US FINANCIAL MARKET
- U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday, underpinned by a slew of sturdy corporate results, as the market regained its footing following its largest selloff in months a day earlier.
- Microsoft named 22-year company veteran Satya Nadella as its next CEO on Tuesday. He is only the third CEO in Microsoft’s 39-year history, following co-founder Bill Gates and Ballmer.
- Microsoft also said John Thompson, lead independent director, would succeed Gates as chairman. Gates will assume a new role as technology adviser and retain a seat on the board, the company said in a statement.
- Yum! Brands, owner of the KFC and Taco Bell fast-food chains, posted fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates on sales gains at its international division. The company reiterated its full-year forecast for at least a 20 % increase in profit per share, excluding certain items. Revenue rose 0.6 % to $4.18 billion, trailing analysts’ projections.
- Wal-Mart said on Tuesday it would invest about $500 million this year to strengthen its presence in Canada, creating more than 7,500 jobs including construction.
- The investments include more than $376 million for store projects, $91 million for distribution networks to expand fresh food capability and $31 million for e-commerce projects.
- Wal-Mart’s store count in Canada will rise to 395 by the end of January 2015, including 282 supercentres and 113 discount stores, the retailer said.
- Wal-Mart’s expansion plans comes a week after Target said it would open nine new stores across Canada, adding to the 124 it opened last year.
- Google entered into a patent cross-licensing agreement with Cisco Systems, the internet search giant’s second such deal in as many months. The “long-term” agreement is an effective way to help prevent unnecessary patent lawsuits, the companies said in a statement.
- Toyota yesterday reported profit quintupled last quarter and raised its forecast for the fiscal year.
- Toyota Motor expects the U.S. auto market to continue a mild recovery in 2014 despite poorer than expected sales last month. Toyota, the world’s best-selling automaker, raised its operating profit forecast – as expected – to a record 2.4 trillion yen ($23.7 billion) for the year to end-March and forecast that industry-wide U.S. sales would edge up to about 16 million vehicles in 2014 from last year’s 15.58 million.
- Lockheed Martin on Monday launched the civil variant of its C-130J Super Hercules military transport plane, the LM-100J, saying it expected to sell about 75 of the planes to mining and energy companies, and other commercial and government customers in coming years.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- New orders for U.S. factory goods fell in December, but rose for a third straight month when the volatile transportation sector was excluded. New orders for manufactured goods dropped 1.5 %, the largest fall since July, weighed down by a plunge in bookings for transportation equipment. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new orders received by factories falling 1.7 % in December.
- New orders for transportation equipment tumbled 9.7 %, the largest drop since July, after increasing 8.1 % in November.
- Orders for motor vehicles fell by the most in five months.
- Non-defense aircraft and parts orders fell 17.5 %.
EUROPE & WORLD
- World shares steadied after falling to a near four-month low on Tuesday as a bounce in battered emerging market currencies and a positive start for Wall Street helped lift some of the recent gloom.
- Rosneft, the Russian state oil major, posted a forecast-beating 51 % rise in earnings last year after its $55 billion acquisition of Anglo-Russian oil venture TNK-BP. Rosneft, the world’s top listed oil producer by output and reserves, said its full-year net income rose to 551 billion roubles ($15.6 billion). Revenues increased 52 % to 4.69 trillion roubles.
- The company produced 4.196 million barrels per day of oil and liquids last year.
- That accounted for 40 % of all oil output in Russia, the world’s largest producer.
- Russia canceled a bond auction for the second consecutive week after an emerging-market rout sent yields on the nation’s bonds maturing in 2028 to record highs. The ruble climbed for the first time in three days.
- BP, Europe’s second-largest oil company, said fourth-quarter profit fell from a year earlier as output declined and refining margins weakened. Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes dropped to $2.8 billion from $3.9 billion a year earlier. BP’s production in the quarter fell 1.9 % to 2.25 million barrels of oil equivalent a day.
- BP follows Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, the two biggest oil companies by market value, in reporting lower earnings as the cost of drilling rises, refining profits slump and prices stagnate.
- Lenovo Group, which announced $5 billion of deals last month to bolster its server and smartphone businesses, plunged (16%) the most in five years in Hong Kong after the stock was downgraded by at least five brokerages.
TODAY in HISTORY
- England proclaimed the formal end to the hostilities with the United States (1783)
- George Washington and John Adams are elected the president and vice president of the United States (1789)
- Delegates from six southern states met at Montgomery, Ala., to form the Confederate States of America (1861)
- Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met at the Yalta Conference (1945)
- The country of Yugoslavia disappeared, to be replaced by the loose federation of Serbia and Montenegro (2003)
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.