Morning Market News
Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Friday include: Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS), Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH), Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P), DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC), salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) and Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB).
• US: Dow Futures: 15255.00 (-0.22%), S&P 500 Futures: 1643.70 (-0.38%), NASDAQ Futures: 2983.50 (-0.29%)
• Europe: CAC: 3970.09 (0.07%), DAX: 8302.33 (-0.60%), FTSE: 6659.52 (-0.54%)
• Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4983.50 (-1.56%), China: 2288.53 (0.56%), Hong Kong: 22618.67 (-0.23%), Japan: 14612.45 (0.88%).
• Metals: Gold: 1390.00 (-0.13%), Silver: 22.38 (-0.55%), Copper: 3.30 (-0.05%)
• Energy: Crude Oil: 93.67 (-0.63%), Natural Gas: 4.23 (-0.70%)
• Commodities: Corn: 5.31 (1.33%), Soya Bean: 14.91 (0.02%), Wheat: 7.05 (2.18%)
• Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2934 (-0.01%), GBP/USD: 1.5093 (-0.09%), USD/JPY: 101.3900 (-0.62%)
• 10 year US Treasury: 2.002% (-0.014)
Market and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures decline: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a lower open on Friday, but trimmed losses following stronger-than-expected durable goods data. Orders for durable goods rose 3.3 percent in April, led by higher demand for aircrafts and military equipment, the Commerce Department said toady. Economists had forecast a 1.4 percent rise. Trading may be subdued ahead of the long weekend. U.S. markets will be closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.
European markets mostly lower: European markets are down in trade, adding to Thursday’s strong sell-off, as declines in auto and banking stocks continued to drag the region lower. On the economic front, the German Ifo business-climate index climbed to 105.7 points in May after two consecutive months of declines. The DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) dropped 0.6 percent to 8302.33. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) slid 0.5 percent, while the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) was flat at 3970.09 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) dropped 0.3 percent.
Asian markets end mixed: Asian stocks finished mixed in another volatile session on Friday. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closed 0.9 percent higher after plunging as much as 3 percent at one point. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) added 0.6 percent, as a late overnight rally on Wall Street helped boost trader sentiment. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) fell in trade amid weakness in property stocks. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index slumped 1.6 percent, hurt by losses in banking stocks.
Stocks in News
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has begun probing whether Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is using its leadership in the online graphical and video advertising markets to illegally curb competition, according to a Bloomberg report. The regulator’s examination is in its early stages, the reported said, citing people familiar with the matter. Shares of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) fell in pre-market trade after the news of the probe was released.
The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS)
The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) reported a 43 percent jump in first-quarter profit, helped by a rise in same-store sales at its Gap and Old Navy clothing chains. The company posted quarterly earnings of 71 cents per share, 2 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Sales rose 7 percent to $3.73 billion, while same-store sales increased 2 percent from a year ago. In addition, the retailer reaffirmed its full-year guidance, and said earnings should be between $2.52 and $2.60 a share.
Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH), Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)
Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) has secured $9 billion in financing from five banks, including Barclays Bank and Jefferies & Co., for its $25.5 billion takeover bid for Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), according to Dow Jones Newswires. Dish is competing with Japan’s Softbank Corp (TYO:9984), which agreed last October to buy 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion. Sprint shareholders are set to vote on the SoftBank deal on June 12.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF)
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) posted first quarter loss of 9 cents per share, four cents wider than consensus, with revenue also falling short of estimates. The clothing retailer lowered its view for the year, and now expecting per-share earnings of between $3.15 and $3.25. Shares plunged more than 7 percent in pre-open trading.
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)
Activist investor Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management Inc are in talks with banks and asset managers to line-up lender commitments to help fund a planned leveraged recapitalization of computer giant Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), Reuters reported late Thursday. Icahn and Southeastern are seeking as much as $7 billion in commitments, banking sources told Reuters.
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG)
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) said CEO Bob McDonald will step-down, and will be replaced by his predecessor, A.G. Lafley. Lafley had hand-picked McDonald as his successor. His four-year tenure at the top had been rocky, amid growing criticism from investors and analysts, who question the company’s emphasis on emerging markets. The move comes as a surprise to many analysts, who did not expect Lafley to come out of retirement to replace McDonald.
Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)
Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) reported better than expected first quarter revenue, and forecast strong current-quarter results, sending shares higher in pre-market trading. The online music-streaming service said first-quarter loss came in at 10 cents a share, in line with estimates, on revenue of $128.5 million that beat projections of $124 million. For the second quarter, the company forecast between a loss of 2 cents a share and a profit of 1 cent a share on adjusted revenue of $155 million to $160 million, both above expectations.
DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC)
Satellite operator DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), cable operator Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) and private equity fund Guggenheim Digital Media have put in bids for online video site Hulu, Reuters reported late Thursday. Representatives of Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Guggenheim declined to comment on the news. Hulu, launched five years ago, has more than 3 million paid subscribers. The company was put on sale earlier this year amid disagreement between owners News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS).
salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM)
Cloud-software company salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) posted first-quarter adjusted earnings of 10 cents per share, in line with estimates, on revenue of $893 million that topped expectations for $887 million. For the full year, the company forecast earnings of between 47 cents and 49 cents per share, compared to expectations of 49 cents per share. Shares fell in early morning trade.
Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB)
Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) has agreed to buy organic baby food maker Plum Organics for an undisclosed amount, as part of efforts to diversify its product stable. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the year. Plum Organics, founded in 2007, is a fast growing baby foods company, and generated annual sales of $93 million last year. Its products include baby food packaged in squeezable pouches that babies and toddlers can slurp, and puffed snacks for kids.
Economic Calendar for Friday, May 24, 2013:
08:30 A.M. ET: Durable Goods Orders (April)
08:30 A.M. ET: Durable Goods Orders ex-Transportation (Apr)