U.S. stock index futures rise; eyes on earnings (Reuters)
It's looking like today's going to be another big, big rebound day if things hold up. S&P futures are up 2.9%, Dow futures are rising 2.4%, and Nasdaq futures are gaining 2.8%, as of the early morning. If earnings come in broadly much better than expectations this week, this may mark the beginning of the end of the bear market. Haliburton reports this morning; AMEX and Texas Instruments after the bell. San Disk also reports; separately Toshiba is planning to buy 30% of production capacity.
Asia Stocks To Twist With U.S. Earnings (Forbes.com)
Here's my weekly Asia markets outlook column at Forbes. Looks like it's going to be a volatile week in Asia, with some hope of markets outperforming if earnings fare well (and plunging if worse than expected). Alibaba -- which has lost a big % in recent weeks -- may jump this week if majority shareholder Yahoo! comes up with positive earnings; investors in Hong Kong real estate developers will be looking to earnings of Caterpillar. Economic growth in the region is contracting as quickly as it came.
OPEC Plans Supply Cut as Crude Oil Heads Toward $50 (Bloomberg)
Emerging markets are starting to feel the pain of the credit crunch. It was just a matter of time - many derive a disproportionate share of revenue from oil sales. OPEC now looks set to cut production quotas after a surge in volume of December puts at $50. Venezuela and Iran need $80 oil to remain profitable; Saudi Arabia can get by on $65. Inadvertently, this could be the greatest (and cheapest) counter-terrorism measure in the whole eight years of the current administration.
China's Economic Growth Is Slowest in 5 Years (New York Times)
China's growth slowed to just 9% in the third quarter, according to the latest data. Economists expected growth as high as 9.7%. The upside is that inflation is down, to 4.6% last month from 4.9% previously.
ING shares surge after 10 billion euro capital deal (Marketwatch)
It was only a matter of time before stocks began surging again on bailout packages. ING got 10 billion euros from the Dutch government, and separately, sold its Taiwanese life insurance business to Taiwan-based Fubon Financial Holding for $600 million. ING's share price rebounded more than 20% on the news.
South Korea's Won, Stocks Gain on $130 Billion Financial Rescue (Bloomberg)
More bailouts to start the week off. South Korea's government will provide $30 billion to banks, while guaranteeing $100 billion of lenders' foreign currency debt. Friday, the won plunged 11% in value after Standard & Poor's said banks wouldn't be able to meet short term debt requirements. The government guarantees new foreign debt taken on from today to June 30, 2009, for a 2-year period.
Merrill Chief Thain Expects `Thousands' of Job Cuts (Bloomberg)
It's going to be ugly ... at Merrill. Most of the cuts, says Thain, will take place in IT, operations and finance - which is a nice way of saying they're cutting everywhere. Thain made his remarks on Bloomberg TV from Dubai today. "We haven't mapped it out in terms of actual number of people, but we are committed to saving $7 billion across the combined platforms, and that will be a challenge," he said.
Joint U.S.-New York Inquiry into CDS trading: report (Reuters)
No financial crisis is ever complete without some populist investigation into dealing or sales malpractice, which everyone all to happily overlooks in the up times. One such investigation is underway in the unregulated credit-default swap market.
Bush Adviser Says Parts Of U.S. Are in Recession (Washington Post)
This is a non-story: Edward Lazier, chairman of the White House Economic council, only said "We are seeing what I think anyone would characterize as a recession in certain parts of the country." For something that hasn't even happened yet, recession is a word you've seen used far too often this year.
Exelon makes $6.2 billion all-stock bid for NRG (Marketwatch)
The deal would create the largest power company in the U.S., supplying 45 million homes with 47,000 megawatts of electricity. As a side note, Berkshire Hathaway bought 3.2 million shares in NRG in the second quarter this year. Seems "buying American" worked out well this time for Buffett.
Ericsson 3Q Net -28%, No Hit From Financial Turmoil (DJ)
Net profit fell to $383.50 million for the third quarter, but that was due to restructuring charges. Sales actually rose at the telco giant, and the company reports no hits by the financial crisis. That's very, very good news. It's exactly these kinds of companies which, if they can out-deliver to the market this week and show that recession fears are premature, could give sentiment a big boost.