China and HK drop on profit taking; Japan & Europe expecting stimulus
The markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong have ended the day lower as investors opted to take their profits but most other major Asian markets have seen a better day. Tokyo has ended the day higher as expectation grows of fresh stimulus measures following the news that Japan is in recession. Stimulus is also dominating the European markets after ECB President Mario Draghi commented yesterday that the central bank is ready to do more if required. There is also optimism over new data due this morning from the Eurozone’s largest economy Germany. All of the major European indexes are higher so far. US stock futures are edging higher along with gold and oil.
ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7.45am ET
Producer Price Index – Final Demand at 8.30am ET
Housing Market Index at 10am ET
E-commerce Retail Sales at 10am ET
Home Depot and Petsmart are among those reporting today.
New study claims 7 US firms paid more to their CEO than to the IRS
A report released today claims that 7 of the 30 biggest US companies paid more to their chief executive than they paid in tax. The study, which has been disputed by at least one of the firms, says that the combined US pre-tax profits of the seven companies was $74 billion but that they gained $1.9 billion more than they owed in tax. CEOs of the seven were paid an average of $17.3 million according to the two Washington think tanks behind the report.
Mega-mergers are back in vogue
Two deals yesterday with a combined value of $100 billion are a sign that mega-mergers are back in fashion for the first time since before the crisis. The tie-ups of Actavis and Allergan; and Halliburton and Baker Hughes added to the $1.5 trillion in deals involving US companies that have been done this year. Read the full story.
Toyota launch hydrogen-powered auto
Toyota has added fuel to George W. Bush’s prediction that hydrogen cars could be the future. Hyundai have been leasing a hydrogen fuelled car since the summer but Toyota will be selling its Mirai sedan for $57,500; less than a Tesla Model S. California is throwing its weight behind the environmentally-friendly autos with 50 hydrogen fuelling stations due to be up and running by the end of 2015.
Holiday season travel spending surge
Americans will be spending $83 billion on travel over the holiday season according to travel-bookers Hotwire. The figure is $11 billion higher than last year and represents higher costs for hotel rooms and air fares; although car rentals for Thanksgiving are lower than 2013. Christmas costs amount for $66 billion of the total with hotel costs up 22 per cent and air fares up 6 per cent from last year.