Morning Report: December 28, 2011

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 30 points and S&P futures are trading up 3 points. Investors will once again focus on Europe, following a 9 billion euros bond auction in Italy, as the government passed measures aimed at trimming the nation’s debt. Iran has threatened to halt the flow of oil through the straits of Hormuz if sanctions were imposed on its crude exports over its nuclear program. Economic reports showed Japan’s industrial output fell in November.

  • On the economic calendar today, no reports are due. The dollar is up against the Japanese yen and down against the euro and British pound. Crude oil is currently trading at $100 a barrel. Gold is trading at $1,592.  
  • Yesterday, stocks were flat as consumers confidence rose to an eight-month high in December and an improving job market helped investors regain all the ground lost earlier in the year.
  • On CNBC today, Gordon Bethune, former CEO and Chairman of Continental Airlines, talked about the state of the Airline Industry. Bethune said the aviation industry is safe in the US, as technology has improved, including safety, GPS, ground clearance, and new guidance systems. Bethune thinks most of American Airline’s problems were self inflicted, management issues, they did not invest in fuel efficient planes.  He believes the company needs a new leader to direct it out of bankruptcy. The credit markets and the pilots unions, together with management needs to come to an agreement. Bethune pointed out, Continental Airlines has done a great job by investing in a new fleet of fuel efficient planes. Finally, he said the management team at Southwest Airlines has done a great job keeping prices low, but high fuel cost affects the entire industry.           
  • Happy Wednesday, have a nice day.  

Tuesday’s Close

DJIA down 2.65 pts/-0.02%/12,291.35

S&P up 0.10 pts/+0.01/1,265.43

Nasdaq up 6.65 pts/+0.25/2,625.20

Wednesday’s Futures

Dow Futures up 30.00 pts/+0.10%

S&P Futures up 2.40 pts/+0.09%

Nasdaq Fut up 5.58 pts/+0.18%

Overseas Markets

FTSE +0.61%

CAC 40 +0.52%

NIKKEI 225 -0.20%

HANG SENG -0.59%

Overseas:  World stock markets were mixed today.  European markets are up on a better than expected bond auction in Italy.  Asian markets were down on disappointing economic data from Japan.

Economic Reports:  None 

Top Headlines:    

  • The SEC has won a delay in its securities fraud case with Citigroup (C), as the commission tries to appeal a judge's decision to reject its $285 million settlement with the bank.
  • New York Times (NYT) said it is selling its regional newspaper unit including the Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, CA, and the Star-News in Wilmington, NC to Halifax Media Holdings for $143 million.
  • Morgan Stanley (MS) in a filing with the NYC Labor Department said it plans on eliminating 580 jobs following its announcement earlier this month that it may cut about 1,600 jobs.    

Commodities/Currency:

Gold:down $1.10 to $1,592.85

Oil:down 0.40 to $100.91

EUR/USD 1.3073 +0.0001

USD/JPY 77.6370  -0.2400

GBP/USD 1.5684 +0.0001

Volatility Index (VIX): As of the close of business Tuesday, December 27, the VIX is up 1.18 at 21.91

Companies Reporting Quarterly Earnings: None as of yet.

Today’s Opening and Closing Bells:

Association for Children with Down Syndrome (ACDS) to Visit NYSE Executive Director of ACDS, Michael M. Smith will ring the opening bell.

New York Cares will ring the closing bell.