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Pre-Market: BNP Paribas Will Plead Guilty to Dodging US Sanctions; Yahoo Bids for YouTube Content Provider Fullscreen


Investors await consumer confidence update.

Stock futures pointed toward a lower open on Friday. Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures fell 0.12% to 16,742. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved lower, falling 0.10% to 3,813.75.  Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were down 0.18% to 1,945.20.


BNP Paribas (OTCMKTS:BNPQY) will plead guilty and pay an $8.9 billion fee to state and federal authorities in the United States following an extensive investigation into the French bank's lending practices. BNP Paribas has been accused of loaning billions of dollars to countries sanctioned by the United States, including Sudan and Iran. Loans, which were made from 2002 through 2009, are now thought to have been conducted as late as 2012 -- while the government's investigation was underway. Criminal pleas of this magnitude would normally lead regulators to revoke a bank's license, but New York State's financial regulator Benjamin Lawsky will instead punish the bank by limiting its ability to process payments in dollar denominations. Shares of BNP Paribas were up 0.81% in European trading.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has made a $250 million offer for the media group Fullscreen, which makes content for thousands of channels on Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)-owned YouTube. Fullscreen generates more than 3 billion monthly video views and boasts 300 million subscribers worldwide. Yahoo faces a competing bid from The Chernin Group, an investment group headed by former News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) executive Peter Chernin. AOL (NYSE:AOL) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) are also considering offers. Yahoo was up 0.53% ahead of the opening bell.

Airbus (OTCMKTS:EADSY) is close to choosing Rolls-Royce (OTCMKTS:RYCEY) as the exclusive engine maker for its A330 line of wide-bodied jets. Rolls-Royce's win is a loss for General Electric (NYSE:GE), which had also been a contender for the $2 billion project. The A330 will compete directly with Boeing's (NYSE:BA) wide-bodied offering, the 787 Dreamliner. General Electric fell 0.30% in pre-market trading.

At the time of this writing, Tesco (NASDAQ:TESO) CEO Philip Clarke is facing questions at the Cheshunt, England-based global retailer's annual shareholder meeting. Clarke is expected to address his company's latest quarterly earnings, which were Tesco's worst in 40 years. Tesco was downgraded to Baa2 by Moody's earlier this month, two levels above junk rating.


Investors are awaiting an updated consumer sentiment index from Reuters / University of Michigan, which will be released at 9:55 a.m. At a lower-than-expected 81.2, preliminary readings for June looked soft. At 3:00 p.m., the USDA will report end-of-the-month farm prices.

Global Markets

Asian stocks moved lower overnight after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told Fox Business News that he expects higher interest rates as early as Q1 2015. In Japan, unemployment dropped to 3.5% from 3.6% a month earlier, and other employment data showed the highest available ratio of available jobs to job-seekers in 20 years. Japan's consumer price index fell to 1.4% to 1.5% in May, which was inline with the BOJ's expectations. In South Korea, industrial output fell the most it has in five years.

In Europe, stocks remained relatively unchanged in anticipation of consumer confidence numbers from the US. In England, BOE governor Mark Carney said that interest rates likely won't return to normal levels seen pre-crisis, despite the country's recent economic strength. At an EU summit today, Western nations will debate whether sanctions on Russia need to be increased hours after Ukraine signed a controversial trade agreement with the EU.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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