The bears are set to pick up
where they left off on Friday
, with the major market indexes headed lower ahead of the bell.
Despite assurances from Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou that
his country would not default, lingering concerns about European
debt continue to weigh on sentiment. Meanwhile, the unexpected
resignation of Japan's new trade minister has fueled fears about
the pace of the country's post-earthquake/tsunami recovery, sending
Tokyo stocks to their lowest level since April 2009. Against this
backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and company are
set to follow suit, with the blue-chip barometer bracing for yet
another triple-digit drop out of the gate.
In equities news, McGraw-Hill (MHP - 38.72) this morning
announced plans to split into two separate companies -- one focused
on global capital and commodities markets, and the other centered
on educational services. The company said it hopes to implement the
split via a tax-free spinoff of the education business to MHP
shareholders. In addition, the firm said it expects to cut costs by
$1 billion across the organization, buy back $1 billion of its
stock this year, and complete the aforementioned spinoff by the end
Elsewhere, Broadcom (BRCM - 33.44) agreed to buy NetLogic
Microsystems (NETL - 31.91) for roughly $3.7 billion, or $50 per
share, representing a premium of 57% to NETL's settlement price of
$31.91 on Friday. The deal, which was approved by both boards, is
expected to close in the first half of 2012, and should add about
10 cents per share to BRCM's adjusted earnings next year, the
company said. The shares of NETL, unsurprisingly, are poised to
open roughly 51% higher.
Finally, Amazon.com (AMZN - 211.39) is in talks to launch a
media library service for tablets and digital books, similar to
that of Netflix (
The Wall Street Journal
reported. Furthermore, the Kindle maker is expected to unveil a
tablet to rival Apple Inc.'s (
) popular iPad sometime in the next several weeks, the
said, citing sources familiar with the matter. Ahead of the bell,
it seems AMZN investors haven't put too much stock in the
speculation, with the shares pointed about 0.9% lower at last
Today's earnings docket will feature reports from Brady Corp. (
), Pharmacyclics (
), pSivida (
), Streamline Health Solutions (STRM), and ThermoGenesis (KOOL).
Keep your browser at
for more news as it breaks.
There are no major economic reports slated for release today. On
Tuesday, the government's monthly report on import and export
prices, as well as Uncle Sam's latest Treasury budget, is set to
hit the Street. On Wednesday, a batch of housing data from the
Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the producer price index (PPI)
for August, last month's retail sales figures, business inventories
for July, and the usual crude inventories report are on the docket.
Thursday features the weekly jobless figures from the Labor
Department, the Empire State manufacturing index, the Philly Fed
business index, the consumer price index (CPI), and industrial
production and capacity utilization for August. Friday wraps up
with the preliminary Reuters/University of Michigan consumer
sentiment index for September.
Equity option activity on the Chicago Board Options Exchange
(CBOE) saw 919,865 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to
794,221 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio
arrived at 0.86, while the 21-day moving average was 0.75.
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magazine is now available here.
Asian markets ended broadly lower today, pressured by familiar
euro-zone debt woes. Traders were rattled after German politicians
raised the possibility of a Greek bankruptcy, particularly on the
heels of a shake-up in the ranks of the European Central Bank (ECB)
last Friday. However, trading volume was relatively light across
the region, with markets in China and South Korea closed for
holiday. By the close, Japan's Nikkei fell 2.3%, while Hong Kong's
Hang Seng shed 4.2%.
European indexes are also wallowing in red ink, with investors
pricing in some disappointment over a relatively unproductive
summit of G-7 financial leaders over the weekend. Meanwhile,
concerns about a potential Moody's downgrade of French banks only
served to exacerbate the jittery mood. At last check, the French
CAC 40 is down 4.9%, the German DAX is off 4.1%, and London's FTSE
100 is 0.7% lower.
Currencies and Commodities
The greenback has muscled slightly higher this morning, with the
U.S. dollar index up 0.1% at last look. Elsewhere, crude oil
futures have extended Friday's retreat, with the front-month
contract down $1.33, or 1.5%, at $85.91 per barrel. Finally, gold
futures have pared some of their recent gains; at last check, the
malleable metal has backpedaled $16.90, or 0.9%, to trade near
$1,842.60 an ounce.
Unusual Put and Call Activity:
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