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MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia - 28/11/2012

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(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) U.S. equity markets were lower Tuesday despite a strong housing report and Greece reaching a deal with eurozone leaders.

As at 10.30am EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.40% at 12,914.96, the S&P 500 was 0.38% lower at 1,400.93 and the NASDAQ was down 0.33% at 2,967.95.

On the economic front, U.S. home prices rose in September for the sixth straight month, signaling that the housing market is "in the midst of a recovery" according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index.

The 20-city composite index posted a non-seasonally adjusted 0.3 per cent increase in September to reach the highest level in two years, following a 0.8 per cent gain in August. Home prices were up 3 per cent from September 2011 for the largest annual percentage growth since July 2010.

The Commerce Department reported orders for durable goods came in unchanged in October, with the data better than the decline anticipated by economists.

Consumer confidence rose in November to its best reading in more than four years, according to data released Tuesday, as growing hopes for the jobs market buoys sentiment.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 73.7 in November from 73.1 in October. That's above the 72.2 level forecast by economists and the best level since February 2008. The October reading was upwardly revised from 72.2.

Meanwhile, eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund announced late Monday they had reached an agreement that moves Greece closer to receiving a massive bailout payment. The deal includes lower interest rates for Greece, a debt buyback and more time for the debt-laden country to repay its rescue loans.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned early Tuesday that Europe's worsening economy next year will slow U.S. growth more than previously forecast.

In corporate news, ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) has made a 90 per share agreed bid for Ralcorp Holdings (NYSE:RAH) - a 28 per cent premium over Ralcorp's closing stock price Monday.

The deal, valued at 6.8 billion including debt, would create one of the largest North American packaged-food companies and is expected to close in March 2013.

Home-security monitoring company ADT Corp. (NYSE:ADT) Tuesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings edged up 1.1 per cent on higher revenue and a stronger gross margins.

For the quarter ended September 28, ADT posted a profit of 94 million, or 40 cents per share, better than the year-ago profit of 93 million, or 39 cents per share. Stripping out one-time items, profit was 43 cents versus 41 cents last year.

Revenue rose 2.3 per cent to 812 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently expected per-share earnings of 43 cents on revenue of 818 million.

After the closing bell, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) is expected to post fourth-quarter earnings of 45 cents per share, on average, according to a poll by FactSet.


On the NYMEX, oil for January delivery slipped 21 cents to 87.55 a barrel while gold futures for December delivery fell 3.70 to 1,745.30 an ounce.


Markets were mixed in Europe with the FTSE 100 was up 0.13%, the DAX was 0.35% higher and the CAC 40 was 0.20% lower.


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