US FINANCIAL MARKET
- U.S. stock opened lower on Thursday amid lingering market uncertainty as a partial U.S. government shutdown extended to a third day and leaders in Congress showed no sign of progress towards resolving the stalemate.
- Campbell Soup has outlined definitive terms to sell its European simple meals business for 400 million euros ($542 million) to CVC Capital.
- Eli Lilly, which is trying to rebound from painful patent expirations on its medicines, said it would have to cut costs to achieve its financial goals through 2014, but would buy back $5 billion of its stock over time.
- Daimler’s luxury brand Mercedes-Benz sold the most cars in one month in its history in September. The carmaker sold over 142,000 cars last month, a rise of 15.9 %, driven by demand in China and the United States, particularly for Mercedes’ A-, C- and CLA class cars. Daimler may build a new factory in North America if demand for compact cars picks up.
- Tesla Motors shares fell 6 % on Wednesday after an automotive blog published images of a Model S electric sedan in flames after an accident on Tuesday morning just south of Seattle, Washington.
- BP won a legal reprieve in its effort to force the administrator of a settlement related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill to tighten standards in assessing claims, potentially sparing the oil company billions of dollars of extra costs. BP originally projected that the settlement would cost $7.8 billion, but in July boosted its estimate to $9.6 billion. BP, which is based in London, has already incurred more than $42 billion of charges for clean-up costs, fines and compensation related to the spill.
- Caltech is the world’s top-ranked university for the third consecutive year in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, as U.S. schools hold seven of the first 10 spots. A total of 620 institutions were ranked on 13 criteria that measure teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 308,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The four-week average of new claims fell 3,750 to 305,000, the lowest level since May 2007.
- The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its services index fell to 54.4 in September from 58.6 in August which was the highest since December, 2005. New orders slipped to 59.6 from 60.5 and business activity fell to 55.1 after scoring 62.2 in August. Employment, which hit a six-month peak of 57 in August, retreated to 52.7 last month, its lowest level since May.
- The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell 20 % in September, even as cuts in the healthcare sector more than doubled from the prior month. Employers announced 40,289 layoffs last month, down from 50,462 in August. For 2013 so far, employers have announced 387,384 losses, close to the 386,000 seen in the first nine months of last year. The healthcare sector saw the biggest layoffs, with plans to cut 8,128 employees as health companies faced lower government payments. The financial sector saw the next largest number of planned job cuts, with 6,932 in September compared with 3,096 a month earlier.
- U.S. retail sales should rise 3.9 % this holiday season, outpacing last year’s gains. The National Retail Federation expects U.S. sales in November and December to rise 3.9 % to $602.1 billion.
EUROPE & WORLD
- The nascent recovery in euro zone businesses strengthened in September as order books filled at a faster rate and layoffs slowed to a trickle.
- Markit’s Euro zone Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to 52.2 in September from August’s 50.7. Germany again led the expansion, while services firms in the bloc’s next largest economies -France and Italy – returned to growth after more than a year in the red.
- Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday after Silvio Berlusconi, facing revolt in his own party, backtracked on threats to bring down the government.
- Activity in China’s services sector expanded at the fastest pace in six months in September.
- The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the non-manufacturing sector rose to 55.4 in September – the highest reading since March – from 53.9 in August. The sub-index measuring new orders, from both home and abroad, rose to 53.4 in September from 50.9 in August, while input prices and services charges eased. Services accounted for about 45 % of the economy in 2012 and is the biggest employer in China.
- Moody’s Investors Service lowered its outlook on Brazil’s sovereign rating to stable from positive, citing deteriorating debt and investment ratios and evidence the economy is going through a low-growth period.
- Moody’s also said that the rating on Philippine government debt was raised one level to Baa3, citing “robust economic performance,” ongoing fiscal and debt consolidation, political stability and improved governance. The outlook on the rating is positive.
- The rupiah’s slump is fueling a surge in Indonesia’s costs of imported goods from iPads to soybeans. The cost of iPads jumped 12 % last month.
TODAY in HISTORY
- St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order, died (1226)
- President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day (1863)
- The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes formally changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929)
- East Germany and West Germany united to become Germany, 45 years after being split into two countries at the end of World War II (1990)
Sources: Reuters, Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, Bloomberg, CNN Money.
This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable, but no representation is being made as to its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should be used only as general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth in the material may not develop as predicted. All indices, such as the S & P 500, are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.