Europe’s stocks decline as ECB set to miss inflation target
European markets have started the New Year in decline after the president of the central bank said that the risk of the ECB missing its inflation target is higher now than in was 6 months ago; together with downbeat purchasing index data from France. The euro is at a 4 ½ year low against the US dollar and next Wednesday’s inflation figures may lead to the ECB implementing full-scale quantative easing. In Asia markets have closed largely higher although some of the major exchanges including Shanghai and Tokyo were closed for holidays. US stock futures are trending higher along with gold. Oil remains volatile with some early gains in London followed by a drop and then another trend upwards.
PMI Manufacturing Data at 8.55am ET
ISM Manufacturing Index at 10.00am ET
Construction Spending at 10.00am ET
Fed Balance Sheet at 4.30pm ET
Money Supply at 4.30pm ET
Elayaway and Vanguard Energy are among those reporting earnings.
Walgreen completes merger with Alliance Boots
Walgreen has completed its merger with European firm Alliance Boots to form the largest distributor of prescription drugs in the world. The newly formed parent company Wallgreens Boots Alliance will have three divisions; US retail, international retail and international wholesale. The new firm, which now owns 100 per cent of the shares of Walgreen, has almost 13,000 stores in 25 territories. Walgreen shareholders will receive one common share in the new parent company for every one they held in the US firm. Walgreen bought the remaining 55 per cent of Alliance Boots that it did not own for $5.3 billion.
More recalls for GM
General Motors has recalled a further 83,572 SUV’s and pick-ups after identifying a new ignition switch issue. The automaker says that it expects only around 500 vehicles to have the problem but after a year in which it recalled 2.5 million vehicles it’s not a great start to the New Year for GM.
Meat prices set to keep rising
There could be a rise of 5 per cent on the price of meat and eggs this year as the food industry continues to pass on the cost of last year’s supply issues. With disease, drought and demand all putting pressure on prices last year it will take 6 to 12 months for lower prices to kick in, meaning a tougher time for America’s poorest families.
Deceased billionaire was top giver in 2014
The late Ralph Wilson Jr. who died in March at the age of 95 was 2014’s top philanthropist. The Chronicle of Philanthropy says the billionaire owner of the Buffalo Bills football team left $1 billion to his foundation that helps homeless and poor families in Buffalo and Detroit. Ted Stanley from Connecticut was the second-largest giver donating $650 million to support mental health research while the founder of GoPro, Nicholas Woodman, was third with a $500 million donation to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
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