US FINANCIAL MARKET
- U.S. stocks were flat at the open on Monday.
- Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos was airlifted from a cruise ship by the Ecuadorean Navy after suffering a kidney stone attack in the Galapagos Islands on New Year’s Day.
- Boeing’s machinists on Friday narrowly approved a crucial labor contract that secured thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity for Washington state but will cost workers their pensions. The vote of 51 % to 49 % to accept the deal means Boeing will build its new 777X jetliner and wings in the Seattle area. Boeing also ensured that the machinists won’t have an opportunity to strike until 2024, when the new contract expires.
- T-Mobile is buying spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless to improve its high-speed wireless services in a deal worth $3.3 billion.
- Corning a 163-year-old company that once made cookware and railroad lanterns, has emerged as an improbable star of the $280 billion smartphone industry as it develops curved screens and glass that repels germs. As smartphone sales slow, Apple, Samsung, and Google are increasingly counting on display technology to lure consumers. That’s elevated the importance of Corning, the top supplier of glass for high-end phones.
- Samsung wants to parlay that technology into automotive navigation and entertainment systems for an industry that makes more than 80 million vehicles a year. Samsung is attending the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week along with a record nine carmakers, including Audi unit and GM. Autos are set to be in the spotlight this year at CES, as carmakers look to catch consumer attention with new gadgetry in the cabins of their vehicles.
- Intel CEO Seeking to Change ‘Intel Inside’ to Everywhere. Intel will take the stage at the International Consumer Electronics Show today with the message that the chipmaker will do what it takes to remain relevant as consumers switch to mobile devices for computing tasks.
- FedEx will issue $2 billion of bonds to accelerate a stock buyback program.
- Thermo Fisher Scientific said it would sell three of its businesses to GE’s healthcare unit for $1.06 billion, fulfilling a requirement for European antitrust approval to buy Life Technologies. The European Union cleared in November Thermo Fisher’s $13.6 billion acquisition of Life Technologies, which will make it one of the top two genetic testing companies.
- Carlyle Group is preparing to launch its first two publicly listed mutual funds. Carlyle Enhanced Commodity Real Return Fund will mainly invest in commodity sectors including energy and metals, while Carlyle Global Core Allocation Fund will invest across equities, debt, real estate, commodities and currencies using primarily exchange-traded funds.
- The Pimco Total Return Fund, the world’s largest bond fund, saw its assets sink by a record $41.1 billion last year. The fund’s assets stood at $237 billion in December.
- Worldwide IT spending will grow by 3.1 % to $3.8 trillion this year after a broadly flat 2013 and will be driven by businesses starting to harness ‘big data’ garnered from smartphones and other devices, analysts Gartner said on Monday. Spending on devices, including PCs, mobile phones and tablets, will grow 4.3 % in 2014, after contracting 1.2 % in 2013.
- However, the research group downgraded its forecast for growth in telecom services, which account for more than 40 % of total IT spending, to 1.2 % from a previous 1.9 %, on factors such as declining voice rates in China.
- U.S. cable and satellite television operators, already locking horns with programmers over subscriber fees, are now squaring off over the mobile apps that viewers are increasingly using to watch TV. Dish, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, DirecTV and Verizon FiOs have all created apps in recent years, while the largest content companies, including Disney, Viacom and Time Warner’s HBO and Turner Broadcasting System, have countered with their own.
- Valuations in the S&P 500 increased by the most since the financial crisis last year as 460 stocks rose, more than any year since at least 1990.
- The world’s biggest economies will need to refinance $7.43 trillion of sovereign debt in 2014 as bond yields begin to climb from record lows. The U.S. is the world’s largest debtor nation with $11.8 trillion of marketable debt obligations. Japan will have $2.38 trillion of bonds and bills to refinance this year.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- U.S. private sector activity growth slows slightly in December. Markit’s composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) – a weighted average of its manufacturing and services indexes – measured 56.1 in December, down just slightly from the 56.2 posted last month.
- U.S. factory orders rose 1.8 % in November, topping the 1.7 % estimate from a Bloomberg survey of economists.
- The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing (service) index decreased to 53 in December from 53.9 in the prior month. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of 69 economists was 54.7.
- The Federal Reserve could well consider cutting its bond-buying by more than a $10 billion monthly increment in the future, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said on Saturday, floating $25 billion as a hypothetical amount.
EUROPE & WORLD
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a pelvic fracture after falling during a cross-country skiing trip.
- The HSBC/Markit’s China services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 50.9 in December, lowest since August 2011, from 52.5 in November. New business expansion was the slowest in six months.
- China’s wages are set to increase by 10 % or more in 2014, driving more low-cost manufacturers out of the country and boosting consumption.
- Ford and its local partners in China sold a total of 94,838 vehicles in December, an increase of 35 % from a year earlier. In 2013, sales totaled 935,813 vehicles on a wholesale basis, up 49 % from 2012.
- Toyota and its two local joint-venture partners sold about 108,400 automobiles in China in December, up 19.4 % from a year earlier. In 2013, Toyota sold about 917,500 vehicles, up 9.2 % from a year earlier.
TODAY in HISTORY
- King Henry VIII of England married his 4th wife, Anne of Cleves (1540)
- George Washington married Martha Custis (1759)
- Samuel Morse gave the first public demonstration of the telegraph (1838)
- New Mexico became the 47th state in the United States (1912)
- University of California astronomers first witnessed the birth of a galaxy that contained 1 billion stars (1987)
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.