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06.02.2012 08:20

Stocks: Friday’s review

Asian stocks fell, with a regional index dropping from a three-month high, as companies from Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. reported weaker earnings amid Europe’s debt crisis and an uncertain U.S. economic outlook.

Nikkei 225 8,831.93 -44.89 -0.51%

Hang Seng 20,756.98 +17.53 +0.08%

S&P/ASX 200 4,251.17 -16.67 -0.39%

Shanghai Composite 2,330.4 +17.85 +0.77%

Nippon Sheet Glass Co., a Japanese glassmaker, slumped 12 percent in Tokyo after forecasting a 3 billion yen ($39 million) loss for the year ending March 31 on slumping demand in Europe, its top market. Singapore Airlines, the world’s No. 2 carrier by market value, fell 3.6 percent as third-quarter profit tumbled 53 percent. Hynix Semiconductor, the world’s second-largest maker of computer-memory chips, slid 3.7 percent after posting a wider-than-expected loss.

European stocks rose for a fourth day, extending a six-month high, after a report showed that the U.S. economy added more jobs last month than economists had predicted and the unemployment rate unexpectedly retreated.

European stocks extended their advance after a report showed the U.S. economy added 243,000 jobs in January. Employers hired an extra 203,000 people in December. The release also showed that the jobless rate retreated to 8.3 percent, its lowest level since February 2009.

A report showed that services industries in the U.K. unexpectedly increased last month. The measure of activity rose to 56 in January from 54 in December, according to a statement from Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. That beat the average economist estimate for a reading of 53.3.

National benchmark indexes climbed in every western- European market today except Greece. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index added 1.8 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index gained 1.5 percent and Germany’s DAX Index advanced 1.7 percent.

Temenos surged 16 percent to 19.90 Swiss francs, its biggest rally since November 2008, after Misys said it has held talks with the Swiss software maker about an all-share merger. In a separate statement, Temenos said it is “evaluating its strategic options.” Misys gained 1.2 percent to 329.5 pence in London trading.

Admiral jumped 7.9 percent to 1,038 pence, its biggest jump since January 2009. The U.K. car insurer that owns the website rose the most since January 2009 after saying it has extended its reinsurance partnerships, without increasing its costs.

Daimler AG, the carmaker that makes 24 percent of its sales in the U.S., climbed 3.1 percent to 45.46 euros following the U.S. jobs report.

Volvo AB rose 4.4 percent to 94.70 kronor after the world’s second-largest truckmaker reported fourth-quarter earnings before interest and taxes that increased 26 percent to 6.96 billion kronor ($1.04 billion) from 5.52 billion kronor a year earlier. The Gothenburg, Sweden-based manufacturer posted sales that jumped 18 percent.

U.S. stocks advanced, extending the best start to a year for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since 1987, after a report showed that employment growth topped estimates and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell to 8.3 percent. Stocks and bond yields jumped as the report fueled optimism the economy is weathering Europe’s debt crisis. The unemployment rate fell to the lowest since February 2009. Service industries in the U.S. expanded in January at the fastest pace in almost a year.

Dow 12,862.23     +156.82       +1.23%, Nasdaq      2,905.66       +45.98 +1.61%, S&P 500   1,344.90         +19.36 +1.46%

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) added 5.2 percent to $7.84. Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), the largest construction and mining-equipment maker, increased 3.3 percent to $113.94. Alcoa (АА), the largest U.S. aluminum producer, climbed 3.3 percent to $10.76.

FedEx, an economic bellwether as it moves goods from pharmaceuticals to financial documents, jumped 1.9 percent to $94.54.

Genworth Financial soared 14 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $9.17. Chief Executive Officer Michael Fraizer has scaled back the retirement-products business to conserve capital as Genworth seeks to maintain sales of U.S. mortgage coverage. The company has no plans to add more capital to the U.S. mortgage insurance operation, Fraizer said today.

Tyson Foods rose 4.1 percent to $19.38. The meat processor reported first-quarter earnings of 42 cents a share. On average, the analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated profit of 34 cents.

Gilead Sciences Inc. jumped 11 percent to $54.70. The drugmaker that acquired Pharmasset Inc. last month for its experimental hepatitis C treatments gained after one of the medicines produced positive clinical trial results.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. rose 1.4 percent to $5.91. Blackstone Group LP (BX) is studying a leveraged buyout of the company, said a person with knowledge of the situation. While Blackstone is in talks with Brocade, which has been seeking a buyer since 2009, reaching a deal may be difficult, said the person.

Estee Lauder Cos. lost 2.3 percent to $57.48. The maker of Mac cosmetics and Clinique skin care forecast third-quarter earnings of no more than 32 cents a share, before restructuring charges, missing the average analyst estimate of 41 cents.

06.02.2012 08:43

Forex: Weekly’s review

Market Focus

  • U.S.: Industrial Production (MoM), September 0.1% (forecast 0.2%)
  • Britain can't get full single market access with free movement concessions - Merkel
  • Earnings Season in U.S.. Major Reports of the Week
  • New Zealand CPI, 3Q: 0.2% q/q (forecast 0%), 0.2% y/y (forecast 0.1%)
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