US FINANCIAL MARKET
- U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday as a partial government shutdown in Washington entered a second day.
- Fees earned for global investment banking services rose 3 % in the first nine months of 2013 from a year ago. Fees from services ranging from mergers and acquisitions advisory to capital markets underwriting, earned investment banks a total of $56.8 billion in the nine-month period. JPMorgan retained its top ranking in the investment banking league table, taking in $4.4 billion in fees or 7.8 % of the total. Second-place Bank of America booked fees of $4 billion.
- Monsanto reported a fiscal fourth quarter loss of $249 million as sales rose to $2.2 billion. The company lost more than Wall Street expected. Monsanto also said it is acquiring Climate Corporation in a deal valued at $930 million. Climate Corporation uses weather data to help farmers plan their growing season and maximize yields.
- Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft are lobbying the board to press for Bill Gates to step down as chairman of the software company he co-founded 38 years ago.
- Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn had dinner with Apple chief executive Tim Cook on Monday and “pushed hard” for a buyback. “Had a cordial dinner with Tim last night. We pushed hard for a $150 billion buyback. We decided to continue dialogue in about three weeks,” Icahn tweeted on Tuesday. Carl Icahn said Tuesday on CNBC that his firm has $2 billion invested in Apple.
- Apple will be unable to widely roll out a new version of the iPad Mini with a high-resolution “retina” display this month. It remains unclear exactly what new features and modifications could find their way into the next iPad Mini. Given the time required to ramp up screen production, a retina display-equipped iPad Mini would not be available in large volumes until early next year, the sources said.
- Poland is determined to get compensation from Boeing for the glitches haunting its 787 Dreamliner jets.
- Several of America’s largest enterprises including Boeing and UPS warned the Federal Reserve on Tuesday that restricting Wall Street’s trading in physical commodity markets could harm their business.
- Enterprise Products Partners said it would build a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) export terminal on the U.S. Gulf Coast to cater to increased demand for propane and butane from international customers. The terminal is expected to become operational by the fourth quarter of 2015.
- U.S. consumer demand for new vehicles cooled slightly in September, as expected. The annual auto sales rate was 15.28 million vehicles. Overall U.S. auto sales fell 4.2 % in September to 1.14 million vehicles.
- Ford delivered 185,186 vehicles in the US, up 5.8 %, GM sales dropped 11 % to 187,195, Chrysler sales were up 1 % at 143,017.
- Toyota’s sales dropped 4.3 % to 164,457, Honda’s declined 9.9 % to 105,563, Nissan’s fell 5.5 % to 86,868 and combined Hyundai-Kia sales dipped 13.9 % to 93,105. All four companies fell short of analysts’ expectations.
- Volkswagen sales fell 12.2 % to 31,920, while Audi sales rose 6.2 % to 13,065 and Porsche sales were up 13 % to 3,093. BMW sales, including Mini brand, rose 8.3 % to 28,874. Mercedes-Benz sales climbed 5.8 % to 27,474.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- U.S. private employers added a fewer-than-expected 166,000 jobs in September, according to ADP National Employment Report. Economists had forecast a gain of 180,000 jobs. Notable in today’s report was small employers, who added 74,000 jobs, more than either medium or large businesses.
- The Labor Department will not release its monthly employment report if the federal government is closed on Oct. 4, the day for which it was scheduled to be published.
- Applications for U.S. home loans dipped slightly in the latest week. The Mortgage Bankers Association said mortgage application activity fell 0.4 % in the week ended September 27. However, MBA data showed 30-year mortgage rates dropped 13 basis points to 4.49 %, after earlier in September matching the 4.8 % high for 2013.
- The total cost of credit card fees and interest payments to U.S. consumers fell and charges for going over allowable credit limits effectively disappeared after a 2009 law cracked down on the market.
EUROPE & WORLD
- Turkey’s $4 billion order for a Chinese missile defense system is a breakthrough for China in its bid to become a supplier of advanced weapons, even though opposition from Washington and NATO threatens to derail the deal. Chinese exports of conventional weapons increased 162 per cent in the five years from 2008 to 2012 compared with the five years from 2003 to 2007. China has displaced the United Kingdom as the world’s fifth biggest arms supplier in the five years to 2012.
- Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht plans to spend $8.1 billion in Mexico in the next five years in what appears to mark the biggest investment pledge yet from a Brazilian firm in Latin America’s No. 2 economy.
TODAY in HISTORY
- President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke, which left him partially paralyzed (1919)
- Guinea proclaimed its independence from France (1958)