Asian markets stay strong in face of weak Chinese data; Europe sees modest increases
Most Asian markets have closed marginally higher today led again by Japan which has hit a 7-year high. Even new signs of China’s flagging economy did little to dampen the optimism; the data shows China’s economy is in line or slightly below expectations, which have been revised down in recent months; but Shanghai has closed lower today. In Europe the markets are mostly positive, despite poor performance in the utilities sector. US stock futures are trending higher; gold is edging up; oil is down.
US jobless claims 8.30am ET
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index 9.45am ET
The Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) 10am ET
Allied Healthcare and Viacom are among those reporting today.
Hasbro in talks with DreamWorks?
It’s reported that toymaker Hasbro is in talks to acquire DreamWorks animation. The New York Times reports that DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg wants $30 a share; a significant premium on the firm’s current share price of around $22. The firm was recently in talks with Japan’s SoftBank.
J.C Penney cuts losses on better margins
The unseasonably warm weather has meant third-quarter sales at J.C. Penney’s stores have been much the same as they were a year ago, with warm clothing sales slow. The retailer is forecast to see growth though during the festive season with analysts predicting a 2.8 per cent increase. Improved margins, fewer discounts and efficiency savings meant that the firm was able to cut losses to $188 million equating to 62 cents per share.
Cyber Monday’s day could be numbered
A new retail report suggests that the days of special promotions like the forthcoming Cyber Monday could be coming to an end. Despite the huge success of this week’s Singles Day in China, retail analytics firm EDITD says that discounting is happening earlier now with many stores cutting prices in early November rather than waiting for set days. The report notes that ‘January sales’ are largely a thing of the past with consumers expecting discounting leading into the holidays rather than afterwards. In fact in many cases the discounts will be ended by Thanksgiving.
Comcast CEO insists Tim Warner deal is ‘full steam ahead’
Concerns over net neutrality rules have not derailed the merger of Comcast with Time Warner. That was the message from Comcast CEO Brian Roberts who told reporters yesterday that the deal to create the largest US cable operator is close to completion. President Obama’s comments that internet firms should be regulated like utilities saw shares in both firms drop on Monday.
Consumers to get more protection for prepaid cards
The kind of protection that consumers have for their bank accounts is to be extended to prepaid cards. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced that the ‘loadable’ debit cards, increasingly popular with lower paid Americans, will have new protection for fraudulent use, free availability of statements and more transparent fees. The prepaid card market has ballooned in the last decade; in 2003 there was $1 billion loaded onto the cards, in 2014 it will be around $100 billion.
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