PMI rises 1.8
New orders rise 2.0
Backlog rises 4.3
Supplier deliveries up 0.4Comments »
PMI rises 1.8
New orders rise 2.0
Backlog rises 4.3
Supplier deliveries up 0.4Comments »
“AVALON, Australia (Reuters) – The Pentagon program chief for the F-35 warplane slammed the main contractors on the program,Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney, accusing them of trying to “squeeze every nickel” out of the U.S. government and failing to see the long-term benefits of the project.
U.S. Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan made the comments on Wednesday during a visit to Australia, where he has sought to convince lawmakers and generals to stick to a plan to buy 100 of the jets, an exercise complicated by the second grounding of the plane this year and looming U.S. defense cuts.
Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp , is sole supplier of engines to the $396 billion F-35, or Joint Strike Fighter. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the radar-evading jet, the biggest weapons program in history.
“What I see Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney doing today is behaving as if they are getting ready to sell me the very last F-35 and the very last engine and are trying to squeeze every nickel out of that last F-35 and that last engine,” Bogdan told reporters at the Australian International Airshow in southern Victoria state.
“I want them both to start behaving like they want to be around for 40 years,” he added. “I want them to take on some of the risk of this program, I want them to invest in cost reductions, I want them to do the things that will build a better relationship. I’m not getting all that love yet.”
Bogdan’s tough remarks sent shock waves through the Pentagon and U.S. industry on Wednesday.
Lockheed said it was “singularly focused” on executing its contracts to develop, produce and sustain the new warplane, and insisted it was on track to finish development by 2017….”Comments »
“HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — Sears posted a smaller loss in the fourth quarter as it reduced its inventory and expenses while sales at its namesake stores rose slightly.
The retailer’s stock climbed more than 3 percent in premarket trading on Thursday.
The company that also owns the Kmart store chain lost $489 million, or $4.61 per share, for the period ended Feb. 2. That compares with a loss of $2.4 billion, or $22.63 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding certain items, earnings from continuing operations were $1.12 per share.
Revenue fell 2 percent to $12.26 billion from $12.48 billion. Sears said this was mostly due to the separation of its Sears Hometown and Outlet businesses; the impact of having fewer Kmart and Sears stores in operation and lower revenue from stores open at least a year. This was somewhat offset by having an extra week in the period.
Revenue at U.S. stores open at least a year dropped 1.6 percent in the quarter.
This metric is a key gauge of a retailer’s health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.
Revenue at domestic Sears stores open at least a year edged up 0.8 percent, helped by strength in the clothing, home appliance and home categories. The figure dropped 3.7 percent for Kmart locations and fell 3.8 percent for Sears Canada.
A good part of the drag on results was softness in consumer electronics. Removing this category, total revenue at U.S. stores open at least a year dipped 0.2 percent while Sears rose 2.4 percent and Kmart declined 2.5 percent….”Comments »
“Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS), Britain’s biggest taxpayer-owned lender, posted a wider full- year loss after it set aside an additional 1.1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) to compensate clients wrongly sold insurance and interest-rate hedging products .
The net loss swelled to 5.97 billion pounds from 2 billion pounds in the year-earlier period, RBS said in a statement today. Analysts had predicted a loss of 5.1 billion pounds, according to the median estimate of nine surveyed by Bloomberg. RBS also said it will sell a stake in its Citizens unit in the U.S. and shrink its investment bank to boost capital….”Comments »
“J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson is facing mounting pressure after the first year of his turnaround plan resulted in the department-store company’s lowest annual sales in more than two decades.
The shares dropped as much as 17 percent in early trading in New York after J.C. Penney said its net loss in the quarter ended Feb. 2 widened to $552 million, or $2.51 a share, from $87 million, or 41 cents, a year earlier. The Plano, Texas-based retailer’s annual revenue slid 25 percent to about $13 billion, the lowest since at least 1987….”Comments »
“Vale SA (VALE), the world’s largest iron- ore producer, reported a record quarterly loss that was wider than analyst forecasts after writing down the value of some nickel, coal and steel assets amid lower commodity prices.
Vale posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $2.65 billion, or 51 cents a share, compared with a profit of $4.67 billion, or 91 cents, a year earlier, the Rio de Janeiro-based company said late yesterday in a statement. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization declined 41 percent to $4.39 billion, missing a $4.79 billion average estimate by 14 analysts compiled by Bloomberg….”Comments »
“West Texas Intermediate was poised for its first monthly decline since October. U.S. crude stockpiles rose less than forecast, and fuel demand increased in the world’s biggest oil consumer.
Futures dropped as much as 0.4 percent, and have lost 5.2 percent this month, the first February since 2006 that WTI has fallen. Crude supplies climbed 1.1 million barrels last week, data from the Energy Department showed, more than the 2.5 million increase forecast in a Bloomberg survey. U.S. fuel consumption averaged 18.5 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, up 2 percent from 2012, according to the report.
“The EIA delivered a mixed set of U.S. fuel inventory numbers,” said Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London who predicts that WTI will trade from $90 to $94.70 a barrel next month. “We are in the refinery maintenance season, when demand slackens.”
WTI for April delivery was down 11 cents at $92.65 a barrel in electronic trading on the New YorkMercantile Exchange at 12:47 a.m. in London. The volume of all futures traded was 29 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for April settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange advanced 35 cents to $112.22 a barrel. Volumes were about 45 percent of the 100-day average. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $19.57 to WTI futures, compared with $19.11 yesterday.
GDP revised higher by 0.1%. Consumption was revised lower.
Initial Claims drop 22k to 344k. Markets expected 360k, Last month figure was 366kComments »
“The euro fell versus the dollar, extending its first monthly drop since July, as the Netherlandssaid it will breach European Union deficit limits, signaling nations are struggling to grow fast enough to cut their debts.
The 17-nation shared currency also slid against the yen after the Dutch government’s planning agency said today in a statement that the deficit will be 3.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2013 and 3.4 percent in 2014. The New Zealand dollar rose after an index showed business confidence increased. The Dollar Index was little changed before a report that analysts said will show the U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter.
“The Dutch budget-deficit target forecasts look to be above the 3 percent EU target for this year and next and there are downgrade risks for the Netherlands around that,” saidMelinda Burgess, a currency strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London. “This adds further weight to our view that we should see further downside for the euro from here. Fiscal and growth worries in the region could really come to the fore.”
The euro weakened 0.2 percent to $1.3114 at 6:57 a.m. New York time and is down 3.4 percent this month. It slid 0.3 percent to 120.84 yen, set for a 3 percent drop in February. The dollar was little changed at 92.15 yen.
Dutch GDP will shrink 0.5 percent in 2013, while growth may pick up later this year, resulting in an expansion of 1 percent in 2014, the Hague-based planning agency CPB said today in a statement. Unemployment is forecast to increase to 6.25 percent in 2013 from 5.3 percent in 2012.
“The pound advanced against the euro, paring a seventh monthly decline, as the Netherlands said it will breach European Union deficit limits, boosting demand for the U.K. currency as an alternative to euro-area assets.
Sterling strengthened for the first time in three days versus the dollar as the Dutch announcement signaled euro-area nations are struggling to grow fast enough to cut their debts. The pound is the worst-performing major currency this year amid speculation the Bank of England will add more monetary support to the economy. Demand was also limited after gross domestic product shrank last quarter and Moody’s Investors Service cut the nation’s Aaa rating last week.
“Sterling is going to pick up again as a safe haven as we see more worries about the euro region,” said Eimear Daly, a currency-market analyst at Monex Europe Ltd. in London. “People may also be thinking the U.K. situation isn’t as bad as they expected. I do see some more sterling strength coming back into the picture.”
The pound strengthened 0.4 percent to 86.36 pence per euro at 1:04 p.m. London time, trimming this month’s decline to 0.9 percent. Sterling fell to 88.15 pence on Feb. 25, the weakest level since October 2011. The U.K. currency rose 0.3 percent to $1.5207. It has still depreciated 4.1 percent in February.
Daly forecasts sterling will strengthen to $1.53 and 84 pence per euro by the end of March. The median estimates in Bloomberg surveys are for the currency to trade at $1.56 and 85 pence per euro.
“Italy is headed for a broad coalition government as bondholders pressure Pier Luigi Bersani andSilvio Berlusconi to set aside their rivalries and form a partnership, said Finance Undersecretary Gianfranco Polillo.
A joint government between Bersani’s Democratic Party and the forces led by Berlusconi, a three-time former premier, is “the only possible way,” Polillo said late yesterday in a telephone interview.
Italian yields surged after elections Feb. 24-25 delivered a four-way parliamentary split and cast doubt on the stability of the next government. Bersani, the top vote getter, has resisted engaging Berlusconi and said he would seek to hammer out a compromise with lawmakers elected under the upstart political movement of ex-comic Beppe Grillo. Polillo, a former adviser to a Berlusconi ally, said this strategy wouldn’t work.
“I don’t think it’s possible to expose a government to the caprice of parliamentary calculations in a situation of great difficulty like this one, in which the first thing markets look at is the governability of a country,” said Polillo “Markets won’t sit by and watch our little games.”
Polillo has served the apolitical government of unelected Prime Minister Mario Monti since November 2011. He previously was adviser to the head of Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party in lower house of parliament. Monti finished fourth in the election.
Italian 10-year yields dropped 5 basis points to 4.7 percent at 11:20 a.m. in Rome, after rising about 30 basis point since before the election….”Comments »
“European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled the bank has no intention of tightening monetary policy anytime soon with inflation projected to “significantly” undershoot its 2 percent target next year.
While the ECB’s balance sheet may shrink naturally as confidence returns to financial markets and banks repay emergency loans, policy makers are “far” from considering an exit from monetary stimulus, Draghi said at an event in Munich late yesterday. “We foresee for next year an inflation rate which is significantly lower than 2 percent.”
The ECB has cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 0.75 percent, extended over 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) in cheap loans to banks and pledged to buy the bonds of debt- strapped nations if they agree to economic reforms. The ECB in December forecast the 17-nation euro economy will contract 0.3 percent this year and inflation will slow to 1.4 percent in 2014. It is due to update the forecasts next week.
While conditions on financial markets are improving, Draghi said the euro-area economy is still “weak” and the ECB’s accommodative policy will help to drive a “gradual recovery” in the course of 2013.
“It is clearly too early to pull the carpet as risks are still to the downside,” said Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in London. At the same time, “we cannot ignore that there seems to be growing underlying accommodation fatigue among central bankers,” he said.
Two ECB Executive Board members yesterday warned about the risks of leaving emergency measures in place for too long…..”Comments »
“Central bankers across the globe need to plan for monetary tightening to avoid feeding asset bubbles, Danish central bank Governor Lars Rohde said.
“Beyond the short horizon, central banks have to be vigilant of the effects, including the effect of negative real interest rates, and they have to plan for an exit as normalization progresses,” Rohde said in an e-mailed reply to questions. Asked whether such policies could fuel asset bubbles, Rohde said, “Yes.”
The warning from the head of Denmark’s central bank, which has kept its deposit rate below zero since July, comes as policy makers from Japan to Europe to the U.S. deploy unprecedented monetary stimulus to jolt their economies into recovery mode. In Japan, the government has nominated a candidate to head the central bank who has openly backed more easing, while Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke this week defended his bank’s record asset purchases designed to keep rates low for longer maturities.
Central banks have hesitated to withdraw support measures as they wait for clear signs a global recovery is around the corner. In the euro area, Italian elections this week led to an inconclusive result, with the risk of political stalemate jeopardizing the nation’s commitment to austerity.
The 17-nation euro area will contract 0.3 percent this year after shrinking 0.6 percent in 2012, the European Commission estimates. Both the U.S. and Japan will expand less than 2 percent this year, the commission said Feb. 22.
“German unemployment unexpectedly fell in February amid signs that Europe’s biggest economy is returning to growth after a contraction at the end of last year.
The number of people out of work fell a seasonally adjusted 3,000 to 2.92 million, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said today. Economists had predicted unemployment to be unchanged, the median of 33 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. Theadjusted jobless rate held at 6.9 percent this month after the January rate was revised up from an initially reported 6.8 percent…”Comments »
“Emerging-market stocks climbed the most in four weeks, paring monthly declines, as China Vanke Co.’s (000002) better-than-estimated earnings sparked a rally in developers and manufacturing confidence in South Korea improved.
Vanke, China’s biggest developer, surged the most in five weeks in Shenzhen after saying net income rose 30 percent last year. SK Hynix Inc. (000660) increased 1 percent in Seoul and the won rose to a one-week high. Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC) tumbled the most in 11 months in Dubai after profit missed estimates. Indian (SENSEX) stocks erased earlier gains after the nation’s annual budget failed to meet investors’ expectations.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF) added 0.7 percent to 1,054.15 at 5:22 p.m. in Hong Kong, trimming this month’s drop to 1.4 percent. The gauge is headed for its largest monthly loss since May. Orders for U.S. durable goods excluding transportation gear rose in January by the most in a year, while pending home sales increased more than forecast, data showed yesterday. South Korean manufacturers’ confidence for March climbed to the highest level since July, data showed today….”Comments »
“The Reserve Bank of Australia said the country’s currency is held by as many as 34 central banks from Reykjavik to Santiago, and models suggested the Aussie dollar was as much as 15 percent overvalued, documents showed.
The central banks of Slovakia and Slovenia were recent additions in a list of 16 economies that publicly hold the Australian currency, according to papers prepared in the second half of 2012 and released today under a Freedom of Information Act request by Bloomberg News. Newcomers on a list of 18 possible holders included China, France, India, South Korea, Thailand and South Africa…..”Comments »