Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Thursday include: Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Visa Inc (NYSE:V), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B), Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO), CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and Shutterfly, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFLY)
- US: Dow Futures: 14723.00 (0.59%), S&P 500 Futures: 1585.30 (0.50%), NASDAQ Futures: 2885.75 (0.78%)
- Europe: CAC: 3846.83 (-0.26%), DAX: 7947.15 (0.42%), FTSE: 6437.25 (-0.22%)
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 5130.00 (-0.70%), China: 2174.12 (-0.17%), Hong Kong: 22668.30 (-0.30%), India: 5999.35 (1.17%), Japan: 13694.04 (-0.77%).
- Metals: Gold: 1463.30 (1.18%), Silver: 23.83 (2.09%), Copper: 3.13 (1.77%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 91.53 (0.55%), Natural Gas: 4.35 (0.53%)
- Commodities: Corn: 6.54 (-0.42%), Soya Bean: 13.79 (-1.58%), Wheat: 7.24 (-1.17%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3169 (-0.08%), GBP/USD: 1.5568 (0.08%), USD/JPY: 98.0700 (0.70%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.646% (0.016)
Market and Economic News Update
U.S. stock-index futures gain: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Thursday after jobless claims fell to a five-year low. Weekly jobless claims fell 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 324,000 last week, the Labor Department said today. This was the lowest rate since January 2008. Economists were expecting a rise to 346,000 last week. Also, non-farm productivity modestly increased in the first quarter at a 0.7 percent annual rate, missing expectations for a 1.2 percent rate. In other economic news, the Commerce Department said trade deficit narrowed an unexpected 11 percent in March. American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG), Gilead Sciences, Inc (NASDAQ:GILD) and Kraft Foods Group Inc (NASDAQ:KRFT) will report quarterly results after the close of trading.
European markets retreat from highs of the session: European markets were off the highs of the day after ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank would not take-up any extra stimulus measures. Earlier today, ECB cut its main interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.5 percent. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) is down 0.2 percent to 6437.25, the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) added 0.4 percent to 7947.15 points and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) fell 0.3 percent. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) fell 0.6 percent.
Asian markets end mostly lower: Asian stocks closed lower amid investor concerns about weak economic data from China. China’s HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 50.4 in April from 51.6 in March, the first drop in new export orders this year. Markets across Asia also reacted to the drop in U.S. manufacturing activity in April. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) closed below the 13,700 mark, down 0.8 percent for the session. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) closed down 0.3 percent at 22668.30 points, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) edged 0.2 percent lower to 2174.12. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index fell 0.7 percent to close at 5130 points.
Stocks in News
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) reported first quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 12 cents a share, trailing expectations by a penny a share, on sales of $1.46 billion that was better than the $1.44 billion that analysts were expecting. In addition, the social networking giant said monthly active users jumped 23 percent from a year ago to 1.11 billion. Shares edged higher in early morning trade.
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) posted first-quarter profit excluding certain items of 67 cents per share, 13 cents above the average analysts’ estimates, with revenue also beating consensus. The automaker was helped by better-than-expected results in North America and Europe. Shares in General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) rose 2 percent in pre-market trading.
Visa Inc (NYSE:V)
Visa Inc (NYSE:V) reported second quarter earnings excluding one-time items of $1.92 a share, on sales of $2.96 billion, blowing past expectations for $1.81 a share on revenue of $2.85 billion. In addition, the credit card provider upped its full-year earnings growth outlook to around 20 percent. Shares gained in pre-market trading.
Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) has sold 1.75 million Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) shares, according to a SEC filing. Berkshire sold the stock at prices ranging from about $59.93 to $60.94 a share, the filing said. Berkshire is still the largest shareholder in Moody’s with a stake of 11.9 percent. Shares of Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) closed Wednesday down 5 cents at $60.80 on the New York Stock Exchange, and were inactive pre-market.
CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI)
CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI) posted first-quarter profit excluding certain items of $1.72 per share, 29 cents above the consensus estimate, with revenue also topped projections. The insurance company also raised its full-year outlook, and now expects earnings to be in a range of $6.00 to $6.45 per share. Analysts are expecting profit of $6.35 per share this year.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992) have called-off negotiations over a multi billion-dollar deal in which the Chinese computer maker would have bought IBM’s low-end server division, amid disagreement over the valuation of the business, according to a report in Fortune magazine. The report further added that negotiations could still resume. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has been looking for a buyer for this unit as part of its efforts to move away from hardware sales and into the enterprise software and services business.
Shutterfly, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFLY)
Shutterfly, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFLY) reported first quarter loss of 33 cents a share on sales of $117 million, compared to Wall Street projections for a loss of 40 cents a share on revenue of $110 million. The photo publishing company also handed in mixed current-quarter and full-year outlook. Shutterfly, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFLY) shares gained in early-hours trading.
Economic Calendar for Thursday, May 02, 2013:
07:30 A.M. ET: Challenger Job Cuts (YoY) (April)
08:30 A.M. ET: Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Friday, April 26)
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Friday, April 20)
08:30 A.M. ET: Trade Balance (March)
08:30 A.M. ET: Non-farm Productivity (Q1)
08:30 A.M. ET: Unit Labor Costs (Q1)
09:45 A.M. ET: ISM New York index (April)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, April 26)
04:30 P.M. ET: Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET: Money Supply