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Morning Market Roundup: Nokia Junk, Investors Abandon Netflix, Japan Eases Monetary Policy


Here’s what’s important in the financial world this morning:

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Nokia from “BBB-” to “BB+” or to formerly known as junk status. This comes as the handset maker sits on a pile of EUR 4.9 billion of net cash. The agency said it may further cut the company’s ratings unless its performance begins to improve in this year’s second half and in 2013. Given the challenges Nokia may face, Fitch is unconvinced that the company can get through this.

Netflix earnings are in, and investors are selling the stock hand over fist. Netflix shares are down over 13 percent after announcing a first-quarter loss of $4.58 million, compared to a profit of $60.23 million a year earlier. The company expects subscriber growth to slow in the current second quarter.

Apple will report its earnings after the bell on Tuesday and it is expected to show its continued onslaught with its earnings per share forecast of $10.06 vs. $6.40 and a revenue increase of 49 percent to $36.8 billion. Lately, there’s been an amount of cautious commentary about the upcoming report. One BCG analyst has predicted that from emerging markets buyers’ price sensitively, which has added to a strong Android demand, it will hamper Apple’s growth.

Yahoo! Japan Corp’s share buyback talks with its key shareholder Yahoo Inc. have ended without an agreement reported Retuers but the two companies are open to future talks for additional negotiations.

Yahoo! Japan’s chief financial officer Toshiki Ohya said to reporters, “We want to positively consider resuming negotiations if the conditions are right.” Last week, Yahoo’s chief executive, Scott Thompson said the company’s plans to sell its Yahoo! Japan stake but it had been hit by a “valuation gap” that the parties could not come together on.

The Bank of Japan is expected to ease its monetary policy on Friday, according to Reuters. It will increase its YEN30 trillion ($370 billion) asset purchase program by YEN 5 trillion (YEN 10 trillion). In addition, the bank could also broaden the government bonds’ maturity that it purchases from two years to three years.

[Editor’s note: the above is from a cross post that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]

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