Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
Terror in Mali. American and French military forces have stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali, where gunmen have reportedly killed at least three people and are holding 170 hostage.
Draghi tells the world the ECB’s monetary bazooka is loaded. “We will do what we must to raise inflation as quickly as possible,” European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said in Frankfurt. The language is similar to his famous “whatever it takes” line from 2012, which came from a speech credited with bringing the euro crisis off the boil.
ABN Amro goes public. Dutch bank ABN Amro raised 3.3 billion euros ($US3.6 billion) in an initial public offering (IPO). The Dutch government spent 22 billion euros rescuing and taking over the bank in 2008 in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Nike is buying back $US12 billion worth of itself. After the market closed on Thursday, Nike announced a $US12 billion stock repurchase authorization, a 14% dividend hike, and a 2-for-1 stock split, which will go into effect on December 24.
Gap slashed its outlook. Gap announced sales fell 3% year-over-year to $US3.86 billion. Comparable store sales across the companies brands — Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy — fell 2%. Earnings came in at $US0.63 per share, which was right in line with expectations. “With a challenging third quarter behind us, we are sharply focused on holiday execution across all channels,” CEO Art Peck said in the earnings statement.
Google makes a high-profile hire. Google hired VMware cofounder Diane Greene to head its cloud-computing business. “Greene will lead a new team combining all our cloud businesses, including Google for Work, Cloud Platform, and Google Apps,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said. “This new business will bring together product, engineering, marketing, and sales and allow us to operate in a much more integrated, coordinated fashion.”
Tyson is shutting down two meat plants. “Tyson Foods Inc, the biggest US meat processor, said it would stop operations at two of its plants in the United States, affecting about 880 employees,” Reuters’ Ramkumar Iyer reports. “The company said it expects to cease operations at a pepperoni plant in Jefferson, Wisconsin and a prepared foods facility in Chicago, Illinois during the second half of the year ending Oct. 1.”
RBC forecasts the S&P 500 to gain 10% from here through 2016. In a note to clients on Friday, RBC Capital’s Jonathan Golub writes that he sees the S&P 500 rallying to 2,300 by the end of 2016. “Our constructive 2016 outlook is predicated upon stabilizing commodity prices, and an incrementally higher dollar and rates. All of this should result in a substantially higher earnings trajectory as well as a modest re-rating of stocks,” Golub wrote.
Markets aren’t doing much. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei climbed 0.1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rallied 1.1%. Europe is mixed with Britain’s FTSE 100 flat, Germany’s DAX up 0.1%, France’s CAC 40 down 0.3%, and Spain’s IBEX 35 down 0.5%. US futures are up with Dow futures up 53 points and S&P futures up 4 points.
Not much d
ata. At 11:00 a.m. ET, we’ll get the Kansas City Fed’s Manufacturing index. Economists estimate this regional activity index improved to 0 in November from -1 in October.
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