Stocks have remained in sharply lower territory, but are off
their worst levels, as eurozone fears weigh on investor sentiment.
Concerns over sovereign debt and the speed austerity measures are
implemented dominated market trade across the globe as U.S. markets
returned to action after a long holiday weekend.
European stocks rebounded from the sharp losses suffered Monday,
when U.S. markets were closed. Swiss markets are leading the way.
Swiss National Bank officials took an extraordinary step to set a
euro-Swiss franc floor. The action sent the "safe-haven" currency
lower and the country's stocks higher.
The latest signs of a setback in Europe's efforts to deal with
its sovereign-debt woes include reports of a hiatus in talks
between Greece and its financial-aid partners and reports of
pressure on Italy to step up its austerity measures. Worries were
aggravated after a weekend loss by German Chancellor Angela
Merkel's Christian Democratic Union in regional elections in her
In company news:
Research in Motion (
) shares are higher on a Reuters report an investor in the maker of
the BlackBerry wants the company to look at selling itself or
spinning off its patent portfolio. Jaguar Financial Corp Chief
Executive Vic Alboini is quoted in the report as saying "the status
quo is not acceptable, the company cannot sit still."
U.S. banks, including Bank of America (
), JP Morgan (
), Wells Fargo (
) and Citigroup (
), are in talks with state prosecutors to settle claims of improper
mortgage practices. they reportedly have been offered a deal that
may limit their legal liabilities in return for a
multibillion-dollar payment, The Financial Times reports, citing
five people with direct knowledge of the discussions.
Shares of Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) are down despite announcing
major expansion plans in China over the next four years that could
lead to a tripling of its locations there. The company said it
plans to expand in other parts of Asia as well. In all, Starbucks
plans to have 1,500 shops in China by 2015, up from 470. In
addition it plans to have 700 shops in South Korea, said Asia
Pacific President Jinlong Wang.
Shares of Dell (DELL) are down after the BBC reported the
computer maker said it will partner with Baidu (BIDU) on mobile
devices. Dell is developing smartphones that would run Baidu's new
software platform, Baidu Yi, for the Chinese market.
Shares of Johnson & Johnson are down on several reports that
Food and Drug Administration scientists are recommending that a
blood thinner that Bayer (BAYRY) and J&J are developing -
called Xarelto - be rejected. The review is a blow to a drug that
would generate top sales of $1 billion or more, according to a
Forbes report on the matter.
News Corp (NWSA) shares are trending lower on a Bloomberg report
the company will cut 110 positions at its U.K. News International
unit. The report cited a person with knowledge of the matter,
ADRs of BP (BP) are off pre-market declines topping 3% as Fox
Business reports that the oil giant's Kinnoull Field development in
the U.K. North Sea can go ahead as planned, Department of Energy
and Climate Change Minister Charles Hendry said Tuesday. Along with
its partners, BP plans to invest $1.1 billion in development on the
Kinnoull reservoir with a production goal of 45,000 barrels of oil
equivalent per day beyond 2020.
Commodities are mixed. December gold contracts are up 0.08% to
$1,878 an ounce while October crude oil contacts are down 2.39% to
$84.41 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 2.35%
to $32.85 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is UP 1.49%,
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 0.34%
to $182.64. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.55% to $65.27.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 3.03% to $40.89.