Business News

Today's Morning Primer 12/14/2012


Wall Street's recent winning ways have come to at least a temporary halt, as concern over the lack of progress in the fiscal cliff talks weighs on market sentiment. The S&P 500 comes off its first losing session in seven,missing out on its first seven-session winning streak in six years, and its biggest one-day drop in a month.

A handful of reports conclude the week's economic menu, beginning at 8:30am ET with the November Consumer Price Index. Economists are looking for the CPI to fall 0.2% for last month, compared to October's 0.1% rise, while the core rate is seen rising by 0.2% following an identical October increase.

At 9:15am ET, the Federal Reserve issues November industrial production and factory capacity utilization figures. Consensus forecasts call for a 0.1% increase in industrial production for last month, after October's 0.4% drop, while capacity utilization is seen remaining unchanged at 77.8%.

There are no earnings of note on the calendar for either this morning or after today's closing bell.

Adobe Systems (ADBE) leads our list of stocks to watch, reporting fiscal fourth quarter profit of $0.61 per share, four cents above estimates, with revenue also above consensus. The quarter also saw faster than expected adoption of Adobe's Creative Cloud Service.

Verifone Systems (PAY) reported fiscal fourth quarter profit of $0.76 per share,matching estimates. However, revenue was below consensus, as was the electronic payments company's first quarter earnings and revenue forecasts. Costs of recent major acquisitions have been weighing on profits, as have efforts to expand beyond Verifone's traditional payment terminal business.

Nordson (NDSN) earned $1.07 per share for its third quarter, four cents above estimates, with revenues handily beating consensus. Nordson's beat came in the wake of wide ranging sales growth, aided by recent acquisitions. Nordson is a maker of equipment that applies adhesives and sealants to a variety of products.

Amgen (AMGN) has increased its first quarter dividend by 31% to $0.47 per share. The biotech company has also upped its share repurchase authorization by $2 billion.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) has called a special shareholder meeting to vote on removing former Steve Wynn business partner Kazuo Okada from the casino operator's board. CNBC's Jane Wells reports the meeting is likely to take place in February. Okada has been accused by the company of engaging in improper practices, allegations he has denied.

United Technologies (UTX) sees 2013 earnings of $5.85 - $6.15 per share, versus consensus estimates of $6.12. It also sees 2013 revenues of $64 - $65 billion, which is below estimates of $66.4 billion.

AVG Technologies (AVG) has announced a new search and distribution relationship with Yahoo (YHOO). AVG is a provider of anti-virus and security technology.

Apple (AAPL) is debuting its iPhone 5 in China today, a move which will help it reverse the slide in its market share in that country.

Pfizer (PFE) may launch an initial public offering for its animal health unit in early 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper says the offering could be worth about $4 billion.

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) has inked a $2.1 billion debt financing deal from Credit Suisse (CS) and Goldman Sachs (GS). The telecom equipment maker's deal is backed in part by its patent portfolio, as it seeks to shore up a business that has been hit hard by lower-cost equipment from China and a cut in spending by telecom operators.

PPG Industries (PPG) has purchased the U.S. house paint unit of Amsterdam's AkzoNobel for just over $1 billion. Akzo is the primary supplier of paint to Wal-mart and is also the company behind the Glidden paint brand.