Market news round up, upgrades & downgrades courtesy of Cantor Index

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UK Corporate Announcements

Balfour Beatty states that it is well placed to take advantage of growth as it details H1 group revenues of £4.28bn and states that its cost efficiency programmes are on track

Resolution announces an H1 operating profit of £163m from £390m and states it is no longer seeking acquisitions and scraps self managed exit plan of IPOs and is to streamline boards

Eurasian Natural Resources reports an H1 net profit of $463m from $1.17bn on sales of $3.25bn from $4.01bn and states that the volatile markets and pricing uncertainty is set to persist

Lookers announces an H1 pre-tax profit of £17.7m on revenues of £1.03bn and states that the markets remain competitive

Interserve announces an H1 headline profit of £35.5m and gross revenues of £1.2bn and confirms its full year outlook

 

UK Market News

Standard Chartered late yesterday announced it has now reached an agreement to pay $340m to settle allegations that it dealt improperly with Iranian money and states that it continues to engage with the other US authorities

FirstGroup has been awarded the West Coast Franchise, with the government stating that it will cut the standard anytime fares, Virgin loses the franchise, Virgin is 49% owned by Stagecoach which has already stated that it was disappointed by the news

United Utilities has still not responded to market talk of a possible break-up bid, after some sizeable intraday moves yesterday, with the FSA rules seemingly requiring no official statement on the share price movement as long as Takeover Code Rules are being followed, increasing expectations that a deal of some kind is looming

Lloyds has sold its private equity related investments to Coller Capital for £1.03bn as it continues in its efforts to thin down on its assets following its bailout

Surveys suggest that UK retails have had a other tough summer as the traditional weather patterns remain disrupted by the shifting jet stream, leaving many forcing to have heavy late summer deals to shift stocks of unsold summer wear

GlaxoSmithKline announces a pre-tax profit of £130m on the sale of some of its brands to Aspen for around £172m

FTSE 100 Ex dividends (net): Anglo American PLC, AAL, (.32),  British American Tobacco PLC, BATS, (42.20),  Fresnillo PLC, FRES, (.155),  Hammerson PLC, HMSO, (7.70),  HSBC Holdings PLC, HSBA, (.09),  Meggitt PLC, MGGT, (3.60),  Pearson PLC, PSON, (15),  Rio Tinto PLC, RIO, (46.43),  Schroders PLC, SDR, (13), Vedanta Resources PLC, VED, (.35)  Estimated

FTSE 100 Dividend Estimated Impact: 11.7 points

FTSE 250 Ex dividends (net): Ashtead Group PLC, AHT, (2.50),  CSR PLC, CSR, (.038),  F&C Commercial Property Trust Ltd, FCPT, (.50),  Informa PLC, INF, (6),  Man Group PLC, EMG, (6.12),  Moneysupermarket.com Group PLC, MONY, (1.80),  PZ Cussons PLC, PZC, (4.487),  Telecity Group PLC, TCY, (2.50),  Ultra Electronics Holdings PLC, ULE, (12.20)

FTSE Small Share Ex dividends (net): ISIS Property Trust LTD, IPT, (2),  Medicx Fund Ltd, MXF, (1.40),  Northgate PLC, NTG, (3),  Polar Capital Global Healthcare Growth & Income PLC, PCGH, (1.80),  Psion PLC, PON, (GBp),  RM PLC, RM/, (.75),  Securities Trust of Scotland PLC, STS, (1.15),  Troy Income & Growth Trust PLC, TIGT, (.40)

 

UK Analyst Upgrades

Shire Raised to overweight at Barclays

 

UK Analyst Cuts

Vodafone Cut To Neutral Vs Buy At Bofaml

 

UK Insider Buying

Meggitt Plc, (MGGT), 1 insider(s) bought 8,616 shares, £4.09

 

UK Insider Selling

Fuller Smith & Turne, (FSTA), 1 insider(s) sold 150 shares, £7.18

 

Major European Companies Reporting

Holcim Ltd, Q2, 1.138,  Carlsberg A/S, Q2, 18.579,  Balfour Beatty PLC, S1, 0.13,  Coloplast A/S, Q3, 13.984,  FLSmidth & Co A/S, Q2, 6.848,  Eurasian Natural Resources Corp PLC, S1, 0.427

 

European Market Summary

EU Economic Minister Rehn states that Spain has an open mind on sovereign bailout and that Italy was on the right track and that Greece in the euro would be much better for Europe

The FT writes on how IKEA is looking at ways to put its cash pile into long term business and is talking with partners about launching around 100 budget hotels across Europe, although they would not trade under the IKEA name

The UK has urged the ECB that it should have a core set of central powers to oversee all the banks in the currency bloc, while leaving local regulation to individual countries

 

S&P 500 Companies Reporting

Abercrombie & Fitch Co, Q2, 0.171,  Agilent Technologies Inc, Q3, 0.829,  Applied Materials Inc, Q3, 0.218,  Cisco Systems Inc, Q4, 0.455,  Deere & Co, Q3, 2.322,  Ltd Brands Inc, Q2, 0.477,  NetApp Inc, Q1, 0.381,  Staples Inc, Q2, 0.223,  Target Corp, Q2, 1.005

S&P 500 Ex Dividends (gross):-  AGL Resources Inc, GAS, (.46),  Apartment Investment & Management Co, AIV, (.20),  Bemis Co Inc, BMS, (.25),  Boeing Co/The, BA, (.44),  Chevron Corp, CVX, (.90),  Duke Energy Corp, DUK, (.765),  Emerson Electric Co, EMR, (.40),  JM Smucker Co/The, SJM, (2012/08/15),  L-3 Communications Holdings Inc, LLL, (.50),  Linear Technology Corp, LLTC, (.25),  Murphy Oil Corp, MUR, (.3125),  PACCAR Inc, PCAR, (.20),  Plum Creek Timber Co Inc, PCL, (.42),  QEP Resources Inc, QEP, (.02),  Sherwin-Williams Co/The, SHW, (.39),  Simon Property Group Inc, SPG, (1.05),  United Technologies Corp, UTX, (.535),  Visa Inc, 2749645ZUS, (.22),  Visa Inc, V, (.22),  Walgreen Co, WAG, (.275)

 

Major US Stock Movers After Hours

Jana Partners confirmed after hours that it is in talks with Agrium

American Apparel gained 20% in late trading as it announces solid Q2 numbers and also lifts its full year forecasts

Lee Partners gained over 8% as filings show that Berkshire Hathaway has almost doubled its stake in the newspaper group

Lone Pine Resources recovered a little in late trading, gaining 6%, but it had fallen as much as 38% in the day as it announces a profit warning

JDS Uniphase gained 4% as it announced strong quarterly results and it also announces that its CFO resigns

 

US Market News

Knight Capital’s trading ‘glitch’ which cost the firm $440m and almost brought an end to the market maker was reportedly due to a dormant computer system which ‘sprang into life’ after an upgrade to the live system

The president of Ecuador stated yesterday that the embassy in London will give asylum to Julian Assange

The former director general of the BBC is to become the CEO and president of New York Times

The FT suggests that a group of major US retailers, including the likes of Wal-Mart and 7-Eleven are planning to develop a mobile payments network

Texas Instruments states that it is looking for new partners that can aid in its plans to create computers running Microsoft’s Windows RT OS, after Toshiba pulls out of the plan stating it would instead focus on Windows 8

Fresh polls have approval rates for US Congress down to a shockingly low 10%

 

Overnight Market News

Australia’s government has won a case in the high court to approve its plans to force cigarettes to be sold under plain packaging, which will take effect from December this year and is the first country to make the move, with more seen in the coming years

International funds buying shares in China continues to push up to record levels, while domestic accounts are being closed at the fastest rate for 12 months

Israeli’s have been queuing up to buy gas masks after their PM states recently that ‘time was running out’ for a peaceful solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions

 

FX Summary

The Swedish Krona gained to a four month high after factory output data gained ahead of the forecasts

The dollar is up near a one month high against the yen ahead of the US economic data due out later today which is expected to show signs of economic growth, which could reduce expectations of further stimulus ahead

 

Commodity Summary

John Paulson is in the news as Bloomberg details that 44% of his main $21bn hedge fund is tied to the performance of bullion, as he remains positioned for a possible break-up of the euro and possible currency debasements

The International Cotton Association suggests that prices this year could gain 10% this year, buoyed by Chinese demand

China is the largest importer of cooking oils, and local reports suggest that government officials have asked suppliers to report updates on wholesale and retail prices as the gains in the price in the likes of soybeans, up 28% since June, increase concerns of price inflation on domestic cooking oils

 

Economic Data Due

09:30 UK Bank of England Minutes

09:30 UK July Claimaint Count, 4.9% exp. 4.9% previous

09:30 UK June Unemployment Rate, 8.1% exp. 8.1% previous

13:30 US July CPI, 0.2% exp. 0.0% previous

14:15 US July Industrial Production 0.5% exp. 0.4% previous

14:15 US July Capacity Utilisation, 79.2% exp. 78.9% previous

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