Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were largely higher in overnight trade, with Japan’s Nikkei up 0.9 per cent. European shares are rallying and U.S. futures point to a positive open.
- ECB President Mario Draghi said that officials are ready to act to keep the euro alive and would work to lower surging bond yields that are pressuring members like Italy and Spain. “Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro,” Draghi said. “And believe me, it will be enough.” This is the beginning of the end game >
- Zynga missed earnings expectations and cut forecasts after reducing expectations for Draw Something, a game it paid more than $200 million for, and faster-than-expected declines in existing games. The company said it earned an adjusted $0.01 a share, as it lost $22.8 million compared to a $1.4 million profit in the year ago period.
- Visa and Whole Foods reported better-than-expected earnings after the closing bell yesterday. Visa said it earned $1.56 a share when excluding its massive $4.1 billion settlement with merchants. Meanwhile, Whole Foods said same-store sales grew 8.2 per cent, sending shares higher. The world’s biggest companies reveal what’s happening in the economy >
- German consumer confidence increased slightly in August with the forward-looking indicator up 10 basis points to 5.9. Economists had forecast no change.
- Italian retail sales declined less than forecast in May, down 0.2 per cent sequentially. Food sales increased 0.4 per cent during the month, but non-food goods dropped 0.4 per cent.
- South Korea’s economy expanded by 0.4 per cent in the second quarter, slower than forecast. Imports fell 1.7 per cent and capital investment in plants and equipment declined 6.4 per cent.
- Nomura’s chief executive Kenichi Watanabe and chief operating officer Takumi Shibata are resigning after a number of salespeople gave inside information on share offerings to clients before the information was public, Japanese newspaper Nikkei first reported.
- Initial jobless claims fell to a better-than-expected 353,000, but were likely obscured by changes in the auto industry. Durable goods beat on the headline number, up 1.6 per cent. However, when excluding sales in the transportation industry, orders declined by 1.1 per cent. Still to come: Pending home sales at 10 a.m., with consensus for a 0.3 per cent increase.
- Sprint and Exxon missed earnings expectations this morning. Sprint reported a loss of $0.46 against estimates for $0.41. Meanwhile, when stripping out one-time gains, Exxon recorded earnings per share of $1.81 against estimates for $1.95. Here’s what one manufacturing giant says the rest of 2012 will look like >