U.S. stock index futures were little changed in light volume on Wednesday ahead of industrial orders data, with deals indicating investors still see value in the market despite indexes trading near all time highs. Also the consequences of a soaring U.S. dollar are rippling across Africa, from empty store shelves to a closed oil refiner to delayed infrastructure improvements.
Premarkets are flat and the markets are expected to open the same way.
Here is the current market situation from CNN Money
European markets are lower today with shares in France off the most. The CAC 40 is down 0.79% while Germany's DAX is off 0.70% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.14%.
(Reuters) - Kraft Foods Group Inc, the maker of Velveeta cheese, will merge with ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co, owned by 3G Capital and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc, to form North America's third-largest food and beverage company.
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia is "well and truly" disposed to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday, but wants to know how much power Beijing would hold in the institution before a formal decision.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed in light volume on Wednesday ahead of industrial orders data, with deals indicating investors still see value in the market despite indexes trading near all time highs.
LONDON (Reuters) - Brent oil prices firmed on Wednesday as business morale in the euro zone's top two economies improved, offsetting concerns about oversupply that has filled fuel storage tanks around the world.
We believe that given its business model, it will be extremely difficult for Costco to increase its product markups. In fact, rising competition from the second largest warehouse chain Sam's Club, which has a cheaper membership fee, wider reach and similar level of customer service, can push Costco to go further easy on prices of certain categories. Moreover, the gradual increase in share of groceries in overall revenues, will put a downward pressure on net gross margins, thanks to the nature of the business.
We believe that the company will continue to see steady revenue growth in book publishing, primarily led by a growth in e-books sales. With the growth in e-book sales, which have lower production and distribution costs, News Corp can look forward to better margins in the coming years. While the growth rate of e-book sales has slowed in the recent years, there is a healthy market for both print as well as digital editions of books.
Revenue share and royalties as a percentage of subscription revenues has increased gradually over the past few years, amounting to 22.8% in 2014. This increase was primarily driven by growing royalty rates as the company kept its subscription pricing constant. Going forward, we expect these costs to increase, but at a slower pace as the company looks to propel its topline growth with a push into the used car market and retain control over the royalties it pays.
We estimate management and franchise fees as a percentage of room revenues in the region. The room revenues in the region were around $707 million in 2007 and declined to an estimated $575 million in 2009. The global hospitality industry was severely hit during the recession period and it has been recovering since then. Likewise, Hyatt has seen recovery in EAMS operations and the room revenues grew to $1 billion in 2014. Going forward, we expect this uptrend to continue, driven by a combination of growth in European economies and Hyatt's strong set of brands.
Disney has seen a steady growth in room spending over the past few years led by a better macro-economic environment and development of new rides at its theme parks. However, the occupancy rates have declined since the recessionary period. While we expect the occupancy levels to stabilize around the current levels, room spending will continue to grow at a steady pace in the coming years.
Networking giant Cisco recently reported a 55% sequential rise in the number of customers for Nexus 9000 in its Q2 FY 2015, highlighting a continued period of strong customer adoption for its software-defined networking product. Virtualization and cloud computing provider VMware reported more than 400 paying customers for VMware NSX, its own version of network virtualization and software-defined networking, in its Q4 earnings report at the end of January. Juniper Networks had announced the release of its virtualized MX router (or vMX 3D Universal Edge Router) back in November.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will impose punitive anti-dumping duties from Thursday on imports of stainless steel cold-rolled sheet from China and Taiwan, according to a notice on Wednesday in the EU's Official Journal.
PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus Group said it is selling a further 15 percent stake in business and fighter jet maker Dassault Aviation as it continues to unwind its 16-year-old link to its defense market rival.
BOSTON (Reuters) - CEOs at large U.S. companies collectively realized at least $6 billion more in compensation than initially estimated in annual disclosures in the five years after the financial crisis first hit, according to a Reuters analysis. The reason for the windfall: the soaring value of their stock awards.
Sisi vs. ISIS - are they just reversed in spelling? No! They are also reversed in content! Sisi is a dictator, who has been very good for Egypt over the past two years. ISIS, on the other hand, is mob rule, which has been devastating the region over the past two years, at least.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and New Zealand share the view that a fast-track trade bill in the United States is extremely important for the conclusion of a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, the Japanese economy minister said on Wednesday.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Dollar signs rather than discrimination drove a former partner at venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to file her gender discrimination suit, a lawyer for the firm told jurors Tuesday in the high-profile trial.
Wolf Richter www.wolfstreet.com www.amazon.com/author/wolfrichter
The Eurozone's recovery is now blazing forward into practically uncharted territory. Just today we learned that Eurozone business activity in March, as measured by the Composite PMI, which includes manufacturing and services, showed moderate growth that hit a 46-month high. It was fueled by new orders. Even the French PMI showed signs of expansion!
The report clarified the timing, though: "the ECB's quantitative easing has been started at a time when the Eurozone's economic upturn is already starting to gain traction."
There were other signs of traction. The Eurozone trade surplus with the rest of the world has been setting new records, powered by strong exports, particularly from Germany. This trend kicked off before the euro started tanking a year ago.
So on Monday, ECB President Mario Draghi took the opportunity to slap himself and his colleagues on the back for their heroic and bold action, as these things are called, and offered an upbeat assessment of the Eurozone economy. He proclaimed "that growth is gaining momentum." And he totally nailed it with three out of the four reasons he gave for that growth:
This is due to in particular the fall in oil pric ...
Authored by Pepe Escobar, originally posted at Asia Times,
Westward Ho On China's Eurasia BRIC Road
"...it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger (to the U.S.)
emerges capable of dominating Eurasia
and thus also of challenging America"
Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, 1997
What's in a name, rather an ideogram? Everything. A single Chinese character - jie (for "between") - graphically illustrates the key foreign policy initiative of the new Chinese dream.
In the upper part of the four-stroke character - which, symbolically, should be read as the roof of a house - the stroke on the left means the Silk Road Economic Belt, and the stroke on the right means the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. In the lower part, the stroke on the left means the China-Pakistan corridor, via Xinjiang province, and the stroke on the right, the China-Myanmar-Bangladesh-India corridor via Yunnan province.
Chinese culture feasts on myriad formulas, mottoes - and symbols. If many a Chinese scholar worries about how the Middle Kingdom's new intimation of soft power may be lost in translation, the character jie - ...
Once upon a time—and a fairly long time it was—most of the thickly settled parts of the world had something called feudalism. It was a way of organizing society hierarchically. Typically, at the very top there was a sovereign (king, prince, emperor, pharaoh, along with some high priests). Below the sovereign were several ranks of noblemen, with hereditary titles. Below the noblemen were commoners, who likewise inherited their stations in life, be it by being bound to a piece of land upon which they toiled, or by being granted the right to engage in a certain type of production or trade, in case of craftsmen and merchants. Everybody was locked into position through permanent relationships of allegiance, tribute and customary duties: tribute and customary duties flowed up through the ranks, while favors, privileges and protection flowed down.
It was a remarkably resilient, self-perpetuating system, based largely on the use of land and other renewable resources, all ultimately powered by sunlight. Wealth was primarily derived from land and the various uses of land. Here is a simplified org chart showing the pecking order of a medieval society.
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