US FINANCIAL MARKET
U.S. Stocks Advance at the Open amid Quarterly Rally on Home Sales
- The S&P 500 trades at 16.6 times the projected earnings of its members, near its highest valuation in four years.
- It has added 6.2 percent this year and is trading above the record closing level reached June 20.
- The S&P 500 has failed to post a gain or loss exceeding 1 percent for 50 straight days, the longest stretch since 1995.
- The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX) added 1.6 percent to 11.44, is near its lowest level since February 2007.
- Brent dropped to $112.54 a barrel, trimming its biggest monthly advance since August. Iraq’s oil minister said last week the nation’s crude exports will accelerate next month.
- Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose to $3.684 a gallon June 25, the highest since April 30.
- Gasoline demand over the four weeks ended June 29 averaged 8.95 million barrels a day, 1.7 percent more than a year earlier.
Global M&A at seven-year high as big corporate deals return
- Investor support for large acquisitions and a desire to trump rivals in consolidating markets have led chief executives to strike big transactions so far in 2014.
- Year-to-date global deal volume surged to $1.75 trillion, up 75 percent from the year-ago period.
- At over $1 trillion, the second quarter of 2014 was the highest in deal volume since the second quarter of 2007 and was up significantly from the $680 million in the first quarter of 2014.
PPG to Buy Mexican Paint Maker
- PPG agreed to buy Consorcio Comexfor about $2.3 billion, picking off the Mexican coatings and paint maker that competitor Sherwin-Williams failed to buy because of antitrust issues.
- Comex, funded in 1952, had sales of about $1 billion in 2013.
Facebook Researchers Manipulated News Feeds in 2012 Study
- Facebook researcher apologized after conducting an experiment that temporarily influenced what almost 700,000 readers saw on their news feeds, reviving some customers’ concerns about privacy issues.
Intel Chases Sales on Silicon Road to Driverless Cars
- The market for automotive chips is projected to grow 6.1 percent to $27.9 billion this year, according to IHS Corp.
- Within that business, sales of chips for automated driver-assistance systems, or ADAS, will increase an average of 13 percent a year through 2020, making it the fastest-growing area.
- Audi and other automakers are now using both Qualcommand Nvidiato connect cars to the Internet and make them aware of their surroundings.
U.S. government to unveil near $9 billion fine for France’s BNP
- The U.S. Justice Department is expected to announce on Monday a settlement with BNP Paribas involving a record fine of nearly $9 billion over alleged U.S. sanctions violations by France’s biggest bank.
- U.S. authorities are examining whether BNP evaded U.S. sanctions relating primarily to Sudan between 2002 and 2009.
- French President Francois Hollande has appealed to his counterpart Barack Obama to ensure any penalty is fair and does not have repercussions for Europe’s economy. Obama has replied that it is purely a matter for the judiciary.
HP to settle suits over Autonomy deal; make claim against ex-CEO Lynch
- Hewlett-Packard and attorneys representing shareholders have agreed to settle litigation over its troubled $11.1 billion acquisition of British software company Autonomy.
- HP took an $8.8 billion impairment charge in November 2012 for its purchase of Autonomy only just over a year earlier, with more than $5 billion of that linked to what HP said at the time were “serious accounting improprieties, misrepresentation and disclosure failures.”
‘Transformers’ Breaks 2014 Box Office Records On Debut
- “Transformers: Age of Extinction”, Paramount Pictures (VIAB)’ summer blockbuster, opened with weekend sales of $100 million to mark the biggest domestic debut of the year.
- It was projected to open with $99 million and $104 million, by researchers BoxOffice.com and Box Office Guru.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
Chicago ISM Manufacturing Index Fell to 62.6 in June From 65.5
- The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago (ISM)’s business barometer fell to 62.6 in June from 65.5 the prior month. The median forecast of 45 economists in a Bloomberg survey projected the index would fall to 63.
U.S. pending home sales hit eight-month high in May
- The pending home sales index climbed 6.1 percent, the biggest advance since April 2010.
Ex-P&G CEO McDonald Nominated to Head of Veterans Affairs
- Bob McDonald will be nominated by President Barack Obama to head the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, a White House official said.
- The West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran who oversaw more than 120,000 employees as P&G’s CEO will be announced tomorrow.
EUROPE & WORLD
World investors see rates staying low and put faith in stocks
- The monthly poll of 51 fund managers and chief investment officers in the US, Britain, Europe and Japan showed the average recommended exposure to equities in global balanced portfolios rose to 51 percent from 50.8 percent.
- Within global equities portfolios, the average allocation to North American stocks rose to 42.1 percent from 41.5 percent while investors also hiked exposure to British stocks to 11.9 percent from 11.5 percent.
U.K. Mortgage Approvals Decline to Lowest Level in Almost a Year
- Approvals declined to 61,707 from 62,806, the Bank of England said today, an evidence that the property market may be cooling.
Boeing, Airbus enter bids for $1.38 billion South Korean refueling plane order
- South Korea kicked off the acquisition process in March to increase the range of its airborne operations amid rising tensions in the region and with North Korea.
TODAY in HISTORY
- French acrobat Charles Blondin, AKA Jean Francois Gravelet, walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope (1859)
- The 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18, was ratified by the states (1971)
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