Thursday, April 9, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - April 9

The Nano Helps Tata Surge - U.S. listed shares of India's Tata Motors jumped 23% to $8.19 early Thursday on a report that its Nano minicar is seeing a surge in interest on its first day for bookings. The company sold more than 51,000 order forms for the world's cheapest car, according to the Economic Times. The Nano, priced starting at less than $2,500, is slated to be delivered this summer in phases to the first 100,000 customers chosen by lottery. Tata is planning to export the Nano to Europe and the United States over the next few years.

Natural Gas Falls on Data - Natural-gas futures reversed earlier gains after data showed U.S. inventories rose last week more than expected. The stockpiles rose 20 billion cubic feet in the week ended April 3, the EIA reported. Analysts surveyed by Platts had expected an increase of 11 billion cubic feet to 16 billion cubic feet. After the data, natural-gas futures fell 1% to $3.595 per million British thermal units. Futures had been trading up 1% before the data.

Obama Says 9 Million Americans Can Reduce Mortgage Payments - President Obama said early Thursday that up to 9 million Americans can reduce their mortgage payments by refinancing using government programs. Speaking at the beginning of a White House roundtable about housing finance, Obama said mortgage rates are at historic lows and a typical homeowner can now save about $2,000 a year by refinancing. "The programs that have been put in place can help responsible folks," Obama said.

Wells Fargo Beats, Stocks Rally - Wells Fargo & Co. predicted a record $3 billion profit (55 cents per share) for the first quarter, and the market rallied in response. The projected numbers are after preferred dividends, including $372 million in dividends paid to the U.S. government, are taken into account. Analysts surveyed by FactSet Research are expecting, on average, profits of 31 cents a share. Wells Fargo said it expects total revenue for the quarter to be $20 billion. The firm will report its first-quarter results on April 22.

Barclays Sells iShares for $4.4 Billion - Barclays said Thursday that it has agreed to sell its iShares exchange-traded fund (ETF) business to CVC Capital Partners for $4.4 billion. The bank said it expects to generate a net gain on the sale of $2.2 billion and that it will increase its Equity Tier 1 capital ratio by 0.54 percentage points. Barclays said the deal gives it 45 days to solicit other potential bids for the unit. Barclays will provide debt financing of $3.1 billion for the deal, with the remainder of the purchase price funded by equity provided by Blue Sparkle, the bid vehicle set up by CVC.

Gold Falls Again - With optimism building, gold is falling. The metal that is traditionally a "safe-haven" is poised for a third straight week of losses. The global optimism that has rallied stocks for the past month has led to a decline in the metal's appeal. Gold was trading around $877 an ounce, and it has lost about 2% this week.

Sources: MarketWatch, Platts, CNBC, Economic Times

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