Investors head for the safe havens
World stocks are in decline this morning with investors opting for the safe havens of gold and US bonds. Asia’s markets which have been hit by unrest in Hong Kong and weak factory data from China already were further spooked by poor global manufacturing activity and the first Ebola case in the US. Japan’s markets have been heavily hit today with investors moving their funds elsewhere including the yen. Europe’s markets are all down this morning with world events adding pressure to the fragile economy in the Eurozone. The ECB policy meeting takes place today with the markets hoping for some further indication of stimulus measures for the bloc. Following yesterday’s losses, US stock futures are mixed so far.
Jobless claims figures at 8.30am ET
Factory orders data at 10am ET
Actuant Corp. and Park Electrochem are among those releasing results.
Philips to appeal US compensation ruling
Dutch healthcare equipment firm Philips says this morning that it will appeal a US court ruling that is must make compensation payments to Masimo Corp for patent infringement. Philips’ CEO says that the company is disappointed in the court’s decision and surprised at the size of the award; $466.8 million. Masimo shares closed higher following the ruling. Read the full story.
Subprime auto loans; the next financial crisis?
There’s concern that the resurgent interest in auto loan-backed securities could be vulnerable to large losses. Many big businesses including Apple and Google have invested in the sector, attracted by high yields for what would appear a relatively low risk. However hedge fund veteran Chris Hentemann says his fund has moved away from the risk of high levels of default. Figures show that $79 billion worth of auto securities have been issued this year so far and a growing proportion are subprime. Read the full story.
Cola giants in bitter rivalry
After Coca Cola’s recent launch of Coca Cola Life, PepsiCo have hit back with its new Pepsi True drink. The soft drinks industry is investing time and money in stevia, a natural plant-based sweetener which has fewer calories than sugar. With a consumer backlash against sugar and those who are concerned about the artificial sweeteners such as aspartame it would seem to be good move. However many who have tried the new drinks say that they have a bitter after taste; that is the big challenge for the industry, along with convincing us that the drinks are better for us and actually taste good! Read the full story.