Morning coffee brief

U.S. futures are ticking higher suggesting a possible reversal of fortune at the open. The NIKKEI closed down 0.78% while HIS and China closed up 0.26% and 0.01% respectively. 

Image courtesy Willie Cloete: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/PulpdtpU.S. equities have been beaten up for the last three days and if they can reverse course the emerging markets will most likely follow.

In order for the U.S. markets to take leadership on the world stage once again they will need to digest the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index scheduled for release at 9am EDT, along with the government’s latest data on new home sales at 10am ET.

The Case-Shiller index is expected to drop 3.3%, and new home sales are expected to increase by 2.2% to an annual rate of 320,000 homes.

As of 6:46 a.m. EDT 4-24-12

Stock Index

Last

Change

%Change

 Australia: S&P/ASX*

4360.40

8.00

0.18

 China: Shanghai Composite*

2388.83

0.25

0.01

 Hong Kong: Hang Seng*

20677.16

52.77

0.26

 Japan: Nikkei Average*

9468.04

-74.13

-0.78

 Taiwan: TAIEX*

7498.84

17.75

0.24

Stoxx Europe 600

253.45

1.70

0.68

 Belgium: Bel-20

2197.25

5.85

0.27

 France: CAC 40

3127.87

29.50

0.95

 Germany: DAX

6559.78

36.78

0.56

 Greece: FTSE/ATHEX 20

1106.73

18.87

1.73

 Italy: FTSE MIB

14074.34

224.79

1.62

 Sweden: OMX Stockholm

324.31

5.63

1.77

 UK: FTSE 100

5685.26

19.69

0.35

DJ Americas TSM

3565.36

1.52

0.04

 Argentina: MerVal*

2309.85

-28.63

-1.22

 Brazil: Bovespa*

61539.38

-954.70

-1.53

*At Close

Italy paid a full percentage point more for its overnight bond auction. Italian two year fixed rate bonds jumped to 3.36% from 2.36% in January. The U.S. today will attempt to auction off $35 billion 2 year bonds and global markets will be watching closely to see if the word’s largest market has any difficulties selling debt. Results should be released shortly after 1pm today.  

The FOMC is to begin a two-day meeting today and tomorrow traders will have a decision on interest rates.  Currency traders will be jockeying positions on any hint in either direction.

Microsoft (MSFT, quote) was notified that an International Trade Commission judge ruled it infringed four patents held by Motorola Mobility (MMI, quote) in its Xbox videogame consoles, but a fifth patent was not infringed upon.

Novartis (NVS, quote) reported disappointing Q1 profits of $1.27 per share, five cents below estimates. The company cited a manufacturing stoppage at a U.S. site as the reason for the impacted profits. However, the drug maker did maintain its full year outlook.

Nokia (NOK, quote) gets hit with a downgrade by Fitch today to a debt rating of BB+ from BBB-, adding a   negative outlook due to its deterioration of profits and margins.

The following names from the Emerging Money equity index are scheduled to report earnings this week:

ITUB

4/24

BIDU

4/24

VALE

4/25

SAP

4/25

UMC

4/25

TSM

4/26

TV

4/26

YNDX

4/26

M & A Activity

Royal Dutch Shell (RYDBF, quote) announced the £1.12 billion ($1.8 billion) acquisition of Africa focused oil and gas explorer Cove Energy (CNVGF, quote).