Bad news from Wal-Mart and Home Depot is putting Wall Street in a snit even before inflation data that could either improve the mood or make it worse. Stock futures are pointing down. Home Depot's earnings came in lower than expected, and the company blamed the crummy housing market.
Wal-Mart gave an outlook for current-quarter profit that could miss Wall Street estimates. The consumer price index is coming soon, and everyone's waiting to see whether inflation is rising enough to keep people out of stores and in their increasingly unsaleable homes.Until the numbers come in, major currencies are holding steady, as are U.S. Treasuries.
Oil prices are lower, with London Brent crude down to around $66.50 a barrel, as traders forecast higher U.S. inventories and some Nigerian production resumes. Well, it looks like this newsletter is going to be under new ownership. Canadian publisher Thomson Corp. is buying Reuters for about $17.2 billion. In other M&A, Xstrata raised its bid for Canada's LionOre Mining, trumping one from Russia's Norilisk Nickel. But Beckman Coulter isn't increasing its offer for Biosite, whose board sees a bid from Inverness Medical as superior.
NBC has unveiled its 2007-2008 lineup, but Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" was conspicuously absent. Asked whether the show was dead, a network executive replied: "Not yet."
Lisa Von Ahn - Editor