Americas Stay updated with Business News, Pakistan news, Current world news and latest world news with Business Recorder Mon, 24 Oct 2016 03:19:33 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Merger talk boosts Reynolds, Time Warner but Wall St ends flat imageNEW YORK: Megamerger buzz returned to Wall Street Friday on a mixed day for US stocks, with shares of Time Warner and Reynolds American both surging on news of separate takeover deals.

Tobacco giant Reynolds American shot up 14.0 percent after British American Tobacco launched a $47 billion bid to buy the 58 percent of the company it does not yet own.

Time Warner jumped 7.8 percent as the Wall Street Journal reported that telecom giant AT&T was in advanced talks to acquire the entertainment group. AT&T fell 3.0 percent.

Microsoft jumped 4.6 percent to top its 1999 record high after it reported a better than expected $4.7 billion in net profit.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1 percent at 18,145.71.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost less than 0.1 percent at 2,141.16, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 5,257.40.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016

]]> (Fawad Maqsood) Americas Fri, 21 Oct 2016 20:39:47 +0000
MONEY MARKETS-US repo rate rises from 3-month lows imageNEW YORK: The interest rate on a key short-term funding source for Wall Street rose on Friday from three-month lows on cash demand ahead of the weekend amid signs of more lending since new regulations on money market funds were implemented a week ago.

The overnight interest rate on repurchase agreements, in which banks and bond dealers use US Treasuries and other securities as collateral to raise cash from investors, was last quoted at 0.33-0.35 percent, up from 0.28 percent late on Thursday but down from 0.42 percent a week earlier, according to ICAP data.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Fawad Maqsood) Americas Fri, 21 Oct 2016 20:08:09 +0000
US stocks lower but Microsoft jumps to record imageNEW YORK: US stocks opened mostly lower Friday, but Microsoft surged to an all-time high after reporting first quarter results that were well above expectations.

About 45 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.5 percent to 18,064.52.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.4 percent to 2,133.39, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was essentially flat at 5,239.39.

US software colossus Microsoft saw shares jump around 5 percent to its highest point since December 1999, just ahead of the dramatic dot-com collapse.

Microsoft's third-quarter earnings, released after the market closed Thursday, showed better-than-expected profits due in part to rising demand for the firm's internet cloud-based services.

Microsoft's shift away from packaged software has been vital for the company, as lifestyles have shifted to mobile devices and accessing cloud services whenever desired.

"Our first quarter results showed continued demand for our cloud-based services," Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said in a release.

McDonald's shares jumped 2.4 percent on unexpectedly strong third-quarter results, with sales in overseas markets like Japan and Britain compensating for softness at home.

But sluggish activity in the oil and gas sector weighed on General Electric's third-quarter results, offsetting strength in other businesses and pushing profits lower. GE shares were off 2 percent.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Americas Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:27:53 +0000
Wall St dips as investors digest earnings imageNEW YORK: US stocks ended a choppy session down slightly on Thursday as investors digested the latest round of earnings, while a sharp drop in telecoms offset gains in healthcare.

Based on the latest available data, The Dow Jones industrial average fell 40.27 points, or 0.22 percent, to 18,162.35, the S&P 500 lost 2.95 points, or 0.14 percent, to 2,141.34 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.58 points, or 0.09 percent, to 5,241.83.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Americas Thu, 20 Oct 2016 20:35:53 +0000
TSX claws higher from 16-month peak, resource stocks up imageTORONTO: Canada's main stock index ended barely higher on Thursday, as resource stocks gained despite lower commodity prices while industrial and consumer stocks weighed.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed up 7.75 points, or 0.05 percent, at 14,848.24. It has not closed that high since June, 2015.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Americas Thu, 20 Oct 2016 20:32:43 +0000
Wall St dips as Verizon drags; AmEx curbs losses;-amex-curbs-losses.html;-amex-curbs-losses.html imageNEW YORK: US stocks declined modestly in a choppy session on Thursday as investors digested the latest round of earnings, with telecoms suffering a sharp drop in the wake of results from Verizon Communications.

Telecoms were down 1.9 percent, on track for their biggest percentage decline in five weeks, as Verizon lost 2.7 percent.

The company added fewer than expected wireless subscribers in the third quarter and revenue fell short of expectations. But a 10.3 percent jump in AmEx helped offset the decline after the credit card issuer posted strong quarterly results and boosted its 2016 forecast.

The gains put the stock on track for its best day in over seven years and helped send the financial sector higher for a third straight session. Earnings from Bank of New York Mellon, up 4 percent to $42.05, also boosted financials.

"Financials for the most part since the earnings season started have been pretty solid, but telecoms not, therefore they are dragging down the market," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin.

"It's not a big up day or a big down day - we've been up-and-down, up-and-down all day." Not all financials were able to provide a lift. Property and casualty insurer Travelers, dropped 6.1 percent after a steep drop in profit.

Thomson Reuters data earlier this week showed earnings were now expected to show growth for the quarter after companies in the S&P 500 began an earnings recession in the third quarter of 2015. But with about 85 percent of S&P 500 companies left to report, there is still room for earnings to disappoint.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 16.88 points, or 0.09 percent, to 18,185.74, the S&P 500 lost 2.39 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,141.9 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 7.62 points, or 0.15 percent, to 5,238.79.

The S&P 500 has struggled in recent sessions to climb above its technical resistance level at the 100-day moving average, which currently stands at 2,142.60.

The level had acted as support for the index until it broke below the level last week.

Healthcare also served to curb declines, led by a 4.5 percent climb in Danaher after its quarterly results.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.48-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.22-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 5 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 51 new highs and 54 new lows.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Americas Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:53:06 +0000
American Express shares surge as it lifts profit forecast imageNEW YORK: American Express shares shot up 10 percent Thursday after the credit card giant boosted its full-year profit forecast above estimates, a positive sign after recent setbacks.

The company, which is facing tougher competition after losing multiyear partnerships with Costco Wholesale and Fidelity Investment, cited underlying revenue growth in the third quarter when the impact of lost Costco business was stripped out.

It also pointed to efforts to cut expenses, as well as growth in billings in key international markets that helped to offset a drop in the US side of the business.

"Strong operating discipline and credit quality helped to keep us ahead of the 2016 financial outlook that we first provided at the beginning of the year," American Express chief executive Kenneth Chenault said in a statement.

American Express boosted its earnings range for 2016 to $5.90 to $6.00 a share, from $5.40 to $5.70 a share.

For the third quarter, net income was $1.1 billion, down 9.8 percent form the year-ago period. Results were released Wednesday after the stock market closed.

Revenues in the quarter fell 5.1 percent to $7.8 billion.

Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Campbell acknowledged that the loss of the long-standing venture with big-box store Costco removed a "really good source" of new customers.

"We have lost that," Campbell said on a conference call with analysts. "We have effectively had to completely replace that acquisition effort with efforts in other channels."

To compensate, American Express boosted its marketing budget in the third quarter and expects a high level of spending in this area in the fourth quarter on digital advertising and other techniques.

But the company also foresees higher expenses on cash-back credit cards to fend off tougher competition from banks and other issuers in the US. Visa has stepped into its role with Fidelity, while Citigroup has replaced it at Costco.

RBC Capital expressed skepticism that American Express will be able to build on Thursday's results.

"While third-quarter results beat estimates, we expect challenges to persist," RBC Capital said. "We continue to expect competitive pressure to drive lower discount fee revenue and drive expense pressure, challenging the company's ability to meet 2017 guidance."

Shares of American Express were up 10 percent to $67.39 in afternoon trading, leading the Dow.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Americas Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:34:53 +0000
TSX retreats from 16-month high as oil pulls back imageTORONTO: Canada's main stock index fell on Thursday, one day after closing at a 16-month high, as a pullback in oil prices weighed on the shares of energy companies.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 28.67 points, or 0.19 percent, at 14,811.82, shortly after the open. Six of the index's 10 main groups were lower.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Americas Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:09:28 +0000
World stocks rally fizzles, but oil offers support imageNEW YORK: A global stocks rally stuttered Wednesday as dealers mulled Chinese growth numbers, ahead of the final US presidential debate and on the eve of a eurozone interest rate decision.

But rising oil prices -- which hit their highest point this year, following a surprise drawdown in US crude stockpiles -- kept equities in mildly positive territory, dealers said.

London, Frankfurt and Paris all showed small gains at the close after pulling back from early weakness.

US stocks also finished narrowly positive, boosted by energy and banking shares after strong earnings reports from oil services giant Halliburton and investment bank Morgan Stanley.

After strong gains Tuesday, European equity markets were handed an underwhelming session from Asia, where Shanghai finished flat and Hong Kong dipped, while Tokyo, Sydney and Singapore found higher ground.

New data showed Wednesday that China's economy grew 6.7 percent in the third quarter from July-September, compared with a year earlier.

That matched the annual clip from both the first and second quarters, and chimed with expectations. But some China watchers warned that authorities have relied too much on easy credit, which has in turn increased financial risks.

Some analysts also expressed skepticism at what Mike van Dulken, research boss at traders Accendo Markets called "suspiciously stable China GDP growth."

Markets are watching closely as Democrat Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump wade into their last presidential debate later Wednesday, with the latter sliding in opinion polls amid allegations of sexual misconduct and wild charges of a "rigged" US election.

Dealers will also be keenly following an ECB meeting on Thursday after speculation it is considering tapering its vast quantitative easing (QE) stimulus.

Despite the chatter, many analysts expect it to maintain its easing programme and possibly flag fresh measures in December.

- Oil prices surge -

US oil prices finished at their highest level since July 2015 after the Department of Energy reported that American petroleum stockpiles fell 5.2 million barrels last week.

Among individual stocks, Dow member Intel slumped 5.9 percent as it projected fourth-quarter sales of $15.7 billion, below the $15.9 billion analysts expected. That outlook renewed worries about the chipmaker's prospects as more consumers turn away from personal computers in favor of smartphones.

In Tokyo, Mitsubishi Motors surged 7.9 percent following a report by the Nikkei business daily that Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn will become chairman of the embattled carmaker.

In May, Nissan threw Mitsubishi a lifeline as it announced plans to buy a one-third stake in the crisis-hit automaker for about $2.2 billion, forging an alliance that will challenge some of the world's biggest auto groups.

The purchase came after Mitsubishi was hit by a mileage-cheating scandal that slammed the brakes on sales.

- Key figures at 2100 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 18,202.62 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.2 percent at 2,144.29 (close)

New York - Nasdaq Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 5,246.41 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,021.92 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.1 percent at 10,645.68 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 4,520.30 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 3,057.47

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 16,998.91 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.4 percent at 23,304.97 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP less 0.1 percent at 3,084.72 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0973 from $1.0979 Tuesday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 103.42 yen from 103.87 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2283 from $1.2295

Euro/pound: UP at 89.34 pence from 89.29 pence

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP $1.31 at $51.60 per barrel

Oil - Brent North Sea: UP $0.99 at $52.67

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016

]]> (Fawad Maqsood) Americas Wed, 19 Oct 2016 21:49:06 +0000
TSX up as resources gains offset railway weight imageTORONTO: Canada's main stock index made a small gain early on Wednesday, with rising commodity prices helping energy and gold mining stocks push higher while railway stocks lagged.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 23.32 points, or 0.16 percent, at 14,775.57 shortly after the open.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Americas Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:25:34 +0000
TSX rises with resource stocks, CP Rail weighs imageTORONTO: Canada's main stock index gained on Wednesday as rising commodity prices helped energy and gold mining stocks push higher while railway stocks lagged.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd declined 2.3 percent to C$196.59 after the country's No.2 railroad operator reported a 9.1 percent drop in quarterly revenue, due mainly to a delayed grain harvest and lower crude oil volumes. Its rival Canadian National declined 0.9 percent to C$87.03, and the industrials fell 0.7 percent overall.

The most influential gainers on the index included Goldcorp Inc, which rose 3.1 percent to C$20.09, and Barrick Gold Corp, up 2.4 percent to C$21.98.

Gold prices rose and the US dollar weakened amid uncertainty around the timing of a US interest rate increase. The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.2 percent.

At 9:41 a.m. EDT (1341 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 35.7 points, or 0.24 percent, at 14,787.95.

There were almost three advancers for every decliner. Canada's central bank is expected to hold interest rates steady in a rate decision due at 10 a.m. that also will include an update to the Bank of Canada's economic forecasts.

The energy group climbed 1.1 percent, as oil prices were boosted by evidence of declining production in China and falling US inventories, while an upbeat OPEC statement on its planned output cut also supported the market.

Suncor Energy Inc rose 0.8 percent to C$38.26 and Encana Corp added 1.5 percent to C$14.83.

US crude prices were up 1.7 percent to $51.15 a barrel, while Brent added 1.3 percent to $52.35. Gold futures rose 0.8 percent to $1,270.8 an ounce.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

]]> (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui) Americas Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:01:41 +0000