On Tuesday, a video surfaced on social media showing an Islamic
State militant beheading U.S. journalist James Foley. Called "A
Message To America," the video claims that the group is holding
another American journalist and that his life depends on U.S.
actions in Iraq.
The video comes just days after U.S. air strikes helped Kurdish
and Iraqi forces retake the Mosul Dam, a key turning point in the
conflict. While it has not been authenticated yet, the video
threatens further consequences if the U.S. continues its
involvement in the war.
In other news around the markets:
On Tuesday, the Kremlin announced that Russian President Vladimir
Putin is planning to meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
next week. The meeting marks a vital turning point in the Ukrainian
crisis, as Russia is finally making a move to intervene
diplomatically after months of international pressure. Inflation in
the U.K. dropped 1.6 percent in July, adding to speculation that
the Bank of England will hold off on a rate hike. Last week, the
British central bank reduced its wage growth forecast, leading
investors to believe that the bank would be cautious about a rate
increase in 2014. However, following the inflation data, there is
little hope that the bank will tighten its policy further for the
remainder of the year. After spending $2 billion to purchase the
L.A. Clippers basketball team, Steve Ballmer has said his new
responsibility as team owner, among other things, will leave him no
time to serve on Microsoft's board. The former CEO quit his
position as director on Tuesday via a public letter to Microsoft's
current CEO Satya Nadella. The NFL has narrowed down its list of
possible Super Bowl half time performers to include Rihanna, Katy
Perry and Coldplay. However, in a surprising new twist, the
organization plans to ask the artists to pay in order to perform.
While the NFL has never paid its half time acts, this is the first
year the artists have been asked for a financial contribution.
Asian markets were mixed; the NIKKEI was up 0.03 percent, and
the KOSPI rose 0.08 percent, but the Shanghai composite and the
Shenzhen composite lost 0.23 percent and 0.03 percent,
European markets were lower; the FTSE was down 0.27 percent, the
STOXX 600 lost 0.10 percent, the DAX fell 0.40 percent and the CAC
40 fell 0.43 percent.
Energy futures were higher on Wednesday, Brent futures rose 0.53
percent and WTI futures were up 0.81 percent. Gold lost 0.15
percent, but silver was up 0.17 percent. Industrial metals were
higher with the exception of tin, which lost 0.11 percent. Copper
gained 0.58 percent, aluminum rose 0.99 percent and zinc was up
The euro sunk even lower on Wednesday, trading at $1.3291. The
common currency lost 0.36 percent against the pound and 0.04
percent against the franc, but gained 0.12 percent against the yen.
The dollar also lost against the pound, down 0.17 percent, but
gained 0.34 percent against the yen.
Notable earnings released on Tuesday included:
Home Depot (NYSE:
) reported second quarter EPS of $1.52 on revenue of $23.81
billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.24 on revenue of $22.52
billion. TJX Companies (NYSE:
) reported second quarter EPS of $0.75, compared to last year's EPS
of $0.66 on revenue of $6.44 billion. Medtronic (NYSE:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.93 on revenue of $4.27 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.88 on revenue of $4.08 billion.
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.20 on revenue of $327.00
million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.18 on revenue of $318.91
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Lowe's Companies (NYSE:
) was up 1.88 percent in premarket trade after gaining 2.12 percent
on Tuesday. Verizon Communications (NYSE:
) gained 0.62 percent in premarket trade after choppy trading took
the stock down 0.29 percent over the past five days. Apple (NASDAQ:
) was up 0.41 percent in premarket trade after gaining 4.75 percent
over the past week. Transocean (NYSE:
) was down 2.10 percent in premarket trade after rising 1.93
percent on Tuesday.
Notable earnings expected on Wednesday include:
) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.88 on revenue of
$26.98 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.86 on revenue of
$27.23 billion. Target (NYSE:
) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.81 on revenue of
$17.39 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.97 on revenue of
$17.12 billion. Lowe's Companies (NYSE:
) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $1.03 on revenue of
$16.56 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.88 on revenue of
$15.71 billion. Staples (NASDAQ:
) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.11 on revenue of
$5.16 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.16 on revenue of
Wednesday's economic calendar will be relatively thin with
notable economic releases including U.S. oil inventory data and
For a recap of Tuesday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's pre-market info show with Harlan Pyan, Sang
Lucci, Kate Stalter & Russell Rhoads
© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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