Current Futures: Dow +77.00, S&P +8.80, NASDAQ +10.50
European Trade: European shares opened the trading session mixed, following the negative close in the Asian equity indexes. U.S. futures advanced overnight, for the first time in the last few days.
GM announced yesterday that it would need an additional $16.6 billion in new loans, while Chrysler said it would need another $5 billion. The two car-companies plan to reduce their work force by almost 50.000 employees in the U.S. In order to reduce its global workforce, GM also plans to scrap three brands; Hummer, Saturn and Saab.
The U.S. car industry must show to the Treasury committee that it can follow a sustainable recovery plan, which, in time would lead the two companies to profit. According to research made by Chrysler, 2-3 million jobs would be lost in the U.S., if the two companies go into bankruptcy. In the last year, GM’s shares tumbled more than 90%.
The French bank Societe Generale managed to post a fourth quarter profit, helped by its domestic operations. SocGen is among the few banks that were able to avoid losses in the fourth quarter, after Lehman filed for bankruptcy. A year ago, SocGen posted a 3.92 billion euro loss, caused by Jerome Kerviel’s trading losses.
In the Netherlands, ING reported a fourth quarter loss of 3.71 billion euros, less than analysts had expected. This was the second consecutive quarter in which the Dutch bank posted a loss. However, the bank might avoid any further losses in the following quarters, as the government offered a credit line for some of its securities.
The U.K. Ftse gained 3.67 points (0.09%) to 4,037.80, while the German Dax rose 5.92 points (0.14%) to 4,222.52.
Crude oil broke below the $35 benchmark area. Crude oil for March delivery fell $0.30 to $34.80
Gold continues to head higher, as investors use it as a safe haven. Bullion for immediate delivery rose $3.00 to $970.50.
Previous Asian trade: Tonight, the Nikkei fell 111.07 points (1.45%) to 7,534.44. The Australian S&P lost 51.10 points (1.48%) to 3,413.20.