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MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia - 04/12/2012

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U.S. stocks trended lower overnight following dissapointing U.S. manufacturing in November, while fiscal cliff concerns intensify. HSBC’s Purchasing Managers’ Index for China rose to 50.5 in November. In Europe - manufacturing activity for the eurozone fell for the sixteenth straight month. In Australia, the SPI is 15 points lower with interest rates expected to be cut today.
(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Investors were swamped with global data overnight, including U.S. manufacturing in November which dissapointed - putting a dampiner on the markets, while concerns are intesifying on the looming automatic spending cuts and tax hikes otherwise known as the fiscal cliff.

By the close the Dow Jones had fallen 60 points (-0.46%), while the NASDAQ eased eight points (-0.27%) to 3002.

HSBC's Purchasing Managers' Index for China rose to 50.5 in November from 49.5 in October " suggesting expansion. It was the first time in roughly a year that the index has risen above the 50 mark, anything lower indicates decline.

In Europe, manufacturing activity across the 17-nation eurozone fell for the sixteenth straight month in November, according to the final reading of the Markit purchasing managers' index.

Republicans deficit-reduction plan

According to reports, House Republicans presented their first deficit-reduction plan Monday. Under the proposal, MarketWatch reported the Republicans would increase taxes by 800 billion, abour half of what Obama has proposed.

The proposal also includes 600 billion in savings in Medicare and other health programs - more than the 400 billion Obama has proposed.

U.S. Corporate News

In corporate news, U.S. auto sales in November were lifeted by a better economy and extra demand after Superstorm Sandy.

Ford's (NYSE:F) November sales rose 6.5 per cent to 177,673 vehicles. In a more positive sign for consumer demand, Ford's retail sales rose 12 per cent. GM's (NYSE:GM) sales rose 3 per cent to 186,505 cars and trucks, below what several analysts had expected. The company said the average price paid per vehicle rose 750 from last year.

Chrysler, majority owned by Fiat, said sales rose 14 per cent to 122,565 cars and trucks, its strongest result since 2007 before a recession pushed the U.S. automaker and GM into bankruptcy.

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSE:RIM) slipped after Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley downgraded the BlackBerry maker to "sell", citing fundamentals that do not support the stock price's recent move upward.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) analysts upgraded computer maker Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) to a "Buy" from "Sell".

The Wall Street bank also increased its price target to 13 from 9, suggesting a 21% increase over the stock's current higher price of 10.17.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) said Monday it agreed to sell its Morningstar Foods unit to Canada's Saputo (TSE:SAP) for 1.45 billion.

Refinery operator PBF Energy Monday set a price range of 25 to 27 per share for its upcoming market debut. The company plans to issue 16.5 million shares, raising 429 million, based on the midpoint of its projected price range.

PBF Energy plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PBF.

U.S. technology services provider Computer Sciences Corp (NYSE:CSC) Monday sold its credit services unit to business information provider Equifax (NYSE:EFX) for 1 billion in cash.


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