After weeks of difficult negotiations, U.S. Secretary of State
John Kerry announced that an agreement between Israel and Hamas to
end the fighting in Gaza had been reached.
The truce, which begins on Friday, will last for only three
days, during which time representatives from both sides will work
towards a lasting peace agreement.
Over the course of the three days, aid agencies will be working
to restore power and water facilities to Gaza and provide
desperately needed supplies. It will also give families of the more
than 1,000 people killed in the crossfire a chance to bury their
In other news around the markets:
As China attempts to shift the focus of its economy away from
exports to a more market-driven economy, Beijing's reforms don't
seem to be enough to attract American companies. Though China has
come a long way to set up a market that is internationally
appealing, the country's laws to protect critical sectors are
proving to be a setback for firms like Microsoft, which was accused
of violating a relatively new anti-monopoly law this week. The same
law has also posed problems for several other tech firms like
Qualcomm and InterDigital. The Dow lost 1.9 percent on Thursday,
its worst daily loss since February, under the weight of
geopolitical tension and disappointing earnings. Some investors
believe that worries about the Fed raising interest rates sooner
than expected also contributed to the decline as this week has been
a showcase of strong U.S. data. Analysts say the heavy trading on
Thursday did not indicate panic selling, but that investors are
being cautious and taking profits. Data out on Friday showed that
Chinese factory activity increased at its strongest pace in the
past year and a half. China's official PMI rose to 51.7 in July and
Markit's version of the same report posted the same figure. Both
reports were at multi-month highs and added to growing confidence
that the Chinese economy is stabilizing. France's Iliad SA created
a bidding war for T-Mobile on Thursday when it entered the ring
with its own buyout offer of $15 billion in cash for 56.6 percent
of the American company. The deal will throw a wrench into the
T-Mobil's ongoing negotiations with Sprint, which is also working
to acquire the company. However, Sprint's bid of around $32 billion
far surpasses what Iliad has offered.
Asian markets tumbled; the NIKKEI was down 063 percent, the
Shanghai composite lost 0.74 percent, the Shenzhen composite was
down 0.94 percent and the Hang Seng index fell 0.98 percent.
European markets were down across the board; the FTSE lost 0.75
percent, the STOXX 600 fell 0.69 percent, the DAX lost 0.79
percent, the CAC 40 was down 0.95 percent and the IBEX was down
Energy futures were lower; Brent futures lost 0.05 percent and
WTI futures were down 0.18 percent. Gold and silver gained 0.16
percent and 0.01 percent respectively while industrial metals were
mostly lower. Aluminum lost 1.68 percent, zinc was down 0.84
percent and tin fell 0.17 percent.
Currency markets were relatively quiet on Friday; the euro was
steady at $1.3378 and gained 0.08 percent against the pound and
0.07 percent against the yen. The dollar rose 0.14 percent against
the yen, 0.10 percent against the pound and 0.15 percent against
the Australian dollar.
Notable earnings released on Thursday included:
Exxon Mobil (NYSE:
) reported EPS of $2.05, compared to last year's EPS of $1.55 on
revenue of $106.47 billion. McKesson (NYSE:
) reported EPS of $2.49 on revenue of $44.06 billion, compared to
last year's EPS of $2.07 on revenue of $32.21 billion.
) reported EPS of $1.61, compared to last year's EPS of $1.41 on
revenue of $14.14 billion. Anheuser-Busch Inbev (NYSE:
) reported EPS of $1.60 on revenue of $12.20 billion, compared to
last year's EPS of $0.93 on revenue of $10.59 billion.
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Micron Technology (NASDAQ:
) gained 0.49 percent in premarket trade after falling 6.09 percent
on Thursday. Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:
) was up 0.45 percent in premarket trade after losing 1.81 percent
on Thursday. General Electric (NYSE:
) was down 0.12 percent in premarket trade after falling 1.91
percent on Thursday.
Notable earnings releases expected on Friday include:
) is expected to report EPS of $2.68 on revenue of $56.93 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $2.77 on revenue of $57.37 billion.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:
) is expected to report EPS of $0.91 on revenue of $20.47 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.79 on revenue of $20.66 billion.
) is expected to report EPS of $0.39 on revenue of $8.04 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.38 on revenue of $7.85 billion.
PBF Energy (NYSE:
) is expected to report EPS of $0.68 on revenue of $4.67 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.73 on revenue of $4.68 billion.
All eyes will be on U.S. non-farm payrolls data, due out later
in the day. Other notable economic releases will include the U.S.
unemployment rate, Spanish manufacturing PMI, French manufacturing
PMI, British manufacturing PMI and U.S. manufacturing PMI.
For a recap of Thursday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's #PreMarket Prep today to hear Ted
Serbinski, Renato Santo & Malte Kaub by clicking
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