ABC News’ John Kapetaneas reports:
Morning Money Memo …
The crisis in Ukraine is shaking many economies across the globe this morning, although not nearly the level seen this past Friday.
Markets in Europe were down across the board, with Italian and German markets leading the way. U.S. markets were down more than 100 points early in the trading day, while Asian markets were mostly mixed.
Though the conflict in eastern Ukraine appeared to have minimal effect during the previous month, the two-day decline of some markets following the downing of MH17 on Thursday and the ensuing political turmoil may hurt some economies more than others.
“As tensions increase to a point where we’re looking for further sanctions against Russia, and this particular geopolitical hot spot that is Ukraine, I think you’re going to see a much larger impact on the core of Europe,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist for Wunderlich Securities. “What we’re trying to do is compact the cause and effect on markets of one event. Tensions will, in fact, increase as we struggle to find answers and place blame. That’s going to have an overall dark cloud over most markets.”
It’s not all negative news for the U.S. economy in the week ahead, however. As a wealth of economic data is released this week, including the Consumer Price Index, new home sales and durable goods, in addition to scores of S&P 500 companies reporting earnings results, the turnaround at least in the U.S. and countries with lower exposure to Russia could be relatively quick.
“I would venture to guess part of our attention will placed on that micro versus the global macro, and that will manifest itself in the way stocks trade at least in the United States,” said Hogan.
In earnings news: Halliburton stock was up this morning following second quarter earnings that met expectations and exceeded revenue forecasts for the quarter. Six Flags also posted revenue growth of 14 percent. Other companies reporting today were to include Netflix and Chipotle.
Big Tobacco Fights Back
The country’s second-largest cigarette maker, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, said it will appeal Friday’s jury verdict ordering the company to pay $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the widow of a former smoker who died 18 years ago from lung cancer.
The verdict came just as Reynolds’ parent company, Reynolds American Inc., announced that it was purchasing the country’s next-largest cigarette maker, Lorillard Tobacco.
A lawyer for the plaintiff said that big tobacco “cannot continue to lie to the American people” with regard to the addictiveness of cigarettes.
J. Jeffrey Raborn, an executive for Reynolds, called the verdict “grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law.”
Fees Up for Flying
Get ready to shell out more cash for your next flight. The TSA more than doubled its fees today, from $2.50 to $5.60 for most flights, while passengers with a layover longer than four hours will pay an additional fee. The $10 fee cap was also eliminated. But don’t go blaming the people in blue just yet. Congress approved the increase in to raise an estimated $16 billion to $17 billion over the next decade.
‘Apes’ Reigns Supreme Again
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” ruled the box office for the second weekend in a row, earning an estimated $36 million, putting the POTA reboot well over $100 million. Horror-thriller “The Purge” finished second with $28 million, and Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue” was third with $18 million.