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US EQUITIES OPENING HEADLINES INCLUDING: McDonalds same store sales in Japan rose 11.6% in December

January 05 2011, 1:57pm
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•          FTSE (-0.29%) DAX (-1.30%), CAC 40 (-1.02%), Eurostoxx 50 (-1.31%), SMI (-0.73%), IBEX 35 (-2.02%), FTSE MIB (-0.89%). Prices taken at 1326GMT.
•          US ADP Employment Change (Dec) M/M 297K vs. Exp. 100K (Prev. 93K, Rev. to 92K)
•          MBA Mortgage Applications (Dec 31) W/W 2.3% vs. Prev. -18.6% (Dec 17)
•          Challenger Job Cuts (Dec) Y/Y 32.0K vs. Prev. 48.7K

Other news:

McDonalds – Co’s same store sales in Japan rose 11.6% in December, the first increase in 2 months. (Nikkei)
Proctor & Gamble – The Herz family who have a majority shareholding in Beiersdorf have denied they are in talks to sell their stake to the Co. (RTRS)
Kraft – Co. is suing Britannia Industries over copyright and trademark violations of its Oreo cookies, according to a suit filed in the Delhi High Court. (
S&P 500

Other news:

US Banks – Fitch said that its outlook for the US banking industry will remain stable in 2011 as balance sheet and income statement fundamentals will improve modestly against a backdrop of still weak macro conditions. (RTRS) In addition, the five largest mortgage loan servicers, including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co., may be the first to settle with 50 state attorneys general who are investigating foreclosure practices, citing Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. (RTRS)
Defence Stocks - U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates has received approval from the White House for a small increase in the Pentagon's budget for 2012 compared with 2011. Although the administration is looking for a 2.67% cut in defence spending over five years, Gates plans to shift savings from reducing overhead and inefficiencies into current weapons systems and research in order to prevent deep cuts in those programs. (
Time Warner – Co. is among the final bidders for Turkish media group Dogan Yayin. (RTRS)
Sara Lee – Analysts believe the Co. is poised for a break-up as the stock is trading at a high multiple. Also the Co. has reportedly received takeover offers from PE funds however talks are rumoured to have stalled over price (LA Times)
Walgreens – Co. reports that December sales increased 7.5% (Sources)
BJ’s Wholesale Club – Co. plans to close five of its clubs in the US South-eastern region, citing chronically weak sales at those stores. (RTRS)
Nasdaq 100
Other news:
Apple – Co. has been accused by Ancora Technologies of infringing a patent related to restricting the operation of software through licensing. (AppleInsider /
Google – Sales at the Co’s Chrome Web store have had very little success since opening in December (Tech Crunch /
Qualcomm – Co. has confirmed they will acquire Atheros Communications for USD 45 per share or USD 3.1bln in cash. They expect the acquisition to be modestly accretive to their EPS in 2012. (RTRS)
Broker moves
•          Autodesk upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman 
•          Barnes & Noble upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse
•          Exelon upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Wells Fargo
•          General Mills upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
•          NVIDIA upgraded to Overweight from Equal-weight at Barclays
•          Walt Disney added to Conviction Buy List at Goldman 
•          Associated Bancorp downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
•          American Electric downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan
•          Alcoa downgraded to Hold from Buy at Citigroup
•          Avon Products downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
•          Boeing downgraded to Hold at Argus
•          Clorox downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
•          Colgate-Palmolive downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
•          Duke Energy downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JP Morgan
•          Franklin Resources downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
•          Huntington Bancorp downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
•          Legg Mason downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital
•          Noble Energy downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
•          St Jude downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC
•          Zions Bancorp downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Other news
Mosaic - Q2 EPS USD 1.01 (ex gains) vs. Exp USD 0.92; Sales USD 2.7bln vs. Exp. USD 2.45bln
Chinese Banks - According to an article in the China Securities Journal, China’s central bank is planning to begin this year a monthly review of banks’ required reserves as part of wider monetary policy reform. (China Securities Journal)



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