Bob Pisani is off today, this post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum
Following in the footsteps of the weaker European markets, U.S. stocks are off to a weak start this morning. The dollar is strengthening to a 2-week high ahead of a busy week featuring a two-day Fed Reserve Board meeting and the highly-anticipated summit of G-20 leaders later this week in Pittsburgh.
As a result of the dollar’s gains, commodities are falling 1 percent to 3 percent, with gold returning below $1,000 and oil back under $70. Most commodity stocks are falling about 2 percent to 3 percent in early trading.
Getting much buzz on trading desks this week is the flurry of IPOs expected. 8 IPOs are scheduled to price this week in the U.S., 5 of which will trade at the NYSE. If all 8 companies successfully begin trading this week, it will be the market’s busiest week of U.S. IPOs since December 2007. Kicking off the IPO parade tomorrow will be REITs Colony Financial (CLNY) and Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance (ARI) as well as online dietary supplement retailer Vitacost.com (VITC).
Meanwhile, a string news on international IPOs is the hot topic this morning:
a) Chinese construction firm China Metallurgical soared 26 percent in its Shanghai IPO. The firm raised $5.12 billion and becomes the second biggest IPO of the year, behind the $7.3 billion listing by China State Construction Engineering Corp., another Chinese construction company. China Metallurgical will also list shares on the Hong Kong exchange later on Thursday.
b) Brazilian bank Santander announced it seeks to raise $7.3 billion though an IPO in October in a dual listing on the Brazilian and New York exchanges. The bank’s IPO would match the size of the biggest IPO this year (Shanghai-listed China State Construction Engineering Corp.) and would be the largest U.S. IPO since Visa’s listing in March 2008. Shares are expected to trade under ticker “STD” at the NYSE.
c) Wynn Resorts is reportedly boosting the size of its scheduled IPO in Hong Kong that will give shareholders a 25 percent stake in the casino operator’s Macau assets. The Wall Street Journal reports that the casino operator now seeks to raise $1.6 billion in its Hong Kong-listed IPO (vs. prior expectations of $1 billion) next month.