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Apr 27, 2012

CMI | NY Trading - Spot Prices at Close,

CMI Gold & Silver

  Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
Gold $1,664.80 +$4.50 $1,643.00 $1,683.30 $1,517.00
Silver $31.41 +$0.16 $31.72 $32.65 $46.07
Platinum $1,578.90 +$5.20 $1,588.20 $1,664.20 $1,821.00
Palladium $683.90 +$9.40 $681.60 $663.70 $760.65

NYT Global Update: Spain Is Still Waiting for the Payoff From Austerity

Global Update




TOP NEWS
News Analysis

Spain Is Still Waiting for the Payoff From Austerity

By LANDON THOMAS Jr.
Stringent fiscal policy has failed to attract foreign bond investors to Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and the approach is now being severely tested in Spain.

U.S. Growth Slows to 2.2%, Report Says

By SHAILA DEWAN
At an annual rate of 2.2 percent, growth of gross domestic product eased from the prior quarter but kept what economists have called a "sustainable" pace of recovery.

Blind Activist Escapes House Arrest in China

By ANDREW JACOBS and JONATHAN ANSFIELD
Chen Guangcheng, the blind rights lawyer who had been under extralegal house arrest for 19 months, escaped from his heavily guarded home and is in hiding.
Multimedia

Video: TimesCast

A blind activist escapes house arrest in China, and more.
Opinion

Latitude

A Few Good Lawyers

By RAJA SHEHADEH
A film about the legal foundations of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories highlights the injustice of subjecting these two peoples to different laws and different lives.
WORLD

Austerity Creating Backlash Across Europe

By DAN BILEFSKY
Romania's government fell Friday in a no-confidence vote just two months after taking office, the latest government in Europe to crumble amid disputes over unpopular austerity measures.

Amid Controversy, Spain's King Carlos Has Surgery Again

By RACHEL DONADIO
Questions have been raised about whether the king has the strength - or tact - to perform his role, and of what should happen if he does not.

British Minister to Hand Over Messages on Murdoch TV Bid

By ALAN COWELL and SARAH LYALL
Jeremy Hunt, the embattled culture minister who has drawn criticism for his dealings with Rupert Murdoch's media empire, promised on Friday to hand over messages to the Leveson inquiry.
BUSINESS

How Swiss Does a Swiss Watch Have to Be?

By RAPHAEL MINDER
The Swiss watch industry wants to tighten requirements so that 80 percent of the value of the watch has to be made locally, rather than in countries like China.

Stocks Edge Higher

By REUTERS
Major market indexes were slightly higher, narrowly scoring a fourth consecutive day of gains, after more encouraging earnings reports.
TECHNOLOGY

U.S. Escalates Google Case by Hiring Noted Outside Lawyer

By DAVID STREITFELD and EDWARD WYATT
The Federal Trade Commission named a former federal prosecutor to lead its antitrust inquiry in a sign that the agency is prepared to take the Internet giant to court.

Amazon's Earnings Decline 35% but Top Forecasts

By NICK WINGFIELD
Amazon.com's net income dropped 35 percent in the first quarter as the company spent on its Kindle Fire and other projects, but earnings still beat Wall Street's expectations.

For the Love of the Technology, the Bay Area Is Reinventing Baseball (Again)

By PETER H. LEWIS
A decade after the events of "Moneyball," baseball is being reinvented in the Bay Area, from the ticket booth to the locker room to the concession stands.
SPORTS

Guardiola Walking Away From Barcelona

By ROB HUGHES
Pep Guardiola will not continue as coach of Barcelona after this season, and his assistant, Tito Vilanova, will take over, the Spanish club announced Friday.

Clermont Treads New Ground in Heineken Cup

By HUW RICHARDS
Clermont Auvergne has never before passed the quarterfinals of the Heineken European Cup, rugby union's answer to soccer's Champions League. It plays its first semifinal match Sunday against Leinster.

Lots on the Line Before Manchester Match

By ROB HUGHES
The English, Italian and French leagues all enter the nervous end of the season, when big money and status are on the line. Then comes a showdown between the Manchester clubs.
U.S. NEWS

As Bison Return to Prairie, Some Rejoice, Others Worry

By NATE SCHWEBER
Around 60 bison from Yellowstone National Park stormed onto a Montana prairie pasture that had not felt a bison's hoof for almost 140 years.

Florida's Crucial Hispanic Voters Remain Wary of Romney

By TRIP GABRIEL
Mitt Romney is trying to shift the debate away from the harsh immigration rhetoric of the primaries to focus on jobs and the economy.

Judge Refuses to Increase Zimmerman's Bail in Martin Case

By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS
A judge on Friday denied a prosecutor's request to bar lawyers from making public comments in the case of George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin.
OPINION
Op-Ed Contributor

Intrigue in Chongqing

By QIU XIAOLONG
Bo Xilai once walked off with my Ping-Pong racket, but I would never have guessed what's happening to him this spring.

CBS NEWS | Political Hotsheet Top Stories

http://www.cnet.com/i/nl/s/e886_email-header.jpg
CBS POLITICAL HOTSHEET TOP STORIES

In CBSNews.com Friday roundtable, panelists reflect on voters' frustrations with the 2012 election cycle
Read full story
Hotsheet Live: Voters want more transparency

House passes student loan bill GOP-led House passes bill to extend low student loan interest rates after heated debate on repealing women's health funds

Amid GOP attacks, Obama touts bin Laden mission In the wake of GOP attacks on his presidential accomplishments, Obama plays trump card: The killing of Osama bin Laden

Republicans prepare action against Eric Holder House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chair Darrell Issa plans to issue a contempt citation against Eric Holder

WH threatens veto on loan bill over health repeal Administration says Obama would veto House version of student loan bill because it would repeal part of Obama's health care overhaul

House approves student loan plan: The Washington Post | Politics Afternoon edition

 The Washington Post

 Politics Afternoon Edition

HEADLINES

  1. House approves student loan plan

    The White House vows to veto the plan because it would take money from a health fund, setting up a campaign-season fight.
    » Read full article
  2. Obama camp plays bin Laden card

    The Obama campaign launches ad questioning whether Mitt Romney would have killed Osama bin Laden.
    » Read full article
  3. Rubio's Hispanic appeal uncertain

    Potential V.P. candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is weaker among non-Cuban Hispanics in Florida.
    » Read full article
  4. Cantor’s small business tax claims

    FACT CHECKER | He says his proposed 20-percent tax cut for small businesses would add 100,000 jobs per year, a claim that wins a rare four Pinocchios.
    » Read full article
  5. U.S. economic growth rate slows to 2.2%

    The U.S. economic recovery slowed in the first three months of the year as government spending declined.
    » Read full article

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Vice President Joseph Biden, addressing a crowd of fundraisers from the Turkish and Azerbaijani communities in Washington:
"The dullest audience I have ever spoken to. Just sitting there, staring at me. Pretend you like me!"

HEADLINES

  1. House approves student loan plan

    The White House vows to veto the plan because it would take money from a health fund, setting up a campaign-season fight.
    » Read full article
  2. Obama camp plays bin Laden card

    The Obama campaign launches ad questioning whether Mitt Romney would have killed Osama bin Laden.
    » Read full article
  3. Rubio's Hispanic appeal uncertain

    Potential V.P. candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is weaker among non-Cuban Hispanics in Florida.
    » Read full article
  4. Cantor’s small business tax claims

    FACT CHECKER | He says his proposed 20-percent tax cut for small businesses would add 100,000 jobs per year, a claim that wins a rare four Pinocchios.
    » Read full article
  5. U.S. economic growth rate slows to 2.2%

    The U.S. economic recovery slowed in the first three months of the year as government spending declined.
    » Read full article

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Vice President Joseph Biden, addressing a crowd of fundraisers from the Turkish and Azerbaijani communities in Washington:
"The dullest audience I have ever spoken to. Just sitting there, staring at me. Pretend you like me!"

DealBooK | DealB%K Afternoon Edition



Friday, April 27, 2012
TOP STORY
Barclays' Board Is Heckled Over Pay
Barclays' Board Is Heckled Over Pay Facing angry shareholders, the British banking giant pledged to reduce executive pay levels in favor of its investors and apologized for poor communication.
  • DEALBOOK »
  •  
  • DEALBOOK HIGHLIGHTS
    George E. Doty Sr., Former Guardian of Goldman's Finances, Is Dead at 94 George E. Doty Sr., a former partner at Goldman Sachs and longtime watcher of the investment bank's finances, died Tuesday at his home in Rye, N.Y. He was 94.
    For Runners, a Lift From Warren Buffett Brooks Sports, just one of the many holdings of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, is ready to show off a special shoe, coming out just in time for the company's annual meeting.
    John Thain, 'Grade A' Dad John Thain, along with three other high-profile fathers, is being honored at the 71st annual Father of the Year awards, which are organized by the Father's Day/Mother's Day Council.
    In Debt: A Consensus Begins to Emerge on Derivatives in Bankruptcy Stephen J. Lubben says that derivatives sometimes do deserve special treatment in bankruptcy cases, but there is a growing recognition that the current exemptions can go too far.
    Wells Fargo to Buy Prime Brokerage Firm The deal for Merlin Securities makes Wells Fargo the last of the nation's biggest banks to enter the lucrative prime brokerage field, which caters to hedge funds and other alternative asset management firms.
    New Bankruptcy Documents Reveal Outsize Pay at Lehman Before Collapse
    New Bankruptcy Documents Reveal Outsize Pay at Lehman Before Collapse New documents from the Lehman bankruptcy case reveal the extraordinary compensation bestowed upon dozens of the bank's employees in the years leading up to the investment bank's demise in September 2008.
    Nomura's Profit Jumps 86% in First Quarter The Japanese bank reported an 86 percent rise in its net profit for the first three months of the year, as the Asian firm benefited from stronger trading commissions and the sale of mutual funds in its domestic market.
    Lazard Revenue Rises, as Expenses Crimp Profit Benefiting from an increase in advisory mandates, Lazard posted a 9 percent rise in revenue for the first quarter, while expenses weighed on profit.
    Little Private Equity Firm Gets a Big Spotlight Despite an evocative cover with a chainsaw-wielding financier, a new Bloomberg Businessweek article focuses on the benefits of private equity, with an inside look at Monomoy Capital Partners and its efficiency "boot camps."
    Analyzing the Unusual Items in Amazon's Earnings Neither the retailer nor analysts seemed interested in talking about two big items below the operating profit line that had a large impact on net income.
    K.K.R. Posts Slight Gain in Profit Despite Drop in Fees Kohlberg Kravis Roberts reported that its first-quarter adjusted profit rose 5 percent, as an increase in the value of the investment firm's holdings helped offset a drop in deal-related fees.
    BUZZ TRACKER
    Betsey Johnson Files for Bankruptcy The 1980s may be back in fashion, but that apparently wasn't enough for the fashion house Betsey Johnson, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday, Reuters reports.
     
  • DealBook Video
    Business Day Live: Bribes Without Jail Time
    Business Day Live: Bribes Without Jail Time Who is held responsible under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? And, Google's Chade-Meng Tan on compassion in the corporate world and how equity research has evolved since the financial crisis.
     

The Economist | Selected New Articles







Analects: Postcard from an undisclosed location
Chen Guangcheng, a lawyer and activist, emerges from under house arrest with a message for Wen Jiabao
read more »


Free exchange: Waiting for a boom
America's GDP growth is positive, but disappointingly low
read more »

Democracy in America: Low tide
Why America is losing Mexicans ("self-deportation" is not the answer)
read more »
Newsbook: From the ashes, a budget
Holland's caretaker government cobbles together a last-minute package
read more »

Prospero: Just some dude in tights
It seems that self-respecting heroes and villains no longer want to be known by their silly names (at least on screen)
read more »

Eastern approaches: Another one bites the dust
Romania loses its second government in three months
read more
Daily chart: Asian economic rankings
South Korea may soon be richer than Japan
read more »

Online debate: China military
This house does not believe the rise of China's military power is a threat to East Asian stability
read more »

ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin


ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin  
Daily world financial news

US Market Reports


Stocks Showing A Lack Of Direction In Early Trading

After ending the previous session firmly in positive territory, stocks are showing a lack of direction in early trading on Friday. The major averages moved higher at the start of trading but have given back some ground since then.

Currently, the major averages are nearly flat, showing moves of less than a tenth of a percent. The Dow is up 4.13 points at 13,208.75, while the Nasdaq is down 1.21 points at 3,049.40 and the S&P 500 is up 0.28 points at 1,399.70.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders are weighing some positive earnings news against a disappointing report on first quarter GDP.

The Commerce Department report said that GDP increased by 2.2 percent in the first quarter compared to the 3.0 percent growth seen in the fourth quarter. Economists had been expecting first quarter GDP to increase by about 2.5 percent.

The slowdown compared to the previous quarter reflected a deceleration in private inventory investment and a downturn in non-residential fixed investment, which were partly offset by faster consumer spending and export growth.

At the same time, traders are also digesting upbeat earnings news from big-name companies such as Amazon.com (AMZN), Merck (MRK), and Ford (F).

Shares of Amazon have jumped 14.3 percent after the online retailer reported first quarter earnings that fell year-over-year but still came in substantially higher than analysts had expected.

While most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, gold stocks have shown a strong move to the upside. The NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index is up by 1.5 percent, with the strength in the sector coming amid an increase by the price of gold.

On the other hand, health insurance stocks have come under pressure in early trading, dragging the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index down by 3.1 percent. With the loss, the index has fallen to a two-month intraday low.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the day down by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside on the day. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.9 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest strength on the weaker than expected GDP data. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.2 basis points at 1.947 percent.


Canadian Market Report


CADUSD Oil Gold Allbanc

Please click on the images to view our interactive charts

TSX Edges Up At Open Friday

Bay Street stocks moved up at open Friday amid buying in commodities, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index adding 32.26 points or 0.27 percent to 12,178.11.

The Global Gold Index rose over 1 percent. Global gold miner Agnico-Eagle Mines gained over 7 percent after reporting a higher first-quarter net income. Detour Gold and Allied Nevada Gold moved up over 2 percent each.

Among base-metals stocks, Inmet Mining rose close to 3 percent, while First Quantum Minerals was adding nearly 2 percent.

Iamgold eased 0.20 percent after announcing that it would acquire Trelawney Mining and Exploration Inc. junior mining and exploration company, for $3.30 cash for each share. Shares of Trelawney soared over 40 percent.

In the oil patch, Pacific Rubiales Energy gathered nearly 2 percent.

Meanwhile Petrominerales shed 10 percent. IMAX Corp. shed over 2 percent even after it swung to profit in first quarter 2012.

The price of crude oil slipped Friday morning as traders worried over demand growth from the euro zone after Spain's sovereign rating was trimmed. Crude for June edged down $0.27 to $104.28 a barrel.

The price of gold was struggling to sustain gains Friday morning even as the US dollar was moving lower versus a basket of currencies. Gold for June was down $1.90 to $1,659.30 an ounce.

In corporate news from Canada, base-metals miner Inmet Mining Corp. reported first quarter net income of C$96.14 million or C$1.39 per share, up from C$59.41 million or C$0.97 per share in the prior year quarter.

Transportation and logistics services TransForce Inc. reported a much improved first-quarter net income of C$30.2 million or C$0.31 per share compared to C$14.9 million or C$0.15 per share in the year ago quarter. Adjusted net income rose to C$24.7 million or C$0.25 per share from C$9.3 million or C$0.09 per share. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of C$0.26 per share this quarter.

Global gold miner Agnico-Eagle Mines reported first-quarter net income of $78.5 million or $0.46 per share up from $45.3 million or $0.26 per share in the year ago quarter. Excluding these items, adjusted net income for the latest-quarter was $101.4 million or $0.59 per share. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of C$0.37 per share this quarter.

Iamgold announced that it would acquire Trelawney Mining and Exploration Inc. junior mining and exploration company, for $3.30 cash for each share.

Entertainment technology company IMAX Corp. swung to profit in first quarter 2012, reporting net income of $2.6 million or $0.04 per share as against a loss of $1.0 million or $0.02 per share a year ago. Adjusted net income was $4.0 million or $0.06 per share higher than $2.5 million or $0.04 per share last year. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of C$0.07 per share this quarter.

Energy sector business solutions provider Canadian Utilities reported improved first quarter earnings of C$193 million or C$1.45 per share versus C$176 million or C$1.34 per share last year. Adjusted earnings rose to C$175 million from C$166 million in the prior year. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of C$1.37 per share this quarter.

In economic mews from south of the border, the U.S. Commerce Department's initial estimate of growth in the economy showed a 2.2 percent growth rate, down from the 3 percent growth posted for the final quarter of 2011. Most economists had expected the growth in the economy to drop from the 3 percent rate in the fourth quarter of 2011 though many forecast a somewhat stronger 2.5 percent growth rate.

From the euro zone, German consumer sentiment is set to deteriorate next month, a survey by market research group GfK showed. The forward-looking consumer confidence index dropped to 5.6 in May from a revised value of 5.8 in April. Economists were expecting a level of 5.9.

Earlier today, rating agency Standard & Poor's cut Spain's sovereign credit rating to BBB+ from A on concerns that the nation will have to provide further fiscal support to the banking sector as the economy contracts


European Market Report


FTSE 100 Euronext Dax perf CAC 40

Please click on the images to view our interactive charts


European Markets Mostly Higher

The European markets are mostly higher in afternoon trading on Friday, after Spain suffered a double-notch credit downgrade. The Asian markets were a sea of red and the U.S. index futures are slightly up ahead of the GDP data.

Standard and Poor's downgraded Spanish credit ratings by two notches on Thursday saying it expects further deterioration of the country's public finances amid economic contraction and the need to support banks.

Italy sold long term bonds close to the high end of its targeted range, although demand and borrowing costs were higher than at earlier auctions.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is gaining 0.16 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is adding 0.23 percent.

The German DAX is adding 0.18 percent and the French CAC 40 is rising 0.42 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 is rising 0.29 percent while Switzerland's SMI is losing 0.02 percent.

In Frankfurt, Volkswagen is up 2.4 percent and BMW is gaining 1 percent. However, Daimler is losing 1.7 percent after the carmaker posted a 20 percent increase in first-quarter profit, citing ongoing growth in unit sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars and Daimler Trucks divisions.

Software AG is climbing 5.2 percent. The company kept its full-year sales forecast unchanged even after first-quarter profit declined on lower revenues. MunichRe is declining 6.10 percent and Allianz is down 0.3 percent.

Basf is declining 2.4 percent. The chemical giant reported a decline in first-quarter profit on lower margins. UBS initiated Adidas with a "Buy" rating. The stock is marginally down. Rheinmetall is losing 2.9 percent after reporting lower quarterly profit.

In Paris, Vinci, which reported higher sales for the first quarter, is climbing 4 percent. Bouygues is up 1.4 percent.

Sanofi is rising 2.5 percent. The drugmaker posted increased profit for the first quarter, benefiting from the acquisition of U.S. biotech firm Genzyme and higher sales from diabetes drug Lantus.

Credit Agricole is gaining 1.9 percent and Societe Generale is moderately higher. BNP Paribas is marginally up. Vivendi is gaining 1.2 percent. The stock was upgraded to "Overweight" from "Equalweight" at Barclays.

Loreal is losing 2.3 percent. Carrefour is down 1.1 percent. Total is falling 1.9 percent. The oil giant said the deterioration of environment in its refining and chemicals segment dragged its first-quarter profit down.

In London, Barclays is climbing 3.2 percent and Royal Bank of Scotland is gaining 1.7 percent. Man Group is climbing 5.3 percent and ICAP is rising 2.5 percent.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are up about 1 percent each. British Land is up 2.6 percent and Land Securities Group is gaining 1.5 percent. CRH is gaining 3.2 percent.

BT Group is falling 1.7 percent. Goldman Sachs added the stock to its "Conviction Buy" list. Shire is losing 1.2 percent and Associated British Foods is losing 1.1 percent.

Eni is up 1.5 percent in Milan. The integrated energy company reported a 42 percent increase in first-quarter profit. Nobel Biocare is climbing 3.9 percent in Zurich after reporting financial results.

In economic news, German consumer sentiment is set to deteriorate next month as income expectations and the willingness to buy durables deteriorated on high fuel prices, a survey by the market research group GfK showed.

In the commodity space, crude for June delivery is losing $0.31 to $104.24 per barrel and June gold is falling $4.9 to $1655.6 a troy ounce.

Asia Market Reports


Asian Shares Fall After Spanish Downgrade

Asian stock markets swung between gains and losses before closing mostly lower on Friday, as Standard & Poor's downgrade of Spain's credit rating rekindled worries about the fragile state of the eurozone economy.

S&P downgraded Spanish credit ratings by two notches, saying that it expects further deterioration of the country's public finances amid economic contraction and the need to support banks. "We believe that the Kingdom of Spain's budget trajectory will likely deteriorate against a background of economic contraction in contrast with our previous projections," the agency said in a statement.

While renewed escalation in Europe's difficulties would clearly put the Asia and Pacific region's buoyant economic outlook at risk, Asian policymakers should be ready to shift gears and renew their tightening cycle as overheating pressures become evident, the International Monetary Fund said today in its Regional Economic Outlook report. In the absence of adequate policy responses, a deeper recession in the euro zone could cut two to five percentage points off growth in Asia, it warned.

A pair of mixed U.S. economic reports also revived concerns about slowing global growth. Investors took heart from encouraging news about U.S. pending home sales released overnight, but the uptick in weekly jobless claims raised concerns about whether the U.S. economic recovery will sustain.

Japanese shares fell in choppy trading, giving up early gains. The Nikkei average shed 0.4 percent, while the broader Topix index ended 0.7 percent lower. The benchmark Nikkei index rose over a percent early in the session after the Bank of Japan boosted its bond-buying scheme by a further 10 trillion yen to achieve its new 1 percent inflation target and support economic growth. The additional monetary easing measures were beyond market expectations, but the central bank extended the maturity of bonds it buys to three years from a two-year limit.

Among heavily weighted shares, Fanuc fell 2.2 percent, extending the previous session's 6.1 percent slump after its quarterly results. Canon lost 1.2 percent and TDK shed 2.5 percent. Nintendo tumbled 5.5 percent after the maker of video-game machines posted its first annual loss since becoming a public company. Japan Tobacco also slumped 3.7 percent after unveiling a share buyback.

Advantest soared 7.2 percent after the company posted a quarterly profit despite a fiscal-year loss. Softbank gained 3.1 percent after the mobile carrier reported a 65 percent surge in its annual profit on the back of strong demand for Apple's iPhone 4S. Kyocera rallied nearly 4 percent on saying that it expects to post a 16 percent rise in group net profit in the current business year ending March.

China's Shanghai Composite index eased 0.4 percent, as investors stuck with a cautious approach ahead of the long holiday weekend. China's financial markets will be closed on Monday and Tuesday for the Labor Day holiday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 0.3 percent.

Australian shares posted modest losses, as mixed U.S. economic data and the Spanish downgrade prompted investors to take a cautious stance ahead of the weekend. Both the benchmark S&P/ASX and the broader All Ordinaries index ended down about 0.3 percent each, erasing early gains following a strong session on Wall Street overnight.

Retailer JB HI-Fi slumped 6.3 percent after saying that it expects its profit to fall in the current financial year despite growing sales. Harvey Norman and Myer Holdings lost 2-3 percent. Media stocks continue to fall, with Seven West Media losing one percent after issuing earnings downgrade earlier this week, while Ten Network fell 1.2 percent. Among those that gained, Macquarie Group jumped 3 percent as the investment bank forecast higher earnings after reporting a 24 percent fall in full-year profit.

Seoul shares rose, with the benchmark Kospi rising 0.6 percent to end a two-day losing streak, as positive earnings reports helped investors shrug off fresh concerns about the European debt crisis. Heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 2.5 percent to a record high after the consumer electronics firm posted a record $5.15 billion quarterly profit on soaring sales of smartphones.

Among other tech shares, SK Hynix rallied 3.1 percent and Samsung SDI soared 7.5 percent, while LG Display and LG Electronics finished down 0.6 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. Shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries rebounded 3.7 percent following recent steep losses and Kia Motors rose 1.4 percent on reporting a 26 percent rise in its first-quarter net profit.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX-50 rose 0.3 percent, with NZ Refining pacing the gainers after it won shareholder support to expand its refinery near Whangarei. Shares of the nation's only oil refiner climbed 3.6 percent, while clothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson, rural services firm PGG Wrightson and rubber goods and milking equipment manufacturer Skellerup Holdings rose 2-3 percent. Gold miner OceanaGold gained 1.8 percent after announcing first-quarter results.

Elsewhere, India's benchmark Sensex was last trading down 0.3 percent, Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index declined 0.4 percent, Malaysia's KLSE Composite fell 0.8 percent, Singapore's Straits Times index was little changed and the Taiwan Weighed average lost half a percent.









Morning Market Briefing


Commentary April 27, 2012
With traders digesting a report showing somewhat weaker than expected U.S. economic growth, stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a roughly flat open for the markets. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
Economic News
Standard and Poor's downgraded Spanish credit ratings by two notches on Thursday saying that it expects further deterioration of the country's public finances amid economic contraction and the need to support banks. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
The Bank of Japan on Friday decided to add further monetary stimulus to the economy through enhanced purchases of the government bonds, stepping up its efforts to boost economic growth and fight deflation. The central bank's Policy Board unanimously voted to increase the total size of its asset purchase program by JPY 5 trillion with some changes in its composition, which will take the total to JPY 70 trillion by end-2013. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
German consumer sentiment is set to deteriorate next month as income expectations and the willingness to buy durables deteriorated on high fuel prices, a survey by the market research group GfK showed Friday. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
Italy's 10-year borrowing costs increased at an auction on Friday, a day after Standard & Poor's downgraded Spain, worsening concerns that the country may seek a bailout. The Italian Treasury raised EUR 5.95 billion from the sale of bonds or BTPs with a total target of EUR 6.25 billion. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
The rate of growth of the U.S. economy slowed more than expected in the first quarter of 2012, according to figures released Friday by the Commerce Department. The initial estimate of growth in the U.S. economy showed a 2.2 percent growth rate, down from the 3 percent growth posted for the final quarter of 2011. Most economists had expected the growth in the economy to drop from the 3 percent rate in the fourth quarter of 2011 though many forecast a somewhat stronger 2.5 percent growth rat (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
Earnings News
e-commerce giant Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) on Thursday reported a drop in first-quarter profit, owing to increased costs and expenses. The results surpassed consensus on strong sales from Kindle tablet and digital products. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
MetLife Inc. (MET) reported a loss for the first quarter on Thursday, hurt by huge derivative losses. However, strong performance at Americas and Asia helped the insurer to post higher-than-expected operating earnings for the period. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) on Thursday reported higher second-quarter profit on back of continued strong global same store sales. The specialty coffee retailer raised its financial outlook for fiscal year 2012. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) on Friday reported higher net income for the first quarter, beating expectations, benefitting from cost control efforts. The U.S. drug maker confirmed its outlook for 2012. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NWL) on Friday reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter, helped by strong performance in Professional and Baby segments coupled with continued double digit growth in Latin America and Asia. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
Friday, Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) slashed its fiscal 2012 earnings outlook, while reported lower third-quarter profit, citing higher commodity costs and charges related to restructuring plan. Earnings came in above view, while revenue missed estimates. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
Friday, Integrated energy company Chevron Corp. (CVX) reported higher first-quarter profit compared with last year. Quarterly earnings per share matched analysts' forecast, but revenues fell short of expectations. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
Ford Motor Co. (F) on Friday reported a significant decline in first-quarter earnings, hurt by overseas losses and higher tax expense. Revenues for the period declined, yet beat the Wall Street view. (Apr 27, 2012) Full Article
Broker Ratings Changes
FBR Capital Markets Upgrades World Acceptance Corp. (WRLD) To Outperform From Market Perform With $72 up from $68 Price Target
(Apr 27, 2012) 
KeyBanc Capital Markets Cuts First Potomac Realty Trust (FPO) To Hold From Buy
(Apr 27, 2012) 
KeyBanc Capital Markets Lowers Arkansas Best Corp. (ABFS) To Hold From Buy
(Apr 27, 2012) 
Nomura Ups Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) To Buy From Neutral With $285 up from $200 Price Target
(Apr 27, 2012) 
Robert W. Baird Ups Inergy L P (NRGY) To Neutral From Underperform With $21 up from $15 Price Target
(Apr 27, 2012) 
Todays WS Events
Chevron Q1 12 Earnings Conference Call At 11:00 AM ET
Chevron Corp. (CVX) will host a conference call at 11:00 AM ET on April 27, 2012 to discuss its Q1 12 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at www.chevron.com To hear the live call, dial 703-639-1116 / 866-219-5256 with ID #: 1573818. (Apr 27, 2012) 
Ford Motor Q1 12 Preliminary Earnings Conference Call At 9:00 AM ET
Ford Motor Company (F) will host a conference call at 9:00 AM ET on April 27, 2012, to discuss its Q1 12 preliminary earnings result. To access the webcast, log on at www.shareholder.ford.com To participate in the call, dial 877.703.6106 or 857.244.7305 (International); Passcode: "Ford Earnings" To listen to the replay, dial 888.286.8010 or 617.801.6888 (International); Passcode:30216108. (Apr 27, 2012) 
Goodyear Tire Q1 12 Earnings Conference Call At 8:30 AM ET
Goodyear Tire (GT) will host a conference call at 8:30 AM ET April 27, 2012, to discuss its Q1 12 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at http://investor.goodyear.com To access the call, dial (706) 645-4847. For replay, dial (404) 537-3406, Conference ID 71823188. (Apr 27, 2012) 
Iamgold Investor Conference Call At 8:30 AM ET On Trelawney Acquisition
Iamgold (IAG) will host a investor conference call at 8:30 AM ET on April 27, 2012 to discuss the acquisition of Trelawney Mining and Exploration. To access the live webcast, www.iamgold.com To access the call, dial 1-866-206-0240 (US) or 1-646-216-7111 (International); passcode: 34099898#. For replay, dial 1-866-206-0173 (US) or 1-646-216-7204 (International); passcode: 272107#. (Apr 27, 2012) 
International Paper Q1 12 Earnings Conference Call At 9:00 AM ET
International Paper (IP) will host a conference call at 9:00 AM ET on April 27, 2012 to discuss its Q1 12 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at www.internationalpaper.com To hear the live call, dial +1 (706) 679-8242 (US) or (877) 316-2541 (International) with passcode ID 69472027. A replay of the call can be heard by dialing +1 404-537-3406 (US) or (855) 859-2056 (International) with ID 69472027. (Apr 27, 2012) 
Merck & Co Q1 12 Earnings Conference Call At 8:00 AM ET
Merck & Co (MRK) will host a conference call at 8:00 AM ET April 27, 2012, to discuss its Q1 12 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at http://www.merck.com/investors/events-and-presentations/home.html A call can be accessed by dialing (800) 399-7917 or (706) 758-9928 with ID code number 56855442 (Apr 27, 2012) 
Procter & Gamble Q3 Earnings Conference Call At 8:30 AM ET
The Procter & Gamble Company (PG) will host a conference call at 8:30 AM ET on April 27, 2012, to discuss its Q3 eanrings result. To access the live webcast, log on at www.pg.com/investors (Apr 27, 2012)
Weyerhaeuser Q1 12 Earnings Conference Call At 10:00 AM ET
Weyerhaeuser Co. (WY) will host a conference call at 10:00 AM ET on April 27, 2012 to discuss its Q1 12 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at www.weyerhaeuser.com To hear the live call, dial 877-296-9413 (US) or 706-679-2458 (International) with access code 41403656. A replay of the call can be heard by dialing 855-859-2056 (US) or 404-537-3406 (International) with access code 41403656. (Apr 27, 2012)