Morning Report: January 11, 2012

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading down 31 points and S&P futures are trading down 4 points following gains in the last few trading sessions. Investor focus: on sovereign debt auctions in Spain and Italy this week, as concerns deepen the region’s debt crisis will curtail economic growth. Reports suggest banks are hoarding the ECB's 489 billion-euro injection into the banking system, thwarting attempts by finance officials to avoid a credit crisis in Europe.

  • On the economic calendar today, the Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book report in which each Federal Reserve bank gathers anecdotal information on economic conditions in its district. The report is expected to show the economy is slowly improving. Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President, Charles Evans will be speaking to the Rotary Club of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, Ill. Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President, Dennis Lockhart will be speaking on the economic outlook to the Georgia Center for Nonprofits in Atlanta.  Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President, Charles Plosser will be speaking on the economic outlook to business leaders in Rochester. Companies reporting earnings include Lennar Corporation and SUPERVALU Inc. The dollar is up against the euro and British pound and down against the Japanese yen. Crude oil is currently trading at $101 a barrel. Gold is trading at $1,636.  
  • Yesterday, stocks were higher as commodities rose for a third day, amid speculation China may act to spur growth, upbeat comments about Europe, and the 4Q earnings season will be better than expected.
  • On CNBC today, former senator and Governor of New Hampshire, Judd Gregg, and CNBC anchor, Larry Kudlow, talked about Mitt Romney winning the New Hampshire primary. Gregg said Romney received about 40% of the votes: it will be hard for him not to get the nomination. He said Romney should adopt some of the Simpson-Bowles recommendations and incorporate them into his proposal for dealing with the tax issue.  Romney lost the New Hampshire primary four years ago. Gregg also said unless John Huntsman has a strong showing in South Carolina, he thinks Romney is the candidate for the Republicans. Kudlow said Romney sounded a little like Ronald Reagan, he did well in exit polls among those concerned most with the economy. Currently, Romney leads in South Carolina but faces a much different electorate than in New Hampshire.   
  • Happy Wednesday, have a nice day.  

Tuesday’s Close

DJIA up 69.78 pts/+0.56%/12,462.47

S&P up 11.38 pts/+0.89/1,292.08

Nasdaq up 25.94 pts/+0.97/2,702.50

Wednesday’s Futures

Dow Futures down 31.00 pts/-0.24%

S&P Futures down 4.40 pts/-0.33%

Nasdaq Fut down 6.58 pts/-0.24%

Overseas Markets

FTSE -0.89%

CAC 40 -0.90%

NIKKEI 225 +0.30%

HANG SENG +0.78%

Overseas:  World stock markets were down today. European and Asian markets were lower on concerns the financial crisis in Europe will stifle global growth.      

Economic Reports:  Fed Beige Book will be out at 2:00 p.m.

Top Headlines:    

  • Reports indicate NYS financial regulators are investigating some big banks including Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup ( C ) on whether they overcharged customers on force-place insurance.
  • Blackstone Group (BX) and DDR Corp., (DDR) announced they are acquiring 46 shopping center from Israeli holding company Elbit Imaging Ltd for about $1.43 billion.
  • Intel Corp (INTC) said it has entered into a multi-year pact with Motorola Mobility (MMI) and Lenovo to develop smart phones and tablets.
  • Urban Outfitter Inc., (URBN) said its CEO Glen Senk, in a surprised move stepped down, the company has been facing piled up inventory and declining gross margins.      

Commodities/Currency:

Gold:up $4.10 to $1,636.85

Oil:down 0.88 to $101.44

EUR/USD 1.2699 -0.0078

USD/JPY 76.9945  +0.1900

GBP/USD 1.5384 -0.0101

Volatility Index (VIX): As of the close of business Tuesday, January 10, the VIX is down 0.38 at 20.69

Companies Reporting Quarterly Earnings:     

None as of yet.

Today’s Opening and Closing Bells:

Saratoga Resources Visits the NYSE CEO Thomas Cooke will ring the opening bell.

Silver-Copper Producer Revett Minerals Visits the NYSE and will ring the closing bell.