 bps to 2.34%.

The Freddie Mac 30-year fixed mortgage rates were unchanged at 4.37%, the 15’s were unchanged at 3.82%, one-year ARMs rose 6 bps to 3.44% and 30-year jumbos rose 1 bps to 5.33%.

Fe d credit fell $2.8 billion, as Fed foreign holdings of Treasury and Agency debt rose $3.7 billion. Custody holdings for foreign central banks have increased $258 billion YTD, or by 12% annualized and YOY they are up 12.6%.

Total money market funds fell $10.6 billion to $2.803 trillion. Total commercial paper jumped $27.8 billion to $1.064 trillion.Rumors persist that Bank of America just received $13 billion in emergency funds to keep the bank solvent. The word is HSBC has problems as well.

SIPC has $1.2 billion and can borrow $2.5 billion from the Treasury. This certainly is not much money for the undertaking they are involved in.

The August Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell 0.53 to after being down 0.11 in July.

On Friday regulators seized three corporate credit unions and will have to repackage $50 billion in troubled assets.

We have been warning you on credit unions . This is just the beginning.

Regulators shut two more banks bringing the 2010 total to 127.

Record-low interest rates are stoking the biggest increase in U.S. share buybacks ever.  American companies announced $55.9 billion in repurchases since June, data compiled by Birinyi Associates Inc. show. That adds to $93.5 billion in the second quarter and $108.3 billion during the first three months of the year, compared with $125 billion in all of 2009. Corporations are using debt to pay for buybacks.

Leveraged-loan returns rose to their highest level of the year this week as Brickman Group Holdings Inc. took advantage of investor demand and marketed a loan without financial-maintenance requirements. Investors in search of extra yield have turned to high- risk, high-return loans, driving supply to more than double this year and allowing companies to bring so-called covenant-lite deals to market. Those loans are devo id of restrictions such as a mandate on maximum leverage, or debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Bank of America has been busted using some seriously outrageous tactics to try to collect debts so small they're barely worth the paper they're written on.

It wasn't until ABC News ambushed BOFA CEO Brian Moynihan Michael-Moore style outside his office that the firm finally responded by firing its debt-collection firm.

Regulators announced a rescue of the nation's so-called wholesale credit

unions…Friday's moves include the seizure of three wholesale credit unions and an unusual plan by government officials to manage $50 billion of troubled assets inherited from failed institutions. To help fund the rescue, the National Credit Union Administration plans to issue $30 billion to $35 billion in government-guaranteed bonds, backed by the shaky mortgage-related assets.

Bernanke and the NY Fed are boosting stocks ahead of the November election. If the GOP takes control of at least one chamber of Congress, Ben’s ways and means of rigging and bailing out will be audited.

 

The Fed did a $3.89B POMO on Friday. For the week, the NY Fed monetized $11.15B of Treasuries. At 14 to 1 bank leverage, this is sizable juice. Hedge funds can employ even greater leverage.

Heavy dollar inflows into Brazil could pose credit risks for the country's banking system, Brazilian Central Bank chief Henrique Meirelles said Friday, defending his bank's intervention measures in the foreign exchange market.

Ergo, the world is accelerating its beggar they neighbor competitive currency debasement scheme instead of allowing the necessary economic and financial restructuring. Soon, more of the market will become alarmed at increasing central bank and sovereign credit risk. Then this inflate of die party will get very interesting.

 

A Return to Beggar They Neighbor? Beggar-thy-neighbor currency devaluations proved ruinous for the global economy in the 1930s. Is the world setting off down the same slippery slope again? As in the 1930s, competitive devaluations, whether by fair means or foul, are likely to increase international tensions and risk protectionist responses. Meanwhile, they will do nothing to address the global imbalances that led to the crisis or tackle the chief problem facing the advanced economies today: lack of domestic demand in many countries.

Japan Signals Determination on Yen Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said that Japan's government is determined to prevent further appreciation of the country's currency and raised the possibility of further government intervention to curb the yen's rise.

What More Fed Easing Means For Markets: 'America On Sale'

"The Fed is going to do whatever it takes to support this market. They don't care what it is."… "Investors are looking at what the news is and they're reacting to it, and the reaction isn't necessarily a healthy one at all times," says Andre Julian, CFO and senior market strategist at OpVest Wealth Management in Irvine, Calif. "They've lost perspective on the long term: What are we going to do with inflation? What are we going to do when the dollar isn't worth as much?"

A Grand Unified Theory on Market Manipulation [August 2, 2009]

A limiting factor is that the rule s of the game have changed quickly, and what we believe is important to the major players now may not necessarily have been important twelve or even six months ago… The theory for which we have the greatest supporting evidence of manipulation surrounds the fact that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRNY) began conducting permanent open market operations (POMO) on March 25, 2009 and has conducted 42 to date.

These days are highly correlated with strong paint-the-tape closes, with the theory being that the large institutions that receive the capital injections are able to leverage this money by 100 to 500 times and

http://www.precisioncapmgt.com/wp-content/uploads/PCM-A_G.U.T._of_Market_Manipulation.pdf

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Gold is the final refuge against universal currency debase ment States accounting for two-thirds of the global economy are either holding down their exchange rates by direct intervention or steering currencies lower in an attempt to shift problems on to somebody else, each with their own plausible justification. Nothing like this has been seen since the 1930s.

The managers of all four reserve currencies are playing fast and loose: the Fed is clipping the dollar; the Bank of England is clipping sterling; the European Central Bank is buying the bonds of EMU debtors to stave off insolvency, something it vowed never to do just months ago; and the Bank of Japan has just carried out two trillion yen of “unsterilized” intervention…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8026324/Gol d-is-the-final-refuge-against-universal-currency-debasement.html

Policy makers must do more than print money and hope for the best Quantitative easing might seem the easiest option but it is storing up major problems for the future.

The regulatory failure that brought the Western world to this impasse and the gross irresponsibility shown by the investment banks and ratings agencies is shocking. Central bankers lowered rates in the aftermath of 9/11 and the dot-com crash, then kept them low for far too long so pumping up the biggest

credit bubble in history.

Now, the Western world's policy response amounts to printing money and heaping debts upon debts, while shoving the banking sector's losses on to the general public â€" and, particularly, their children and grandchildren. This is perhaps the most systematic act of inter-generation al theft the world has ever seen.

But that's not the point at least for now. The point for now is that QE and the related fiscal boosts simply are not working.

As Simon Johnson has written: "The finance industry has effectively captured our government and recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform." Strong words from a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund but no less true for that.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/liamhalligan/8025121/Policy-makers-must-do-more-than-print-money-and-hope-for-the-best.html

An intriguing pick-up in Treasury settlement fails First, there’s been a relatively strong burst of settlement failures in the US Treasury repo market in the last week.

According to data compiled the New York Fed, ‘failures to receive’ shot up to 87,173 versus 14,356 the previous week, while ‘failures to deliver’ hit 85,827 versus 9,377 the highest since January 6, 2010 on both counts. Meanwhile something else that’s curious in the market. If you’re interested in trading the 30-year spot-future basis, there’s a potentially interesting arbitrage opportunity that’s opened up since about August. [US 30-year bonds are out of whack with USZs.]

http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2010/09/24/352581/an-intriguing-pick-up-in-treasury-settlement-fails/

The explanation for both of the above noted conditions is: the system is running out of deliverable product because it is still too levere d, with the Fed’s NZIRP and QE as a driving dynamic.

The use of derivatives has “far exceeded any pressing need for hedging in real markets or financial markets and has become a kind of speculative instrument,” the 83-year-old former central banker said…“It’s going to take a long time to repair the basic disequilibrium in the economy,” Volcker said.

The substantial drop in credit card debt in the United States since early 2009 has been widely attributed to newly frugal consumers. But analysts say that a significant portion of the decline is actually the result of financial institutions writing off billions of dollars in credit card debt as losses…

A study released last week by Evolution Finance’s CardHub.com, calculated that financial institutions charged off about $20 billion each quarter from early 2009 through early 2010, about equal to the amount of the decline in outstanding credit card debt…

President Barack Obama's $30 billion small community business lending program faces one big challenge: many of the community banks and businesses it's supposed to help don't want it…

Bank executives say their customers don't want loans, even at low interest rates, because the sluggish economy has chilled expansion plans. Some say the federal money isn't worth it because they fear it will come with too much regulatory oversight. "We have taken a strategic decision not to have our primary regulator, the government, also be a partner in our bank," said William Chase Jr., CEO of Triumph Bank in Memphis.

Tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs within weeks unless Congress extends one of the more effective job-creating programs in the $787 billion stimulus act: a $1 billion New Deal-style program that directly paid the salaries of unemployed people so they could get jobs in government, at nonprofit organizations and at many small businesses.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation postponed its decision on approving a rule that would study failures of mega-banks so that its bankruptcy doesn't affect the markets.

The rule based on the Dodd-Frank Act was expected to be adopted, but instead the agency decided to discuss a proposal on the subject. The proposal is expected to be discussed with the Financial Stability Oversight Council before its approval.

A second proposal on the subject will also be introduced by the agency in Q1 of 2011. This may include methods to examine how funds are deployed in the recovery process and how taxpayer funds will be recovered from the industry.

The United States on Monday set final duties ranging up to 61 percent on hundreds of millions of dollars of copper pipe from China in one of several disputes causing friction between the two countries.

The U.S. Commerce Department announcement came one day after Beijing slapped final duties ranging from 50.3 percent to 105.4 percent on chicken parts from the United States.

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Indications: U.S. stock futures falter ahead of open

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software Alert Email Print

By Simon Kennedy and Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock-market futures slipped Wednesday after gold hit another all-time high and pressure continued to mount on the dollar.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\z10 (DJZ10 10,805, +17.00, +0.16%)  fell 17 points to 10,771.

Why we could all be driving Fiestas

With higher car fuel-efficiency standards coming soon, Joe White discusses why we all might be driving Fiestas.

Dow component Hewlett-Packard Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!hpq/quotes/nls/hpq (HPQ 42.67, +1.05, +2.52%)  gained in premarket trade after the world’s biggest computer manufacturer offered a better-than-expected forecast for fiscal 2011.

After a terrible August, the Dow industrials are up 8.4% this month, on track for their best September since 1939.

S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,143, +1.30, +0.11%)  dropped 2.10 points to 1,139.6, and Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\z10 (NDZ10 2,005, -3.50, -0.17%)  shed 1.5 points to 2,007.

U.S. stocks ended higher Tuesday on deal news and solid earnings announcements. The Dow /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,863, +4.69, +0.04%) finished up around 46 points, reversing an 80-point slide earlier in the session.

Shares of Family Dollar Stores Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!fdo/quotes/nls/fdo (FDO 44.51, +1.17, +2.70%)   gained 4% in premarket trade after the retailer reported a rise in fiscal fourth-quarter profit, beating expectations.

Conversely, shares of Sealy Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!zz/quotes/nls/zz (ZZ 2.41, -0.37, -13.31%)  lost nearly 12% in the premarket after the mattress maker late Tuesday reported a fiscal third-quarter loss, missing analysts’ expectations.

In other corporate developments, BP PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 39.99, +0.70, +1.78%)   has shown the door to the head of its exploration and production business. Read more about executive changes at BP.

With little in the economic diary Wednesday, the dollar dropped 0.3% to 83.63 Japanese yen.

TODAY'S TOP MARKET STORIES

S&P 500 (1 YEAR)

• Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks in focus • Today's biggest advancing, declining stocks • Sign up for free, breaking-news email alerts

Earnings Watch | Earnings, updates, warnings

THE MARKET BY SECTOR | Industries • Tech Stocks | Energy Stocks | Retail Stocks • Financials | Airline Stocks | Pharma and Biotech

EXPANDED MARKETS NEWS • Bonds | Oil news | Gold news • Currencies | Market Data | Economic Calendar • See all the latest markets video

/conga/story/misc/markets.html 84614

The move continued the dollar’s slide back toward the ¥82.85 level it hit two weeks ago, just before Japanese authorities intervened in currency markets.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 78.68, -0.33, -0.42%) , which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, also hit its lowest level in eight months.

“It seems that the equity markets remain unfazed by weaker data as long as yields decline in step,” said Kenneth Broux, senior market economist at Lloyds TSB.

“So while yesterday’s consumer-confidence data and the recent weak tone to the regional Fed indices should underline the slowdown risks, the prospect of quantitative easing in response continues to favour dollar weakness,” he added in a note to clients.

Gold futures hit another high as the dollar weakened, with the December contract touching $1,314.80 an ounce on Globex before giving up most of its gains.

Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!gmcr/quotes/nls/gmcr (GMCR 31.58, -5.43, -14.67%) fell 14% in premarket trading. The firm said the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating its revenue-recognition practices.

Meanwhile, Japanese gaming giant Nintendo /quotes/comstock/11i!ntdoy (NTDOY 33.37, -2.68, -7.43%)  cut its profit and sales outlook, citing the strong yen and weaker-than-expected sales of its video-game consoles.

In international markets, the German DAX 30 index /quotes/comstock/30p!dax (DX:DAX 6,247, -29.17, -0.46%)  fell 0.3%, while the Nikkei 225 Average closed up 0.7%.

Simon Kennedy is the City correspondent for MarketWatch in London. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

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Indications: U.S. stock futures steady, while dollar falls

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software Alert Email Print

By Simon Kennedy, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock-market futures held in a tight range on Wednesday, while gold hit another all-time high as pressure continued to mount on the dollar.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\z10 (DJZ10 10,777, -11.00, -0.10%)  fell 5 points to 10,783.

S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,140, -1.80, -0.16%)  dropped 0.70 point to 1,141 and Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\z10 (NDZ10 2,008, -0.25, -0.01%)  edged up 0.25 point at 2,008.75.

U.S. stocks ended higher on Tuesday, when takeover deals and solid earnings announcements helped offset worries over weak consumer-confidence data. The Dow /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,858, +46.10, +0.43%) finished up around 46 points, as it reversed an 80-point slide earlier in the session.

With little in the economic diary Wednesday, the dollar dropped 0.4% to 83.611 Japanese yen.

TODAY'S TOP MARKET STORIES

S&P 500 (1 YEAR)

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Earnings Watch | Earnings, updates, warnings

THE MARKET BY SECTOR | Industries • Tech Stocks | Energy Stocks | Retail Stocks • Financials | Airline Stocks | Pharma and Biotech

EXPANDED MARKETS NEWS • Bonds | Oil news | Gold news • Currencies | Market Data | Economic Calendar • See all the latest markets video

/conga/story/misc/markets.html 84614

The move continued the dollar’s slide back toward the ¥82.85 level it hit two weeks ago, just before Japanese authorities intervened in currency markets.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 78.80, -0.21, -0.27%) , which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, also hit its lowest level in eight months.

“It seems that the equity markets remain unfazed by weaker data as long as yields decline in step,” said Kenneth Broux, senior market economist at Lloyds TSB.

“So while yesterday’s consumer-confidence data and the recent weak tone to the regional Fed indices should underline the slowdown risks, the prospect of quantitative easing in response continues to favour dollar weakness,” he added in a note to clients.

Gold futures hit another high as the dollar weakened, with the December contract touching $1,314.80 an ounce on Globex before giving up most of its gains.

On the corporate front, shares of Hewlett-Packard Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!hpq/quotes/nls/hpq (HPQ 41.62, +0.36, +0.87%)  rose 1.3% in premarket trading after the company said revenue for the fiscal year would be between $131.5 billion and $133.5 billion â€" a range that compared favorably to the consensus forecast of $131.6 billion.

Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!gmcr/quotes/nls/gmcr (GMCR 37.01, -0.54, -1.44%) fell 13% in premarket trading. The firm said the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating its revenue recognition practices.

Oil giant BP PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 39.29, +0.58, +1.50%)   /quotes/comstock/23s!a:bp. (UK:BP. 417.50, +12.35, +3.05%)  was also back in the headlines as the company said it will restructure its upstream business and create a new safety division, with the power to audit any part of the company’ operations. BP shares rose 2.2% in London.

Family Dollar Stores Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!fdo/quotes/nls/fdo (FDO 43.34, +0.37, +0.86%)  said it earned 56 cents a share in the latest quarter, topping the consensus forecast of 51 cents a share. It also announced plans to buy back up to $750 million of its shares.

Meanwhile, Japanese gaming giant Nintendo /quotes/comstock/11i!ntdoy (NTDOY 36.05, +1.10, +3.15%)  cut its profit and sales outlook, citing the strong yen and weaker-than-expected sales of its video game consoles.

In international markets, the German DAX 30 index /quotes/comstock/30p!dax (DX:DAX 6,262, -14.28, -0.23%)  fell 0.3%, while the Nikkei 225 Average closed up 0.7%.

Simon Kennedy is the City correspondent for MarketWatch in London.

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NYSE Arca Morning Update - 08:30:00 ET

NYSE Arca Morning Update for Wednesday, Sep 29, 2010 :

STOCKS TRADING ON NYSE Arca AT A PRICE 15% OR MORE AWAY FROM
THE PREVIOUS TRADE DAY'S CONSOLIDATED CLOSE PRICE (AS OF 08:30:00 ET)

Stock Tuesday's Close Current Price Pct Change Current NYSE ARCA Vol
APRI $2.18 $1.78 (18.4%) 5,000


10 MOST ACTIVE STOCKS ON NYSE ARCA AS OF 08:30:00 ET

BASED ON DOLLARS TRADED: | BASED ON SHARES TRADED:
Stock $ Volume Price PctChg | Stock Share Vol Price PctChg
SPY $54,522,771 $114.58 ( 0.1%) | SPY 475,647 $114.58 ( 0.1%)
BP $12,431,296 $39.60 0.7% | GMCR 356,385 $31.87 (13.9%)
IWM $11,889,951 $67.46 ( 0.0%) | BP 314,915 $39.60 0.7%
GMCR $11,503,119 $31.87 (13.9%) | IWM 176,524 $67.46 ( 0.0%)
AAPL $7,666,476 $288.22 0.5% | YRCW 155,000 $0.32 5.7%
GLD $4,642,914 $127.85 ( 0.0%) | FAZ 133,880 $13.22 0.7%
LVS $4,259,254 $35.69 0.3% | UNG 132,300 $6.32 ( 0.2%)
FDO $2,739,958 $45.15 4.1% | LVS 119,345 $35.69 0.3%
EEM $2,577,130 $44.49 0.3% | C 108,359 $3.88 ( 0.2%)
EWY $2,186,192 $53.14 0.6% | MGM 99,895 $11.65 2.0%


Price changes may be affected by symbol splits and dividends.

Consolidated close price is the last print (excluding prints with trade
conditions) prior to 4PM ET.

This information is also updated on our web page every morning at 8:35ET:
http://www.tradearca.com/data/volume/daily_update.asp

This material is for informational purposes only.
NYSE Euronext and its affiliates ("NYSE Arca") are not soliciting any action based upon it.
This material is not to be construed as an offer to buy or sell any security in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation would be illegal.
Any opinions expressed in this material are NYSE Arca opinions only.
NYSE Arca undertakes no obligation to update any of the information contained in this material in light of new information or future events.
THIS MATERIAL IS PROVIDED BY NYSE ARCA "AS IS" AND WITHOUT WARRANTIES EXPRESS OR IMPLIED.
NYSE ARCA DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES INCLUDING THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY, TITLE, AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AS TO THIS MATERIAL.
IN NO EVENT SHALL NYSE ARCA BE LIABLE FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOST PROFITS, TRADING LOSSES AND DAMAGES THAT MAY RESULT FROM THE USE
OF THIS MATERIAL, ANY DELAY OR INTERRUPTION OF SERVICE OR OMISSIONS OR INACCURACIES IN THE MATERIAL) WITH RESPECT TO THIS MATERIAL.

Copyright [2010] by NYSE Euronext. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution prohibited without prior express consent.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures rise as deals continue

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software Alert Email Print

By Kate Gibson and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures stepped modestly higher Tuesday as investors embraced another round of deal-making and as economic data pointed to improving conditions in the U.S. and overseas.

After a round of M&A action roused Wall Street on Monday, drug developer Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!endp/quotes/nls/endp (ENDP 33.25, +2.64, +8.62%)  said Tuesday that it would acquire Qualitest Pharmaceuticals for $1.2 billion.

Outsourcing as key campaign issue

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing a bill that promotes hiring American workers, as outsourcing emerges as a key campaign issue. Aaron Zitner, Neal Lipschutz and Bob O'Brien discuss. Also, Brett Arends discusses the myths and realities in the debate over whether to raise taxes on high earners.

“These deals and the recent increases in dividend payouts are a reminder that corporations are flush with cash,” Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald, wrote in a research note.

“The cash is out there for significant consolidation in the months to come,” Pado added.

Stock futures extended their mild advance after the S&P/Case-Shiller report found home prices rising 0.6% in July.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/19*!dy10z (DJZ10 10,790, +40.00, +0.37%)  added 31 points to 10,781.

S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f1:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,140, +2.50, +0.22%)  gained 3.4 points to 1,141.1, while Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\z10 (NDZ10 2,007, -0.25, -0.01%)  gained 10.25 points to 2,017.5.

The blue-chip Dow index /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,838, +26.00, +0.24%)  dropped 0.4% Monday, but remains up 8% so far in September.

The Asian Development Bank hiked its outlook for the region’s economic growth this year, and a gauge of consumer confidence climbed in Germany.

The reports come ahead of data on U.S. consumer confidence later in the session.

TODAY'S TOP MARKET STORIES

S&P 500 (1 YEAR)

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Earnings Watch | Earnings, updates, warnings

THE MARKET BY SECTOR | Industries • Tech Stocks | Energy Stocks | Retail Stocks • Financials | Airline Stocks | Pharma and Biotech

EXPANDED MARKETS NEWS • Bonds | Oil news | Gold news • Currencies | Market Data | Economic Calendar • See all the latest markets video

/conga/story/misc/markets.html 84614

The Treasury is scheduled to sell $35 billion in 5-year notes.

On the corporate front, Walgreen Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!wag/quotes/nls/wag (WAG 33.59, +3.24, +10.68%)  reported a rise in fiscal fourth-quarter profit and expressed confidence in future earnings growth.

Research In Motion Ltd. /quotes/comstock/15*!rimm/quotes/nls/rimm (RIMM 46.60, -1.76, -3.64%)   /quotes/comstock/11t!rim (CA:RIM 48.22, -1.45, -2.92%)  will also be in the spotlight after it unveiled a touch-screen tablet device, called the BlackBerry PlayBook, late Monday.

Shares of Bank of Ireland /quotes/comstock/13*!ire/quotes/nls/ire (IRE 3.00, -0.19, -5.95%)  dropped in premarket trading on concerns over Ireland’s banking sector.

Commodity prices traded lower, with oil futures falling 65 cents to $75.87 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex. Gold futures dropped $10 to $1,288.80 an ounce.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 78.92, -0.47, -0.59%)  , which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, traded at 79.431.

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York. Polya Lesova is reporter for MarketWatch, based in Frankfurt.

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NYSE Arca Morning Update - 08:30:00 ET

NYSE Arca Morning Update for Tuesday, Sep 28, 2010 :

STOCKS TRADING ON NYSE Arca AT A PRICE 15% OR MORE AWAY FROM
THE PREVIOUS TRADE DAY'S CONSOLIDATED CLOSE PRICE (AS OF 08:30:00 ET)

Stock Monday's Close Current Price Pct Change Current NYSE ARCA Vol
VRX $63.45 $26.75 (57.8%) 1,250


10 MOST ACTIVE STOCKS ON NYSE ARCA AS OF 08:30:00 ET

BASED ON DOLLARS TRADED: | BASED ON SHARES TRADED:
Stock $ Volume Price PctChg | Stock Share Vol Price PctChg
SPY $41,245,193 $114.42 0.1% | BAC 1,719,987 $13.32 0.5%
BAC $22,923,803 $13.32 0.5% | C 1,042,200 $3.89 0.6%
GLD $16,014,302 $125.60 ( 0.9%) | SPY 360,752 $114.42 0.1%
BIDU $8,274,184 $105.24 1.3% | DRYS 313,236 $4.80 7.3%
AAPL $7,789,903 $291.59 0.2% | IRE 296,311 $3.04 ( 5.0%)
EWZ $6,437,604 $74.80 0.6% | XLF 200,750 $14.45 0.0%
WAG $5,138,142 $32.67 7.6% | WAG 158,291 $32.67 7.6%
C $4,049,902 $3.89 0.6% | AGNC 132,442 $26.42 ( 5.6%)
RIMM $3,895,255 $48.40 0.1% | GLD 127,166 $125.60 ( 0.9%)
AGNC $3,495,104 $26.42 ( 5.6%) | VRSK 104,436 $27.55 ( 0.0%)


Price changes may be affected by symbol splits and dividends.

Consolidated close price is the last print (excluding prints with trade
conditions) prior to 4PM ET.

This information is also updated on our web page every morning at 8:35ET:
http://www.tradearca.com/data/volume/daily_update.asp

This material is for informational purposes only.
NYSE Euronext and its affiliates ("NYSE Arca") are not soliciting any action based upon it.
This material is not to be construed as an offer to buy or sell any security in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation would be illegal.
Any opinions expressed in this material are NYSE Arca opinions only.
NYSE Arca undertakes no obligation to update any of the information contained in this material in light of new information or future events.
THIS MATERIAL IS PROVIDED BY NYSE ARCA "AS IS" AND WITHOUT WARRANTIES EXPRESS OR IMPLIED.
NYSE ARCA DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES INCLUDING THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY, TITLE, AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AS TO THIS MATERIAL.
IN NO EVENT SHALL NYSE ARCA BE LIABLE FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOST PROFITS, TRADING LOSSES AND DAMAGES THAT MAY RESULT FROM THE USE
OF THIS MATERIAL, ANY DELAY OR INTERRUPTION OF SERVICE OR OMISSIONS OR INACCURACIES IN THE MATERIAL) WITH RESPECT TO THIS MATERIAL.

Copyright [2010] by NYSE Euronext. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution prohibited without prior express consent.

Indications: U.S. stock futures edge up ahead of data

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software Alert Email Print

By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures traded marginally higher on Tuesday, as investors largely retreated to the sidelines ahead of data on house prices and consumer confidence.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/19*!dy10z (DJZ10 10,712, -38.00, -0.35%)  rose 23 points to 10,773.

S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f1:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,139, +1.00, +0.09%)  added 2.70 points to 1,140.40, while Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\z10 (NDZ10 2,013, +5.75, +0.29%)  gained 5.50 points to 2,012.70.

The blue-chip Dow index /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,812, -48.22, -0.44%)  dropped 0.4% on Monday, but remains up 8% so far in September.

Asian equities overnight ended lower, with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average falling 1.1%. In Europe, equity markets also posted broad-based losses, pressured by worries over sovereign-debt levels in Ireland and Spain. The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:SXXP 261.43, -1.49, -0.57%)  declined 0.4% in late morning trading.

TODAY'S TOP MARKET STORIES

S&P 500 (1 YEAR)

• Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks in focus • Today's biggest advancing, declining stocks • Sign up for free, breaking-news email alerts

Earnings Watch | Earnings, updates, warnings

THE MARKET BY SECTOR | Industries • Tech Stocks | Energy Stocks | Retail Stocks • Financials | Airline Stocks | Pharma and Biotech

EXPANDED MARKETS NEWS • Bonds | Oil news | Gold news • Currencies | Market Data | Economic Calendar • See all the latest markets video

/conga/story/misc/markets.html 84614

“It looks like there is a lot of concern about European debt levels, primarily problems in Ireland, which appear to be weighing on the market yet again,” said Peter Dixon, a strategist at Commerzbank in London.

“I think, to a large extent, the concerns are a bit overdone,” he said. “I don’t really have such a negative view on Ireland as the markets do right now. A bit of risk aversion is creeping back into the markets.”

Moody’s Investors Service on Monday downgraded the senior debt rating of Anglo Irish Bank. Meanwhile, rumors circulated in the media that the ratings agency may downgrade Spain’s credit rating this week.

In Madrid, the benchmark IBEX-35 stock index /quotes/comstock/20r!i:ib (XX:IBEX 10,478, -134.90, -1.27%)  slipped 1.5% in intraday trading, while Greece’s ASE Composite index (XX:COMPO 1,496, -17.93, -1.18%)   fell 1.9%.

In the U.S., investors are awaiting the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index for July, which will be released at 9 a.m. Eastern time.

Data on September consumer confidence will follow at 10 a.m. Eastern, with most economists expecting a decline. The Treasury, meanwhile, is scheduled to sell $35 billion in five-year notes.

On the corporate front, Walgreen Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!wag/quotes/nls/wag (WAG 30.35, -0.01, -0.03%)  is due to report quarterly results before the market opens.

Research In Motion Ltd. /quotes/comstock/15*!rimm/quotes/nls/rimm (RIMM 48.36, -0.51, -1.04%)   /quotes/comstock/11t!rim (CA:RIM 49.67, 0.00, 0.00%)  will also be in the spotlight after it unveiled late Monday a touch-screen tablet device called the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Commodity prices traded lower, with oil futures falling 72 cents to $75.80 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex. Gold futures dropped $8 to $1,290.60 an ounce.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 79.32, -0.08, -0.10%)  , which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, gained 0.2% to 79.481.

Polya Lesova is reporter for MarketWatch, based in Frankfurt.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures gain amid deal news

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software Alert Email Print

By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures edged higher on Monday, extending the previous session’s strong gains, as deal news stole the spotlight in the absence of any major economic data.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/19*!dy10z (DJZ10 10,801, +17.00, +0.16%)  gained 19 points to 10,803 and S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f1:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,145, +1.30, +0.11%)  added 1 point to 1,144.20.

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/conga/story/misc/international.html 79118

The Dow industrials index rallied 1.9% on Friday, posting its highest close since May 12. It gained 2.4% last week, its fourth straight week of gains.

Asian stocks rose overnight, and European equity markets moved higher in afternoon trading. The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:SXXP 263.90, -0.07, -0.03%)  edged up 0.1%.

“There’s a bit of a lack of drivers behind today’s moves,” said Joshua Raymond, market strategist at City Index. “We haven’t seen traders look to cash in their gains yet and that’s a good element to have.”

The marginal gains for U.S. stock futures are mirroring the small gains in Europe, according to Raymond.

“It’s looking like a slow start to the week,” he said. “On Thursday, you’ve got the final reading of U.S. GDP and a lot of focus this week will be on that.”

TODAY'S TOP MARKET STORIES

S&P 500 (1 YEAR)

• Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks in focus • Today's biggest advancing, declining stocks • Sign up for free, breaking-news email alerts

Earnings Watch | Earnings, updates, warnings

THE MARKET BY SECTOR | Industries • Tech Stocks | Energy Stocks | Retail Stocks • Financials | Airline Stocks | Pharma and Biotech

EXPANDED MARKETS NEWS • Bonds | Oil news | Gold news • Currencies | Market Data | Economic Calendar • See all the latest markets video

/conga/story/misc/markets.html 84614

No major economic data are scheduled for release on Monday in the U.S. and Europe.

Instead, traders digested newly announced deals.

Southwest Airlines Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!luv/quotes/nls/luv (LUV 12.28, +0.41, +3.45%)  announced it will acquire AirTran Holdings Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!aai/quotes/nls/aai (AAI 4.55, +0.16, +3.64%) . The deal values AirTran at around $1.4 billion, including the firm’s convertible notes outstanding. Shares of AirTran soared 59% in thin premarket trading.

In other deal news, retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!wmt/quotes/nls/wmt (WMT 54.08, +0.43, +0.80%)  said it has made a preliminary, non-binding, proposal to buy Johannesburg-based Massmart Holdings Ltd. (ZA:MSM 13,475, +125.00, +0.94%)  for 148 South African rand ($21.13) per share.

And consumer-products firm Unilever /quotes/comstock/13*!un/quotes/nls/un (UN 29.37, +0.52, +1.80%)   /quotes/comstock/13*!ul/quotes/nls/ul (UL 28.56, +0.47, +1.67%)   /quotes/comstock/23s!e:ulvr (UK:ULVR 1,839, +46.00, +2.57%)  announced an agreement to buy U.S.-based Alberto Culver Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!acv/quotes/nls/acv (ACV 31.48, +0.18, +0.58%)  for $3.7 billion in cash, moving to expand its presence in the hair-conditioning and shampoo market.

Meanwhile, egg producer Cal-Maine Foods Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!calm/quotes/nls/calm (CALM 30.30, +0.54, +1.81%)  reported a return to profitability in the fiscal first quarter, buoyed by a business-interruption insurance gain.

In the currency markets, the euro fell 0.1% to $1.3473. The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 79.21, -0.18, -0.23%)  , which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, edged lower to 79.307.

Gold futures gained $1.70 to $1,299.80 an ounce in electronic trading on Globex.

Polya Lesova is reporter for MarketWatch, based in Frankfurt.

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