11:00 AM New York – U.S. indexes traded sideways after trade deficit contracted and wholesale inventories increased in May. Unit Corp agreed to acquire certain oil and natural gas properties from Noble Energy for $617 million.
U.S. indexes traded sideways and trade deficit declined and Spain proposed additional austerity measures to meet bailout conditions and Germany sold debt today at record low yields.
Investors are also awaiting the release of Fed minutes of the latest meeting later in the day. The euro traded near 2-year low against the dollar.
Spain''s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy unveiled tax increases and spending cuts to reduce the budget deficit by €65 billion over two years.
Rajoy said at a speech to lawmakers, “We have very little room to choose” and added “I pledged to cut taxes and now I am raising them. But, the circumstances have changed and I have to adapt to them.”
Some of the austerity measures include raising the value-added tax to 21% from 18%, reducing jobless claim benefits by 10% after six months, and imposing salary cuts for government employees and foregoing of Christmas bonus.
Separately, Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras said the government requires another €3 billion to cover its short-term funding requirements.
A report from the International Labor Organization stated that unemployment in the euro-zone could reach almost 22 million over the next four years, up from 17.4 million.
Asian markets closed mixed tracking weak U.S. earnings and European economic worries. Investors look ahead to the two day policy meeting of the Bank of Japan beginning today for some economic cues.
U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in May, according to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department today.
In the month of May exports edged up $183.1 billion and imports declined to $231.8 billion in May resulting in a goods and services deficit of $48.7 billion, down from the revised $50.6 billion deficit in April.
Exports in May were $0.4 billion more than April exports of $182.7 billion and May imports were $1.6 billion less than April imports of $233.3 billion.
The goods and services deficit increased $1 billion from a year ago month.
U.S. Wholesale Inventories Rise
U.S. wholesale inventories at a seasonally adjusted level were $484.1 billion in May, a 0.3% increase from April levels, according to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department today.
On an annual basis, U.S. wholesale inventories rose 6.4% from May 2011 levels.
Unit Corp. to Acquire Certain Assets from Noble Energy
Unit Corp., the energy company said its wholly owned subsidiary, Unit Petroleum Company agreed to acquire certain oil and natural gas properties in western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle from Noble Energy, Inc. for $617.1 million in cash.
Unit Corp expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to cash flow and earnings beginning in 2013.