Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Overnight trading in Asia was mixed, with China’s Shanghai SE Composite off 1.1 per cent. European markets are sharply higher, while U.S. futures point to a positive open.
- Chinese PMI rose unexpectedly as new orders surged. The purchasing managers index increased 20 basis points to 50.5 versus expectations for 49.6. However, an alternate measurement of PMI measured by HSBC fell to 48.8 for January. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.
- The European Commission officially blocked the NYSE Deutsche Boerse merger on concerns of a “near-monopoly” in derivative trading, Bloomberg reports. The deal was valued at $9.5 billion, and both firms had recently made offers to sell other units and maintain jobs in Germany in an appeal for approval. Take a look at the largest failed mergers since 1990.
- Euro area manufacturing declined for the sixth-consecutive month, data from Markit’s Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index showed. The index improved to 48.8 from a 46.9 reading in December, but remained below 50. Germany and Austrian PMI’s topped 51, while French PMI was down slightly to 48.5.
- Facebook is expected to file documents to go public today, with Morgan Stanley reportedly leading the offering. Reports put a current valuation on the firm between $75 and $100 billion as the company raises some $5 billion. Here are three predictions for the coming IPO.
- Mitt Romney won the Florida Republican primary by a substantial margin, taking all 50 delegates from the state in the process. With 100 per cent of precincts reporting, the former Massachusetts governor took 46 per cent of the vote, followed by Newt Gingrich with 32 per cent of votes cast and Rick Santorum with 13 per cent. Ron Paul came in fourth with 7 per cent of votes. Click here to see why Paul never bet on Florida >
- The ADP jobs report missed expectations this morning, when employment grew by 170,000 in January, below forecasts for 182,000 new jobs. U.S. economic announcements still to come include ISM and construction spending. ISM manufacturing is seen advancing to 54.5 from 53.1. Follow it all live on Money Game.
- Sony named Kazuo Hirai as its new chief executive officer, ending Howard Stringer’s tenure. Hirai comes from Sony’s entertainment division where he worked on the Playstation gaming business, among other devices. Stringer will continue as chairman of the board. The news comes as the company predicts a fourth year of consecutive losses.
- Yesterday, technology giant Amazon reported mixed results, as earnings per share beat analyst forecasts, but revenue fell far below expectations. The company reported earnings of $0.38 per share on revenue of $17.4 billion, against predictions for $0.19 per share on revenue of $18.2 billion. Amazon blamed the shortfall on weakness in video games and slowing sales in North America. Take a look at why Amazon’s tablet business is not nearly as good as Apple’s, yet >
- Earnings season continues today, with announcements from AOL and Northrop Grumman. AOL beat lowered expectations, with earnings per share of $0.23 against forecasts for $0.17. On its conference call, CEO Tim Armstrong says the board remains invested in Patch and The Huffington Post, and that the businesses are growing. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect EPS of $1.67 at Northrop. Here’s everything we’ve already learned this earnings season.