Europe gains; Asia ends mixed
European markets are generally positive so far today as expectation increases that the ECB may ramp up its stimulus measures. Meanwhile Asia has had a mixed session with concern over China’s economy and the low price of oil muting the positive sentiment of Japanese stimulus. US stock futures are trending higher so far while gold and oil are lower.
ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7.45am ET
International Trade at 8.30am ET
Factory Orders at 10am ET
Alibaba, Estee Lauder and Office Depot are among those reporting today.
Will Alibaba live up to expectations?
Alibaba is reporting its first full quarter results today but will they justify the high stock price that’s continued since the $25 billion IPO in September? Shares have stayed at around 45 per cent above the initial price boosted by the firm’s dominance in the Chinese online market. Although critics point to a management structure that may not be in shareholders’ best interests, investors certainly like the firm’s profit margins and will be happy if they receive the forecast earnings of 36 cents per share. Read the full story.
JP Morgan Chase investigated by Justice Dept.
The US Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation in conjunction with other regulators into the foreign-exchange activities and the controls of those activities at JP Morgan Chase. The bank has increased its expected legal losses by $1.3 billion to $5.9 billion and says it is fully cooperating with regulators but does not know if the current investigation will result in a settlement.
Sprint plans to lay off 2000 after massive losses
Sprint’s latest results were about losses; 272,000 subscribers and $192 million lost in the most recent quarter and jobs are to follow. The firm revealed that 2,000 jobs are to go as part of a “transformational journey” led by its relatively new CEO Marcelo Claure. Claure joined the firm in August and has a battle to revitalise the business which is struggling to recover from a failed merger plan with T-Mobile. Sprint shares were down 3 per cent in after-hours trading. Read the full story.
Apple seeks to raise money from European bonds
Apple has reportedly held talks with European bond investors over a possible issue, partly in Euros. Although the firm has $155 billion in the bank, most of it is held by foreign subsidiaries and would be subject to taxation in the US if brought back but the bonds issue would avoid that. Apple has been buying back shares and is expected to continue that program through to the end of next year. Read the full story.
Honda under investigation over faulty airbags
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into whether Honda failed to report deaths or injuries involving the faulty Takata airbags. The motor manufacturer will have to answer the regulator’s questions under oath within three weeks. Honda says it has brought in a third-party to carry out an audit of potential inaccuracies.