Pre-Market: Apple Begins New iPhone Production Next Month; Amazon, Time Warner Closer to Resolving Pricing Dispute
German business confidence falls.
Stock futures pointed toward a mixed open on Tuesday. Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures fell 0.07% to 16,829. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved higher, rising 0.03% to 3,795.75. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were down 0.12% to 1,950.70.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will begin production of two new larger iPhone models next month, one with a 4.7-inch display and the other with a 5.5-inch display, sources tell Bloomberg. The current iPhone 5s screen measures only four inches. Earlier reports indicate that the new iPhones will be rounder and thinner, have larger screens with curved glass, and will include advanced sensors that are sensitive to different levels of pressure. Apple is playing catch-up with competitors like Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) and HTC (TPE:2498), who both have phones with screens as large as 5.7 inches on the market. Shares of Apple rose 0.06% in pre-market trading.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX)-subsidiary Warner Bros. are close to resolving a pricing dispute that recently saw Amazon freeze pre-orders of DVDs and Blu-rays from forthcoming Warner Bros movies. Amazon has now removed its ban on pre-orders, signaling a resolution between the two companies. While tough negotiations have occurred between Amazon and Hollywood studios, this is the first time Amazon has withheld orders. Recently, Amazon used the same tactic during talks with publisher Hachette Book Group, which is a subsidiary of Lagardere (OTCMKTS:LGDDF). Amazon fell 0.07% in pre-market trading.
Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) will slash 600 jobs, which is expected to give the beleaguered cosmetics maker a $50 to $55 million boost in annual savings. Avon has posted losses in five out of the past six quarters, while facing troubles in markets including the United States, Russia, and Latin America. Sales in North America, where some of the 600 job cuts are expected, dropped 22% in Avon's first quarter. The company reported a net loss in Q1 of $168.4 million, or $0.38 per share.
Global investment company KKR & Co (NYSE:KKR) has agreed to buy a $567 million stake in Spanish infrastructure conglomerate Acciona's (OTCMKTS:ACXIF) renewable energy business. The deal gives KKR one-third control of Acciona Energía International. KKR will help finance growth in Acciona's renewable energy business, which is already comprised of assets in 14 countries outside of Spain. KKR and Acciona also plan to seek an international initial public offering some time in the future.
Three Fed presidents speak today, with Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser having spoken on the economy and monetary policy in New York earlier this morning, and New York Fed President William Dudley and San Francisco Fed President John Williams both speaking in Puerto Rico later in the day. ICSC-Goldman same-store retail sales jumped over the week of June 21 by 2%. There were no specific reasons cited for the gain; strength was broad-based. Redbook chain-store sales will complement the ICSC-Goldman numbers when they're released at 8:55 a.m. At 9:00 a.m., updates to the FHFA House Price Index and the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index will be released. At 10:00 a.m., consumer confidence, State Street Investor's confidence index, the Richmond Fed manufacturing index, and new-home sales will all be reported. The results of the $30 billion two-year note auction arrive at 1:00 p.m.
Asian stocks moved higher, with Hong Kong stocks rebounding and the regional MSCI Asia Pacific Index rising for the first time in three days. In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe introduced a package of recovery measures that is geared toward boosting long-term economic growth. These include corporate tax cuts and more jobs for foreign workers and women. European stocks fell after the Ifo Institute in Germany released its business climate index, which fell from a reading of 110.4 in May to a reading of 109.7 in June. Russian energy giant Gazprom (OTCMKTS:OGZPY) has said that gas flows to Europe remained stable despite a continued pricing stand between Russian and the Ukraine.
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