Traders are having second thoughts on the second day of the government shutdown. After a rise in stocks yesterday, futures are now pointed lower. So, what's changed in the past 24-hours? Watch Hot Stock Minute host Lauren Lyster and Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Mike Santoli talk about the shutdown in the video above.
At this point it seems unlikely we'll be getting the September jobs report on Friday, due to the shutdown. That means added attention is being this morning to the ADP payroll report. It shows 166,000 new private sector jobs created in September when consensus was for 180,000. Last mongnths figure originally reported at 176,000 was revised down to 159,000.
JPMorgan's (JPM) Jamie Dimon will be back in Washington today, this time among a group of top bankers talking with President Obama. The group will be discussing the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. Of course, it was just last week Dimon had a very different kind of meeting in the nation's capitol. He was at the negotiating table with Attorney General Eric Holder trying to reach a deal that would end all government investigations against the bank.
Well, Well, Wells. There's yet another government lawsuit against Wells Fargo (WFC) related to foreclosures. The New York Attorney General is set to file suit against the bank today. The company is accused of failing to make good on promises related to foreclosure abuses. It was one of five lenders to reach a massive settlement with state governments last year.
It may soon be curtains for the man who brought us Windows. Reuters is reporting that three of Microsoft's (MSFT) biggest shareholders want Bill Gates ousted as company chairman. The report does not identify the shareholders but says that as a group they hold 5% of Microsoft stock, more than Gates himself. It's no coincidence this move comes just as Steve Ballmer is about to step down as CEO. The shareholders are said to be worried that Gates will limit the power of Ballmer's replacement and block changes in company strategy.
The owner of Burlington Coat Factory is getting a warm reception on Wall Street. Burlington Stores sold shares last night for $17 as part of an IPO. That's above the expected price of $14 to $16. Burlington was taken private by Bain Capital in 2006. It will begin trading today under the ticker symbol BURL. Also going to market today Empire State Realty Trust which will have the ticker symbol ESRT, and realty estate company ReMax which will trade under RMAX.
STOCKS TO WATCH
Monsanto (MON) is down 3% after reporting earnings ahead of the opening bell. The seed maker posted losses of 47-cents a share, even worse than the 43-cent loss which was expected. Sales also missed at $2.2-billion worldwide. Monsanto has been expanding into developing markets like Asia and South America. In fact in June, China approved the import Monsanto soybeans which are genetically modified to repel insects. Meanwhile, the company is facing criticism from government officials here at home, as well as consumers. Monsanto shares are going into today's regular trading session up 10% year-to-date.
Global Payments (GPN), which we also highlighted yesterday ahead of its earnings, has been trading more than 6% higher now that its report is out. Here's why: Earnings of $1 a share, a nickel better than expectations. Revenue also topped forecasts at $630-million. In addition, the company upped its outlook, announced the speed-up of share repurchases, and named a new CEO. As of yesterday's close, Global Payments had been up 10% year-to-date. The gains this morning put the stock at a new 52-week high.
Another company soaring to a new 52-week high is US Airways (LCC). Shares ascended nearly 4% yesterday to a price approaching $20 a share. The climb came on two positive developments in the airlines' attempt to merge with American. First, the Justice Department lost a bid to delay its anti-trust case against the companies. Second, Texas has dropped out of the lawsuit. Shares of US Airways are now up 41% year-to-date.
Apple (AAPL) is down fractionally in early trading. Reuters is reporting that Apple is having supply chain problems with an updated iPad mini. According to the report, Apple was hoping to roll-out minis this month with a high-resolution screen dubbed a retina display. Google (GOOG) and Amazon (AMZN) are already offering the displays on similar tablets, as does Apple on some of its larger iPads. By the way, shares of Apple were up more than 2% yesterday, on word that shareholder Carl Icahn met with CEO Tim Cook, pushing for a $150-billion share buyback. Apple is currently down 26% over the last year.