US FINANCIAL MARKET
- U.S. stocks opened little changed on Tuesday as the Federal Reserve prepared to begin its last policy-setting meeting of the year.
- Boeing’s board raised the company dividend about 50 % on Monday and approved $10 billion in new share buyback authority that the company said it would use in the next two to three years. Boeing is enjoying a surge in revenue and cash as it ramps up commercial jet production, with a target of delivering a record 635 to 645 aircraft this year.
- 3M, whose products include Post-it notes and film for flat-panel televisions, said it expects organic sales to rise by 3-6 % excluding the effect of foreign exchange in 2014. The company also raised its dividend for the first quarter by 35 % to 85.5 cents per share.
- So far this year, S&P 500 companies returned $310 billion back to their shareholders as dividend with a 36 % payout ratio, highest since 1999.
- Facebook will begin selling video ads later this week and plans to make an announcement on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported. The ads will play automatically in users’ news feeds and may help Facebook capture a share of the $66.4 billion that advertisers are expected to spend on U.S. television this year, the Journal said.
- One of the first ads to be played will be a short tease made specifically for Facebook for Lions Gate Entertainment’s upcoming film “Divergent,” according to the newspaper.
- Comcast is examining three scenarios for a potential deal with Time Warner Cable, including a full takeover bid. Besides Comcast and Charter, privately held Cox Communications also has interest in a potential deal involving Time Warner Cable. A full takeover of Time Warner Cable makes sense because the company has geographic markets complementary to Comcast.
- U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin may revise upward its financial outlook for 2014 if Congress passes a two-year budget deal that would blunt the effect of mandatory budget cuts.
- Gift givers searching online for a kid’s must-have toy this holiday season are more likely to find it at Amazon.com than a brick-and-mortar retailer. Bloomberg Industries study measuring the online availability of a basket of 100 toys, Target, Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us and Kmart all lost out to their e-commerce rival.
- AT&T said it would sell its wireline operations in Connecticut to Frontier Communications for $2 billion in cash, partly to fund the expansion of its 4G network.
- Genting, Southeast Asia’s largest gaming and leisure group, will spend $3 billion to $4 billion developing an unfinished resort on the Las Vegas strip. Genting bought the resort from Boyd Gaming earlier this year for $350 million.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Consumer prices were flat in November. The Labor Department said on Tuesday its Consumer Price Index (CPI) was restrained last month by declines in gasoline and natural gas prices, after slipping 0.1 % in October. In the 12 months through November, the CPI rose 1.2 %. The so-called core CPI rose 0.2 % last months. That took the increase over the past 12 months to 1.7 %.
- The U.S. current account deficit was the smallest in four years in the third quarter as exports increased and more income was earned abroad, a government report showed on Tuesday. The current account gap, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country, narrowed to $94.8 billion. It represented 2.2 % of gross domestic product, the smallest share since the first quarter of 1998. In the third quarter, exports of goods and services increased 0.6 % to $765.1 billion, while imports rose 0.4 %.
EUROPE & WORLD
- Euro zone inflation picked up in November because of a rise in electricity and accommodation prices. Consumer prices in 17 countries sharing the euro fell 0.1 % on the month, increasing the annual inflation rate to 0.9 % from 0.7 % in October.
- The euro zone will send Greece 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) this week as part of its international bailout program.
- Japan will buy drones, amphibious vehicles and vertical take-off aircraft to boost defenses around its remote islands amid a growing territorial dispute with China. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet endorsed two defense plans today alongside its first National Security Strategy amid a deepening dispute with China and unease over North Korea’s nuclear threat.
- Hundreds of Amazon.com workers in Germany went on strike on Monday, just as pre-Christmas sales were set to peak, in a dispute over pay and conditions that has raged for months. Germany is Amazon’s second-biggest market behind the United States and sales there grew almost 21 % in 2012 to $8.7 billion. Amazon, which employs 9,000 warehouse staff in Germany plus 14,000 seasonal workers at nine distribution centers, said 1,115 staff had joined the strike at three sites, but there had been no delays to deliveries.
TODAY in HISTORY
- France recognized American independence (1777)
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed by U.S., Canada, and Mexico (1992)
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.