At his meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, Joe Biden
expressed Washington's disapproval of China's recently declared air
The disputed zone includes a group of islands which are
currently involved in a territorial dispute with Japan. At the
meetings, China's Foreign Ministry insisted that the decision to
set up the zone was in accordance with international law and that
so far, it has not restricted the freedom of flight for civilian
In the five hour discussions, Biden claimed that he was firm
about the US' position on the matter and that China will be
expected to diffuse the situation over the coming weeks.
Activist investor Carl Icahn put more pressure on Apple by filing a
shareholder proposal for a stock buyback on Wednesday. Icahn has
been trying to convince the company to do a large scale buyback for
some time, however the proposal was for a much smaller amount than
the $150 billion he originally suggested. Instead, Icahn submitted
a proposal for a $50 billion buyback. Moody's Investors Service
raised its outlook on Spanish government bonds from "negative" to
"stable." Although Moody's left its Baa3 rating unchanged, the firm
noted that the country has made progress recently and saw strong
evidence that the Spanish recovery could be sustained. Ukrainian
President Viktor Yanukovych has been trying to secure additional
funding from both Moscow and Bejing to keep Ukraine's economy
afloat, but so far his efforts have been fruitless. The Ukranian
economy is expected to need around $18 billion over the next year,
but since turning down the EU trade deal last month, Yanukovych
doesn't have many options. Apple signed a deal with China Mobile
under which iPhones will run on the company's network. The deal
will likely give Apple a leg up as the company is the world's
largest carrier with more than 700 million subscribers. The iPhones
will be offered on the network starting on December 18th.
Asian markets were down across the board, the Japanese NIKKEI
was down 1.50 percent and Australia's ASX 200 lost 1.44 percent.
China's Shanghai composite was down 0.21 percent and the Shenzhen
composite lost 0.26 percent.
Europe's markets were also lower on Thursday, the UK's FTSE was
down 0.26 percent and the eurozone's STOXX 600 lost 0.29 percent.
The Spanish IBEX lost 0.27 percent and France's CAC 40 was down
Energy futures were mixed, Brent futures were down 0.25 percent
and WTI futures were up 0.12 percent. Gold fell 0.89 percent and
silver was down 1.21 percent. Industrial metals were up across the
board with Aluminum posting the largest gains, up 1.90 percent.
The euro gained 0.16 percent against the dollar and the pound to
dollar ratio was mostly flat. The dollar gained 0.39 percent
against the yen and lost 0.04 percent to the Australian dollar.
Notable earnings released on Tuesday included:
Brown Forman Corporation (NYSE:
) reported second quarter EPS of $0.96 on revenue of $1.08 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.80 on revenue of $1.01 billion.
Avago Technologies Limited (NASDAQ:
) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.89 on revenue of $731.58
million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.71 on revenue of $618.00
million. Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE:
) reported a third quarter loss of $0.29 per share on revenue of
$514.60 million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.31 on revenue of
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Apple Inc (NASDAQ:
) gained 1.88 percent in premarket trade after rising 3.49 percent
over the past 5 days. McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:
) lost 0.16 percent in premarket trade after falling 1.39 percent
over the past week.
Notable earnings expected on Wednesday include:
Kroger Company (NYSE:
) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.53 on revenue of
$22.78 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.46 on revenue of
$21.81 billion. UTI Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ:
) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.09 on revenue of
$1.14 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.16 on revenue of
$1.13 billion. Dollar General Corporation (NYSE:
) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.70 on revenue of
$4.43 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.63 on revenue of
Thursday will be an important day for monetary policy as both
the European Central Bank and the Bank of England will reveal their
interest rate decisions. Other notable economic releases include US
GDP, US initial and continuing jobless claims, and the French
For a recap of Wednesday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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