Tuesday's Early Headlines
- Sovereign Default in Euro Zone Is Possible: Fitch -- Brian Coulton, managing director and head of Europe, Middle East and Africa sovereigns at Fitch Ratings, told Reuters that it was possible to have a sovereign default within the euro currency bloc, although that would not necessarily mean the break up of the euro zone. "Frankly we're still looking at the details and need a bit more time examining the plan," Coulton told Reuters at a Fitch conference in London."The broad headline numbers are more or less in line with what we previously expected. But frankly it's too early ... we're still looking at the numbers."
- Small Business Optimism Falls in February -- The National Federation of Independent said its small business optimism index fell 1.3 points in February, falling back to the December reading of 88.0. "News about the economy is for the most part improving, and therefore is an unlikely source of small business uncertainty and declining optimism," Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB's chief economist, said in a release. "Net job creation will appear in the coming months, but the gains will be painfully slow with timid consumer spending, especially in the service sector."
- Cisco Prepping "Significant" Product Announcement -- Cisco Systems (CSCO) is expected to make a "significant" product announcement at 10 a.m. EST Tuesday, with speculation that the network-equipment maker will unveil a router capable of handling larger amounts of Internet traffic. On the company's Web site, Cisco says its "next innovation will help service providers prepare for the future by delivering anywhere to anywhere experiences."
- Marsh & McLennan Could Sell Kroll: Report -- Marsh & McLennan (MMC) has put Kroll, its corporate investigations division, up for sale for about $1.3 billion, The Financial Times reports. Carlyle Group, ApaxPartners and General Atlantic all submitted bids by the deadline in late February, while BCPartners is also mulling a bid alongside one or two trade bidders, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the situation. Kroll, which has about $650 million in annual revenue, was deemed a poor strategic fit almost since the time it was bought by Marsh & McLennan, The Financial Times says.
- Google, Dish Reportedly Test TV Search -- Google (GOOG) is testing a new television programming search service with Dish Network (DISH), according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The service runs on TV set-top boxes and contains Google software that allows users to search content from Web videos and personalize a lineup of shows, the report said. Viewers in the Google test can search by typing queries using a keyboard rather than a remote control, the newspaper says.
Tuesday's Earnings Roundup
- Kroger (KR) will report quarterly results before the start of trading Tuesday, with analysts looking for a profit of 34 cents a share on revenue of $17.73 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
- Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) swung to an adjusted fourth-quarter profit of 54 cents a share, which was a penny worse than the Thomson Reuters average estimate. Revenue was up 10.7% to $1.34 billion, which was in line with consensus. Looking ahead, Dick's offered in-line earnings guidance for the first quarter and for fiscal year 2011.