10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

sac capital steve cohen stamford connecticutAn exterior view of the headquarters of SAC Capital Advisors, L.P. in Stamford, Connecticut on July 25, 2013. Federal prosecutors took a double-barreled approach against hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen on Thursday, unveiling criminal fraud charges against his SAC Capital Advisors LP and a separate civil case seeking to freeze assets and money laundering penalties.

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 3%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 0.3%, and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.5%. European markets are in the red with the exception of France and Spain. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
  • Japanese consumer prices rose 0.2% year over year in June after declining 0.3% in May, marking the first positive annual inflation rate in over a year and the biggest monthly jump in prices since November 2008. Economists were looking for a smaller advance to 0.1% inflation. The increase was largely due to higher energy prices. Stripping out food and energy, consumer prices were still down 0.2% year over year in June.
  • In the week ended July 24, equity funds reported $8.0 billion in inflows, while bond funds saw $4.4 billion in inflows. High yield bond and leveraged loan funds were the big winners, with both asset classes receiving record inflows this week.
  • Amazon reported a loss of $0.02 per share in the second quarter on revenues of $15.7 billion. Both numbers missed consensus forecasts for earnings of $0.06 per share and revenues of $15.73 billion. The company offered third-quarter revenue guidance in the range of $14.45 billion to $17.15 billion versus estimates for $16.98 billion, and shares are lower in pre-market trading.
  • Starbucks reported second quarter earnings of $0.55 per share – beating expectations for $0.53 – and revenues of $3.74 billion (versus estimates for $3.72 billion). Same-store sales were up 8% globally in the second quarter. Shares are higher in pre-market trading.
  • Zynga beat analysts’ estimates on the top and bottom lines in the second quarter, but said in its earnings release that it would not pursue a licence for online gambling in the United States. Shares are down more than 20% on the news.
  • Halliburton agreed to plea guilty to destroying evidence related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. “As part of the plea agreement, Halliburton has further agreed, subject to the court’s approval, to pay the maximum-available statutory fine, to be subject to three years of probation and to continue its cooperation in the government’s ongoing criminal investigation,” the Department of Justice said in a statement. Shares are higher in pre-market trading.
  • The debate over whether Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen or former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers will succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed Chair next year was augmented by a Bloomberg report that a letter is circulating in the U.S. Senate supporting Yellen for the post. She is said to have the support of Senator Sherrod Brown and several other Democrats. Much of the speculation surrounding Summers as the successor stems from his supporters in the White House, who have worked with him in the past and count him as a friend.
  • JPMorgan’s chief U.S. equity strategist Tom Lee hiked his year-end price target for the S&P 500 to 1775 from 1715 today, making him the most bullish equity strategist on the Street. Lee’s call implies an additional 5% upside for the index in 2013, and is driven largely by an improving economic picture in Europe.
  • The final results of the University of Michigan’s July consumer confidence survey are due out in the United States at 9:55 AM ET. Economists predict the headline index fell to 84.0 from June’s 84.1 reading. Earlier this month, preliminary results published by the university showed the index falling to 83.9. Follow the release LIVE on Business Insider >

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.