The SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) was about unchanged this holiday shortened trading session, as light volume is expected on a light data day that will have many leaving the office early for the beach. Overseas, European shares are gaining for the third straight session, supported now by hope the ECB will cut rates on Thursday. The Vanguard MSCI Europe ETF (NYSE: VGK) is up fractionally. Asian data had China’s Nonmanufacturing PMI showing faster growth in June, on reported support from the property market and new orders. The iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund (NYSE: FXI) was up nearly a point in early trade.
Motor vehicle sales will be reported for June Tuesday morning. The annual pace of domestic vehicle sales is expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg to have slowed in June, to a rate of 10 million, down from 10.6 million in May. Though total vehicle sales are expected to have improved, to 13.9 million, up from 13.8 million in May. Last month, total vehicle sales fell by 4.4%, to the lowest sales rate of the year. After last week’s bad news for Ford (NYSE: F), investors in the shares and in General Motors (NYSE: GM), Toyota (NYSE: TM) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) will be tuned in.
Chrysler Group LLC, an affiliate of Fiat SpA (OTC: FIATY, Milan: F.MI), reported June U.S. auto sales jumped 20%, beating analyst expectations. Chrysler marked its 27th consecutive month of year-to-year gains. It was Chrysler’s best month since June of 2007. Fiat, surely enthused by Chrysler’s growth, raised its stake to 61.8%
U.S. Factory Orders for the month of May are due for report at 10:00 AM EDT Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg see orders edging higher by 0.1%, after falling by 0.6% in April. Durable Goods Orders were reported just a week ago, offering insight into this report. They rose ahead of expectations but fell short when excluding transportation orders.
The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reports on retail same-store sales weekly. For the period ending June 30, same-store sales edged higher by 0.2% week-to-week after marking a 2.0% gain the week before. The weather certainly plays a role here, and kept American shoppers home through recent heat. Sales marked a 1.4% gain against the prior year, versus the 2.7% year-to-year increase seen the week before. Each of the weeks reflects a poor result though.
Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) was up as much as 10% Monday, as a rumor surfaced that the company’s founder might make an offer to repurchase the company. The stock is off fractionally in early going Tuesday.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) completed its merger with Progress Energy, creating the nation’s largest electric utility.
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) reported it would record a $6.2 billion goodwill write-down on its online services division in its fiscal fourth quarter. The shares are down nearly a percentage point in early going.
Chelsea Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CHTP), a company I said investors should sell not too long ago, was halved Tuesday and trading for pennies. The FDA said data from the company’s study of its Northera low-blood-pressure drug was unlikely to earn it approval.
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