Futures up on upbeat Japan GDP
US markets are set for a higher open on better than expected data out of the Asian nation.
Just days after the announcement that Tokyo would host the 2020 Olympic games, the nation's revised second quarter GDP came in higher than expected, adding to Japan's momentum. Revised Japanese GDP grew at an annualized rate of 3.8%, rather than the preliminary estimate of 2.6%.
The figures demonstrated the strength of the nation's recovery and added to evidence that the Japanese economy can withstand next year's planned sales tax increase.
In other news around the markets:
- U.S. President Barack Obama is set to continue trying to garner support for his plan to launch targeted military attacks in Syria. Congress is expected to vote on the matter this week, and the House next week. So far, several members of Congress who believe Obama's proposal is too broad.
- Tony Abbott has been elected Australia's new Prime Minister on promises of tax cuts designed to help boost the sagging economy. Abbott is the first conservative leader the nation has had in six years, but he may face opposition as he tries to deliver on his campaign promises; his party lacks a majority within the current Senate, which finishes its term in July 2014. As votes for the newly elected senate are tallied, it seems smaller fringe parties may tip the balance of power out of Abbott's favor.
- Italy's Senate Committee will determine whether or not Silvio Berlusconi will be forced to resign from holding government office, or if he will be allowed to finish his term. Berlusconi was found guilty of tax evasion, and as part of his sentence, he is banned from holding public office. However, Berlusconi has threatened to take down the government if he is not allowed to finish his current term.
- A trading error that disrupted China's mainland stock exchange on August 16 is going to cost China Everbright Securities Co. $85.5 million. Additionally, the company will be required to pay $86 million in fines for insider trading violations following the glitch.
- Shortly following the RBI's new Governor Raghuram Rajan's announcement of his plans to help curb the rupee's decline, the bank began to ease investment rules in an effort to increase cash inflows. On Friday, the bank announced that controlling shareholders who want to buy additional shares of the same company will be allowed to do so directly through brokers. Under the old rule, shares had to be purchased off-market, which made the process complicated and time consuming.
Asian markets were up across the board on Monday. The Japanese NIKKEI was helped by better than expected GDP and the announcement that Tokyo would host the 2020 Olympics and gained 2.48%. The Shanghai composite was up 3.39% and the Shenzhen composite rose 1.33%. The South Korean KOSPI was up nearly a%age point and the Hang Seng index gained 0.44%.
European markets began the week on their back foot with losses across the board. The STOXX 600 lost 0.14% and the UK's FTSE was down 0.10%. France's CAC 40 was down 0.36% and the Spanish IBEX lost 0.91%.
Energy futures lost ground on Monday. WTI futures were down 0.52%, and Brent futures lost 0.38%. Gold was up 0.05%, but silver lost 0.49%. Industrial metals gained across the board, Copper was up 0.29% and aluminum was up 1.45%.
The yen hovered below the 100 yen to a dollar mark at 99.56, and the euro to dollar ratio was little changed. The pound gained 0.15% against the greenback, and the rupee continued its comeback gaining 1.17% against the dollar.
Earnings reported Friday
Notable companies that reported earnings on Friday included:
UTi Worldwide (UTIW) reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.05 on revenue of $1.13 billion, below expectations of earnings per share of $0.14 on revenue of $1.15 billion.
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
Kellogg (K) gained 0.20% in premarket trade as the company worked to promote its new "To Go" breakfast health shakes.
PulteGroup (PHM) was up 0.19% in premarket trade ahead of the company's presentation at RBC Capital Markets' Global Industrials Conference on Tuesday.
Perrigo (PRGO) lost 0.40% in premarket trade after reports that the company's Executive Vice President sold 780 shares on September 5.
Notable companies expected to report earnings on Monday include:
Avid Technology (AVID) is expected to announce a second quarter loss of $0.01 per share, compared to last year's loss of $0.17 per share.
Triangle Petroleum (TPLM) is expected to announce earnings per share of $0.14, compared to last year's loss of $0.02 per share.
On Monday's economic calendar, U.S. consumer credit is due out. Eurozone investor confidence and Switzerland's unemployment rate and retail sales data are also to be released.
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While the former looks to expand its snack and soda exposure, the latter struggles to stabilize management.
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