Morning Report: December 7, 2011

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 47 points and S&P futures are trading up 5 points.  Investors are optimistic Euro zone leaders are working on a plan to expand the region's rescue fund, and a permanent structure to replace the EFSF. Traders are anticipating an interest rate cut at a gathering of finance officials in Europe.  China reported exports slowed in November, adding to signs the world's No. 2 economy is headed for a slow down.

  • On the economic calendar today, consumer credit for October will be out in the afternoon, and is expected to be $7.5 billion compared with $7.4 billion for September. Federal Reserve Governor, Sarah Bloom Raskin will moderate a panel on grass roots participation at the Richmond Fed's Baltimore branch. Companies reporting earnings include Korn/Ferry Intl, Vail Resorts Inc., and Greif Inc. The dollar is up against the euro and Japanese yen and down against the British pound.  Crude oil is currently trading at $101 a barrel.  Gold is trading at $1,724.  
  • Yesterday, stocks were up, as investors react to headlines from Europe betting that European leaders would take strong steps this week to end the region's debt crisis, and expand rescue fund.
  • On CNBC today,  Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group.  Sternlicht said consumers are not hopeful the economy will improve and he doesn’t see any near term wage growth, but they are spending more encouraged by a drop in their balance sheets, interest expenses and mortgage payments and pent up demand. In addition, retailers are offering better deals and are stocking their shelves with the products their customers most want. He went on to say the business community is offering advice and President Obama should listen to what they are saying. Sternlicht believes we need a CEO to run this country, someone who will drive revenue growth, invest in infrastructure, explore alternative energies, fix our education policy and allow more business tax credits.   
  • Happy Wednesday, have a nice day.  

Tuesday’s Close

DJIA up 52.30 pts/+0.43%/12,150.13

S&P up 0.11 pts/+1.39/1,258.57

Nasdaq down 6.20 pts/-0.23/2,649.56

Wednesday’s Futures

Dow Futures up 47.00 pts/+0.39%

S&P Futures up 5.50 pts/+0.41%

Nasdaq Fut up 7.58 pts/+0.30%

Overseas Markets

FTSE +0.29%

CAC 40 +0.83%

NIKKEI 225 +1.71%

HANG SENG +1.58%

Overseas:  World stock markets were up today. European and Asian markets were up on hopes Euro zone ministers will agree on steps to ease the debt crisis ahead of a summit tomorrow.

Economic Reports:  Consumer Credit is expected to be $7.5B at 3:00 p.m.

Top Headlines:    

  • Bloomberg reports J.C. Penney (JCP) will pay about $38.5 million for a stake in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO, and get two seats on the board of Martha Stewart.
  • Verizon Wireless (VZ) plans on offering streaming movies over its FiOS network to compete with NetFlix Inc. (NFLX).
  • Citigroup Inc ( C ) said it is cutting 4,500 jobs, or about 2% of its workforce worldwide, and would record a $400 million charge for severance and other expenses related to the layoffs.
  • Reports indicate Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) is seeking higher bids from potential buyers of a minority stake in the company, as the board is considering a number of proposals.
  • Congressman Spencer Baccus will sponsor a bill preventing Congress people and staffers from trading with insider information.     

Commodities/Currency:

Gold:down $3.10 to $1,724.85

Oil:down 0.03 to $101.25

EUR/USD 1.3377 -0.0029

USD/JPY 77.7150  -0.01000

GBP/USD 1.5609 +0.0007

Volatility Index (VIX): As of the close of business Tuesday, December 6, the VIX is up 0.29 at 28.13

Companies Reporting Quarterly Earnings: None as of yet.

Today’s Opening and Closing Bells:

Williams Controls Inc. a NASDAQ transfer to NYSE Amex will ring the opening bell. ..                                                                                                                                                                      Spreading Holiday Cheer Eclectic Christmas Chorals will ring the closing bell.