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US stock market, economy and companies update (August 04, 2014)

August 4, 2014, Monday, 16:58 GMT | 11:58 EST | 21:28 IST | 23:58 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News


- European indices were seeing modest gains and US traders came to their desks, thanks to some decent economic data out of Spain and the UK, plus news that Portugal would bail out BES. US markets sustained positive momentum through the first 40 minutes of trade before markets turned south. As of writing, the DJIA is down 0.18%, the S&P500 is off 0.03% and the Nasdaq is down 0.11%.

- The Ebola outbreak in west Africa has become the latest geopolitical story to push to the top of the headlines over the last several days. Shares of Canadian biotech Tekmira gained nearly 40% last week on the Ebola story, and then spiked another 16% before and just after the open this morning as traders passed around an FDA statement out on Friday that the agency "stands ready" to work with companies and investigators working with patients "in dire need of treatment." Tekmira's anti-Ebola viral therapeutic is under an FDA clinical hold, and investors seem to be gambling the hold could be lifted. A story that Mapp Biopharmaceuticals' ZMapp treatment may already be an effective therapy against Ebola sent TKMR back to unchanged on the day. BioCryst gained 7.5% and then traded off somewhat; the firm is in the pre-clinical stages of testing an RNA therapeutic to treat infections such as Ebola.

- Shares of luxury goods name Michael Kors are down nearly 8% in the early going despite a pretty strong first quarter report. The firm widely beat top- and bottom-line expectations, saw a 24% gain in comps and raised its FY15 outlook. However on the conference call, executives warned that margins would be compressed due to increased markdowns and disclosed a big increase in inventories, hitting the stock hard.

- Berkshire Hathaway's second-quarter profit soared 41%, reflecting a big increase in investment gains and improved results in manufacturing, service and retail businesses. With megadeals a major subject of late, investors focused in on Berkshire's cash hoard growing to more than $50 billion.

- Among other movers, Groupon is up nearly 6% ahead of earnings after the close on Tuesday. Shares of Glaxo and Sanofi gained on an FT story that private equity groups are considering a $10B plan to purchase older drug brands and merge them. Tech security name FireEye jumped on news of another big retail data breach, this time regarding credit and debit card data reportedly stolen from certain P.F. Chang's restaurants.

***Looking Ahead**
- 11:30 (US) Treasury to sell $53b in 3-Month and 6-Month Bills
- 16:00 (US) Crop Progress Winter Report
- 17:00 (CO) Colombia July PPI M/M: No est v -0.3% prior; Y/Y: No est v 2.5% prior
- 17:00 (CO) Colombia Jun Exports: $4.8Be v $5.5B prior
- 21:30 (AU) Australia Jun Trade Balance: -A$2.0Be v -A$1.9B prior
- 21:35 (JP) Japan July Services PMI: No est v 49.0 prior
- 21:45 (CN) China HSBC Services PMI: No est v 53.1 prior
- (AU) RBA Interest Rate Decision on Tuesday
- (MX) Mexico Senate plans to debate energy bills (**passed by lower house last week)


***Economic Data***
- (RO) Romania Central Bank (NBR) cut Interest Rates by 25bps to 3.25%, as expected
- (RU) Russia July CPI M/M: 0.5% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 7.5% v 7.5%e; CPI YTD: 5.3% v 5.4%e
- (RU) Russia July CPI Core M/M: 0.6% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 7.8% v 7.8%e
- (SG) Singapore July Purchasing Managers Index: 51.5 v 50.6e v 50.5 prior; Electronics Sector Index: 52.4 v 50.7e
- (US) July ISM New York: 68.1 v 60.5 prior
- (DK) Denmark July Foreign Reserves (DKK): 440.9B v 438.2B prior