Morning Report: September 29, 2011

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 71 points and S&P futures are trading up 7 points after German lawmakers approved changes to a Euro zone bailout fund. The measure was expected to pass the lower house of parliament. Investors are concerned with the rebellion within Chancellor Angela Merkel's party. If Chancellor Merkel looses the majority then the opposition could call for elections which would spell trouble for the region.

  • On the economic calendar today, the third and final reading on second-quarter GDP is due before the market opens.  Economists expect that GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.2% in the three months ended in June, up from the previous reading of a 1% rise. Also, the Labor Department will release its weekly jobless claims numbers before the market opens. Economists are looking for claims to 420,000 in the latest week. The National Association of Realtors is expected release its report after the market opens.  Economists are forecasting pending home sales were down 1.3% in July.  Boston Federal Reserve Bank President, Eric Rosengren, will be speaking on how supervision can detect failures, to the Global Interdependent Center conference in Stockholm.  Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President, Charles Plosser speech on the economy, to business leaders at Villanova University. Companies reporting earnings include MSCI Inc. and AZZ Inc. The dollar is down against the major currencies. Crude oil is currently trading at $81 a barrel.  Gold is trading at $1,605.   
  • Yesterday, stocks halted a three-day rally, as investors watched for signs of progress in Europe’s efforts to stem the government debt crisis.
  • On CNBC today, Governor Rick Scott, of Florida, talked about energizing the economy, regulation, trade agreement, and jobs.  Scott said everywhere he goes in the state of Florida businesses are asking about taxes and regulation, and what the plan is to help businesses. He also said the elections will be about jobs, and he recommended to President Obama to get the trade agreement done as Miami is a major hub for all countries in Latin America. Scott supports lowering payroll taxes, but not raising any other taxes. Scott pointed out, he has cut property taxes, consolidated agencies, eliminated some departments to help save money and is on track for a state surplus, and people are very supportive. Scott has eliminated about 1,300 jobs and expects to add about 10,000 private jobs a year. Scott believes in order to accomplish the things he has in Florida, you have to get a plan in place and sell the plan. Finally, Scott thinks rather than give people the unemployment money to stay home, we should use the money to help them find a job.
  • Happy Thursday, have a nice day.

Wednesday’s Close

DJIA down 179.79 pts/-1.61%/11,010.90

S&P down 24.32 pts/-2.07/1,151.06

Nasdaq down 55.25 pts/-2.17/2,491.58

Thursday’s Futures

Dow Futures up 71.00 pts/+0.47%

S&P Futures up 7.30 pts/+0.46%

Nasdaq Fut up 10.58 pts/+0.46%

Overseas Markets

FTSE -0.62%

CAC 40 +0.03%

NIKKEI 225 +0.99%

HANG SENG -0.66%

Overseas:  World stock markets were up today.  European and Asian markets are trading higher after Germany's parliament approved a proposal to strengthen the bailout fund to help European countries in debt crises.

Economic Reports:  GDP expected to be 1.2% and Jobless Claims expected to be 420K at 8:30 a.m. and Pending Home Sales Index expected to be -2.0% at 10:00 a.m.

Top Headlines:    

  • Reports indicate Hewlett Packard Co., (HPQ) has hired Goldman Sachs (GS) to help defend the company against possible activist investors.
  • The United Auto Workers union approved a four-year labor contract with General Motors (GM), the first since the company emerged from bankruptcy. 
  • Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has lowered its revenue and profit forecast for the third quarter.  The company pointed to manufacturing glitches in Germany that left it without some of its most expensive chips to sell.
  • Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos said the company will start collecting taxes on its sales to California residents by 2013.      

Commodities/Currency:

Gold:up $3.10 to $1,605.85

Oil:up $0.05 to $81.33

EUR/USD 1.3616 +0.0090

USD/JPY 76.6550  +0.1300

GBP/USD 1.5641 +0.0070

Volatility Index (VIX): As of the close of business Wednesday, September 28, the VIX is up 3.37 at 41.08

Companies Reporting Quarterly Earnings:     

None as of yet.

Today’s Opening and Closing Bells:

CubeSmart Celebrates New Name and Ticker Symbol President Chris Marr at the New York Stock Exchange will ring the open bell.

BlackRock Visits the New York Stock Exchange Liz Tennican, iShares Managing Director at BlackRock will ring the closing bell.