Market tone: Stocks seen higher on European gains; Dollar lower against major currencies; Treasurys unchanged; Nymex Sept. crude down 42 cents at $97.02/bbl; Gold up 0.8% at $1,679/oz
Overnight action: Chrysler and UAW reached a tentative agreement; Slovakia to hold talks for a second EFSF vote; Spanish banks hit by rating cuts; Blackberry disruptions continue; Euro-zone industrial output rises
Watch for: Earnings from PepsiCo; Minutes from the last FOMC meeting and speeches from three Fed presidents; ECB President Trichet speech
LONDON—Industrial production across the 17 countries that share the euro increased at an unexpectedly strong pace in August and for the second straight month.
The increase is partly a result of big output increases in Ireland and Portugal, two countries that received bailouts from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The European Union’s official statistics agency Eurostat said Wednesday industrial production rose by 1.2% from a month earlier
Millions of BlackBerry users around the world were left without text communication services for a third day on Wednesday as Research in Motion struggled to fix what it said was a switching failure in its private network.
Users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India suffered patchy email service and no access to browsing and messaging, ratcheting up negative sentiment toward a company already losing market share to Apple and Samsung.
RIM, which had said on Tuesday that services had returned to normal, said later the problems had actually spread beyond EMEA and India to Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
Hewlett-Packard Co. is rethinking its plan to spin off its personal-computer division, as fresh analyses show the costs might outweigh the benefits, according to people familiar with the matter.
Newly-installed chief executive, Meg Whitman, is crunching the numbers of the proposal by her predecessor, Leo Apotheker, to split the world’s biggest computer company in two.
Neither Ms. Whitman nor the company’s board have made a final decision, according to some of the people. She has said publicly that she would like to make a decision by the end of October.