Stock market news

Morning Market News 

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Thursday include: American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM), SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM), MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS), Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) and Roper Industries, Inc. (NYSE:ROP)

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow Futures: 14587.00 (0.24%), S&P 500 Futures: 1551.10 (0.32%), NASDAQ Futures: 2785.00 (0.38%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3623.54 (0.67%), DAX: 7526.11 (0.31%), FTSE: 6271.68 (0.44%)
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4924.40 (-1.60%), China: 2197.60 (0.17%), Hong Kong: 21512.52 (-0.27%), India: 5783.10 (1.66%), Japan: 13220.07 (-1.23%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1397.80 (1.09%), Silver: 23.49 (0.79%), Copper: 3.17 (-0.42%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 87.78 (1.27%), Natural Gas: 4.22 (0.02%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 6.41 (-0.16%), Soya Bean: 13.91 (0.44%), Wheat: 7.12 (0.04%)
•    Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3064 (0.25%), GBP/USD: 1.5294 (0.37%), USD/JPY: 98.3600 (0.24%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.699% (0.003)

Market and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures up: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Thursday, despite a slight up tick in weekly jobless claims. Weekly jobless claims increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 352,000, the Labor Department said today. Economists were expecting a reading of 350,000 new claims. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are due to report quarterly numbers after the close.

European markets rise: European markets are up in trade today, but are off the highs of the session, after Nokia released disappointing earnings. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) gained 0.3 percent to 7526.11 points. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) added 0.4 percent to 6271.68 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) jumped 0.7 percent to 3623.54 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was up 0.8 percent.

Asian markets end mostly lower: Asian markets closed lower on Thursday amid concerns about the strength of the economic recovery in China, and lackluster overnight earnings from the U.S. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) tumbled 1.2 percent, largely due to weakness in tech stocks, while the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index finished down 1.6 percent, hurt by the sell off in commodities. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) pared losses to close 0.3 percent lower and the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) closed modestly in the green. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index bucked regional weakness to end 1.5 percent higher.

Stocks to Watch

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP)

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) reported better than expected first quarter profit, helped by increased spending by its cardholders. Earnings came in at $1.15 a share, 3 cents above the average analysts’ estimate, on revenue of $7.88 billion that trailed expectations for $8.03 billion. In addition, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) divulged plans to increase its dividend in the next quarter by 15 percent to 23 cents a share, and buy back up to $3.2 billion of shares during the remainder of the year. Shares are flat following the mixed results.


eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) reported lower than expected quarterly revenue as weakness in Europe outweighed growth at its Marketplace and PayPal businesses. The online auction website posted first quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 63 cents a share, on sales of $3.75 billion, compared to analysts’ expectations for 62 cents a share on revenue of $3.77 billion. eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) forecast disappointing current quarter earnings, sending shares lower in pre-market trading.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has reached a deal to acquire San Francisco-based API management service Mashery Inc. for an undisclosed sum, AllThingsD reported late yesterday. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2013. Mashery has about 125 employees, most of whom will be retained after the acquisition, an Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) spokeswoman said. Shares of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) closed Wednesday at $21.93, and were up in early morning trade.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) reported first quarter adjusted earnings of 61 cents per share, 5 cents above the consensus estimate. Revenue came in at $8.5 billion, down 5 percent from a year earlier, but better than analysts’ expectations of $8.3 billion. Revenue from its investment banking unit dropped, while revenue from wealth management rose.

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) posted a narrower first quarter loss, helped by stronger Lumia smartphone sales. The Finnish mobile phone maker’s first-quarter underlying loss decreased to 0.02 euros from 0.08 euros a year earlier. Analysts had anticipated the company would report a 0.04 euros loss. Sales fell 20 percent from a year earlier to 5.852 billion euros, and were nine percent lower than analysts’ projections. Sales of the flagship Lumia smart phones rose 27 percent during the period, but total sales of mobile phones dropped 30 percent to 1.59 billion euros.

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM)

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) said first-quarter profit fell 2 percent, hurt by lower cigarette shipment volume and higher costs. Adjusted earnings per share stood at $1.29, 5 cents below the consensus estimate, while revenue increased 1.8 percent to $7.6 billion, slightly better than expectations for $7.5 billion. In addition, Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) lowered its full-year earnings outlook due to unfavorable currency effects.

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK)

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) reported first quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 84 cents a share, on revenue of $1.34 billion, beating expectations for 79 cents a share on sales of $1.31 billion. The memory chipmaker forecast second quarter sales that also topped some estimates. Shares fell despite the healthy numbers, partly due to analysts’ concerns about future chip pricing.

LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD)

LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) has overhauled its mobile application in an effort to enhance the experience of the growing number of people using it on smartphones. LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) introduced revamped mobile apps for iPhone and Android that are fully native and are expected to reduce the number of steps needed to reach the most important content. Interestingly, the new mobile applications will for the first time allow LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) to show ads to smartphone users.


SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM) posted first quarter earnings of 61 cents a share, one cent above the consensus estimate. The results also looked better because the student loan service company recorded a smaller loss from derivative and hedging activities in the latest period in comparison to the first three months of 2012. Meanwhile, SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM) handed in full-year earnings that exceeded analysts’ forecasts, sending shares higher in pre-market trading.

MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS)

MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS) has received the endorsement of proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services for its deal to merge with T-Mobile USA. The turnabout came after T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom AG revised the terms of the deal to impose less debt on the merged company. This comes a day after another large proxy firm, Glass Lewis & Co., also recommended that MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS) shareholders approve the deal.

Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI)

Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) said quarterly profit nearly quadrupled as revenue from its pipeline businesses climbed. Profit during the January to March quarter surged to $292 million, or 28 cents a share, from $21 million, or 3 cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenue jumped 65 percent to $3.06 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 33 cents per share, on revenue of $2.92 billion. Profit from natural-gas pipeline business rose 78 percent, helped by the acquisitions of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline and El Paso Natural Gas pipeline. Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) raised its quarterly cash dividend to 38 cents a share from 37 cents a share in the previous quarter. The dividend is payable on May 16 to shareholders of record as of April 29.

Roper Industries, Inc. (NYSE:ROP)

Diversified manufacturer Roper Industries, Inc. (NYSE:ROP) has agreed to buy privately-owned Managed Health Care Associates Inc. for $1 billion in cash to expand its presence in the healthcare market. Managed Health Care extends software and analytics services and technologies to alternate-site health care providers. The deal is expected to be completed in 30 days, and Roper Industries, Inc. (NYSE:ROP) said the acquisition would add $95 million in earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization in the first year.

Economic Calendar for Thursday, April 18, 2013:

08:30 A.M. ET:    Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, April 13)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, April 06)
09:00 A.M. ET:    Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota speaks.
10:00 A.M. ET:    Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey (April)
10:00 A.M. ET:    Conference Board’s Leading Indicator (MoM) (March)
10:30 A.M. ET:    EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, April 12)
12:00 P.M. ET:    Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin speaks.
04:30 P.M. ET:    Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET:    Money Supply