Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei down 0.5%. Europe is down as is the US.
- House Speaker John Boehner has delayed the vote on his plan to raise the debt ceiling and cut deficit amidst mounting opposition. Meanwhile, executives of major ratings agencies will testify today before the House Financial Services Oversight subcommittee on the threat of a U.S. downgrade. Check out the truth about who really owns American debt >
- Italian bank shares fell after it was reported that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that eurozone’s rescue fund should only buy bonds on the secondary market in exceptional circumstances. Italy’s FTSE MIB index is down about 2%. Don’t miss: The sad story of how Italy got to be such a wreck >
- Private equity firms Centerbridge Partners and BC Partners are reportedly bidding for Caterpillar Inc.’s logistics business in a deal that could cost over $1 billion. The auction is said that have reached its final round.
- Aetna reported a 9% rise in Q2 net income to $536.7 million or $1.39 per share. Revenue fell to $8.34 billion but beat estimates and membership fell 2% to 18.2 million. Meanwhile, health insurer WellPoint reported a 3% drop in Q2 profit. Earnings per share rose 11% to $1.89 but this was attributed to fewer shares outstanding.
- In more earnings news, German drug and chemicals company Merck KhaA posted a net loss of €86 million in the second quarter, despite a 16% rise in revenue to €2.55 billion. The company lowered its full year guidance, and sparked a share sell-off.
- Durable goods orders for June fell 2.1% against expectations for marginal growth >
- Dow Chemical reported a massive 73% rise in Q2 profits pushed by higher prices and increasing sales. Net income rose to $982 million or $0.84 a share, up from $566 million, or $0.50 per share, a year ago.
- Moody’s is downgrading Cyprus’ government bond notes by two notches to Baa1 just above junk status, and has assigned them a negative outlook. Banks of the island nation have huge exposure to Greek debt and it is feared that Cyprus may be the next eurozone country in need of a bailout. Now here are the 15 countries most buried under debt >
- Amazon posted strong earnings, with a 51% year-over-year sales increase and earnings of $0.41 per diluted share. The company however reported weak operating income because of ongoing investment.
- BONUS – Selma Blair gave birth to a baby boy and named him Arthur Saint Bleick.