Stock Market Updates: C, F, TM, HMC, MON, WAG

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Japan’s 10-year government bond yields were at a seven week highs prior to an auction of the securities today. Pre-auction trading Tuesday signaled that the Ministry of Finance would establish a 1.3 percent coupon on the 2.2 trillion yen ($24 billion) of new debt. This would match the rate at the previous auction on December 1st. Ten-year Treasury yields yesterday touched the lowest level in about two weeks. “Ten-year yields at 1.3 percent should encourage investors to buy on dips,” stated Kazuhiko Sano, chief strategist in Tokyo at Citigroup (NYSE:C) Global Markets Japan Inc. “The 10-year auction should go smoothly.” –Bloomberg

Ford Motor (NYSE:F) disclosed that U.S. sales rose 34% last month compared to a year ago. General Motors, however, reported that sales dropped 6% in December, but climbed 13% within its remaining four core brands. Chrysler Group managed to stave off a double-digit decline in monthly sales to just 3.7% compared to 2008 while boosting December sales 36% above November’s data. Asian car makers fared well, with Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM) and Honda Motor (NYSE: HMC) both reporting higher December sales figures, up 32% and 24%, respectively, set against 2008 figures. Nissan Motors stated that sales rose 18% from a year ago, while Hyundai Motor Group, reported a year-over-year rise of 42%. –Daily Finance

Dubai-based port operator DP World disclosed that it plans to list on the London Stock Exchange after its shares traded on the Nasdaq Dubai bourse failed to attract significant investor interest. The company, the world’s fourth-largest ports operator, is 77% owned by troubled government-owned conglomerate Dubai World, with the rest of its shares listed on Nasdaq Dubai. After raising almost $5 billion in 2007 in the Middle East’s largest initial public offering (IPO), the DP World has failed to live up to expectations or attract investors. The global downturn in trade has also undermined DP World’s value. First-half earnings plummeted 34% at $188 million from a year ago. –The Wall Street Journal

Monsanto (NYSE:MON) stated that its fiscal first-quarter loss was $19 million, or 3 cents per share, compared to a profit of $556 million, or $1 per share, in the year-ago period. Total net sales fell to $1.7 billion from $2.6 billion. Analysts were looking for nil earnings in the most recent quarter on sales of roughly $2 billion. For the full year, the company predicted ongoing earnings of $3.10 to $3.30 per share. Wall Street projected fiscal 2010 earnings of $3.35 a share, on average. In other news, Drugstore chain Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) divulged that its December same-store sales dropped 0.3%. Front-end same-store sales in the month declined 3.1%, while pharmacy same-store sales were lifted by 1.8%. Total December sales climbed 3.6% to $6.3 billion. -MarketWatch

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