Morning Market Update
Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Thursday include: DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH), Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (BRK.B), NV Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NVE), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL), EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG), Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK), Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA), Joy Global Inc. (NYSE:JOY) and Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN)
• US: Dow Futures: 15327.00 (0.24%), S&P 500 Futures: 1654.50 (0.46%), NASDAQ Futures: 3002.00 (0.22%)
• Europe: CAC: 4007.91 (0.85%), DAX: 8389.78 (0.64%), FTSE: 6643.50 (0.25%)
• Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4930.70 (-0.88%), China: 2317.75 (-0.27%), Hong Kong: 22484.31 (-0.31%), Japan: 13589.03 (-5.43%).
• Metals: Gold: 1399.80 (0.61%), Silver: 22.67 (0.97%), Copper: 3.31 (0.30%)
• Energy: Crude Oil: 92.67 (-0.49%), Natural Gas: 4.17 (-0.43%)
• Commodities: Corn: 5.61 (2.72%), Soya Bean: 14.96 (-0.33%), Wheat: 6.97 (1.08%)
• Currency: EUR/USD: 1.2953 (0.09%), GBP/USD: 1.5117 (-0.09%), USD/JPY: 101.6900 (0.52%)
• 10 year US Treasury: 2.142% (0.027)
Market and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures trim gains: U.S. stock-index futures pared gains following weak GDP and jobless claims data. First-quarter GDP growth was revised down to 2.4 percent from 2.5 percent, falling slightly short of estimates for a 2.5 percent gain. Weekly jobless claims unexpectedly increased 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 354,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists were expecting a reading of 340,000.
European markets rise: European markets gained in trade following some positive economic data from the region. The European Commission said the Economic Sentiment Indicator for the currency bloc rose in May by 0.8 points to 89.0. In other economic news, U.K. housing prices edged 0.4 percent higher in May, in line with estimates. The DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) added 0.7 percent to 8389.78. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) gained 0.3 percent, while the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) jumped 0.9 percent to 4007.91 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) is up 0.7 percent.
Asian markets end lower; Nikkei falls over 5 percent: The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) dived below the 14,000 mark for the first time in a month amid a strengthening yen and volatile Japanese government bond yields. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) and the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) both fell 0.3 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index tumbled 0.9 percent, hit by weakness in mining stocks.
Stocks in News
DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) has raised its buyout offer for Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) to $4.40 per share, valuing the mobile-broadband operator at $6.5 billion, or 29 percent more than a rival bid by Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). Clearwire shareholders are set to vote on Sprint’s takeover offer on Friday. Shares of Clearwire jumped as much as 22 percent to $4.23 in pre-market trading after the offer was disclosed.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B)’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. has agreed to acquire Nevada electric utility NV Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NVE) for $5.6 billion. MidAmerican Energy will pay $23.75 per share, 23 percent more than NV Energy’s closing price on Wednesday. The acquisition will make MidAmerican Energy the largest U.S. utility owner based on customer accounts. Shares of NV Energy surged in pre-open session.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Motorola Mobility handset unit plans to unveil a new smartphone called Moto X by October, stepping up efforts to gain market share from Samsung’s S4 and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5. The new phone, to be manufactured in the US, will be more aware of its surroundings and smart enough to anticipate how it will be used next, according to Dennis Woodside, chief executive of Google’s Motorola subsidiary.
Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)
Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) reported better than expected third quarter profit amid increased revenue from membership fees. Profit in the quarter ended May 12 rose to $459 million, or $1.04 a share, from $386 million, or 88 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Net sales rose 8 percent to $23.55 billion from $21.85 billion last year. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.02 a share on revenue of $24.09 billion.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL)
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) said the fire on its Grandeur of the Seas cruise vessel will reduce annual profit by 10 cents a share. The vessel has been taken out of service, and repairs should take about six weeks, the cruise operator said yesterday in a statement. Shares fell in pre-market trading.
EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC)
EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) initiated a quarterly dividend and increased its stock repurchase program to $6 billion from $1 billion by end-2015. The first quarterly dividend will be paid on July 23 to shareholders of record on July 1, and the company expects to repurchase $3.5 billion of stock by the second quarter of 2014. Shares rose almost 4 percent following the announcement.
Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG)
Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG) posted first quarter earnings excluding certain items of 61 cents per share, in line with the average analysts’ estimate. Net sales rose 1.3 percent to $1.311 billion, while comparable store sales fell 2.5 percent. In addition, the discount retailer provided current quarter and full-year outlook that fell short of estimates, sending shares lower in pre-market trade.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has challenged casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK)’s proposed $2.8 billion acquisition of Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA) saying it violates U.S. anti-trust law. The FTC voted unanimously to file an administrative complaint against the deal, and said the merger would harm customers in Missouri and Louisiana, where the two are direct competitors.
Joy Global Inc. (NYSE:JOY)
Joy Global Inc. (NYSE:JOY) reported better than expected second-quarter results, but cut its earnings outlook for the year, sending shares lower in pre-market trading. The mining equipment maker’s quarterly earnings excluding certain items came in at $1.73 per share, 17 cents above the consensus estimate, with revenues also topping forecasts. However, the company lowered its full-year adjusted earnings estimate by 15 cents and trimmed the top end of its revenue guidance by $200 million.
Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN)
Travel website Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) announced a $1 billion private offering of 7-year convertible bonds, and increased its stock-repurchase program by $1 billion. The company plans to use the net proceeds from the offering to buyback up to $450 million of its outstanding shares in private transactions. Earlier this month, the company reported its first-quarter earnings grew 34 percent, helped by newer products and growth in emerging markets. Shares edged higher in early morning trade.
Economic Calendar for Thursday, May 30, 2013:
08:30 A.M. ET: Gross Domestic Product Annualized (Q1)
08:30 A.M. ET: Gross Domestic Product Price Index (Q1)
08:30 A.M. ET: Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, May 25)
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, May 18)
08:30 A.M. ET: Personal Consumption Expenditures Prices (QoQ) (Q1)
08:30 A.M. ET: Core Personal Consumption Expenditures (QoQ) (Q1)
10:00 A.M. ET: Pending Home Sales (YoY) (April)
10:00 A.M. ET: Pending Home Sales (MoM) (April)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, May 24)
11:00 A.M. ET: EIA Petroleum Status Report (Week ending Friday, May 24)
01:00 P.M. ET: 7-Year Note Auction
04:30 P.M. ET: Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET: Money Supply