This post is from CNBC producer Robert Hum.
Reports of nuclear testing in North Korea are giving investors around the world some jitters this morning. Asian and European markets are down about 1 percent today. U.S. stock futures were down modestly earlier this morning, but have now moved well off the lows and are indicating a fairly flat open following the holiday weekend.
After 5 days of declines last week for its worst week this year, the U.S. Dollar Index is rebounding modestly today. Concurrently, commodities are giving back 1 percent to 2 percent of last week’s solid gains, while commodity stocks are slightly weaker in pre-market trading.
After 7 straight years of raising its iron ore prices, miner Rio Tinto agreed to a 37 percent decline in metal prices in a major contract signed with customer Nippon Steel. A drastic reduction in prices is no surprise, as weaker global demand for steel has put substantial pressure on prices. The magnitude of this price decrease, however, sets the tone for other steel companies, as they will be forced to slash their prices in subsequent pending contracts with their own customers.
1) At the bank’s annual shareholder meeting, Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann refrained from giving any full-year outlook given the continuing uncertainty in the markets. While he commented Q2 was off to a good start, Ackermann warned that 2009 will remain a tough year. Shares are trading down 2.5 percent pre-open.
2) Shares of Apple rise 2 percent pre-open following an upgrade by Morgan Stanley. In addition to raising the stock to “overweight,” the Morgan Stanley analyst raised the stock’s price target to $180 from $105. The brokerage firm expects Apple’s iPhone to drive earnings per share over the next two years.
3) Germany is expected to announce the preferred bidder for General Motor’s Opel and Vauxhall units soon. Bidders include automaker Fiat, investor RHJ International, and car parts manufacturer Magna.
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