Morning Market

Morning Market Update 

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Thursday include: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow Futures: 15056.00 (-0.04%), S&P 500 Futures: 1624.50 (-0.26%), NASDAQ Futures: 2953.00 (-0.30%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3930.08 (-0.67%), DAX: 8244.07 (-0.07%), FTSE: 6580.81 (-0.09%)
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 5198.40 (-0.03%), China: 2232.97 (-0.60%), Hong Kong: 23211.48 (-0.14%), Japan: 14191.48 (-0.66%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1464.20 (-0.64%), Silver: 23.90 (-0.13%), Copper: 3.33 (-1.25%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 95.78 (-0.87%), Natural Gas: 3.94 (-0.88%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 6.33 (-0.70%), Soya Bean: 13.97 (0.58%), Wheat: 7.04 (-0.53%)
•    Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3134 (-0.14%), GBP/USD: 1.5545 (0.07%), USD/JPY: 98.8400 (-0.17%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.795% (-0.015)

Market and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures decline: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a lower open on Thursday, after the Dow and S&P 500 closed in record territory in the previous trading session. On the economic front, weekly jobless claims dropped 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000 last week, the Labor Department said today. Economists were expecting a rise to 335,000. Wholesale trade numbers are expected at 10 A.M. ET.

European markets mostly lower: European markets fell in trade following Bank of England’s decision to keep monetary policy unchanged. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee decided to keep its key lending rate unchanged at 0.5 percent and said it will not add to its current asset-purchase program. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) lost 0.1 percent to 6,580.81, after closing at the highest level since November 2007 on Wednesday. The DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) was 0.1 percent lower at 8,242.86, while the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) was among the worst performers in the region, down 0.7 percent. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) is down 0.5 percent

Asian markets end lower: Asian stocks closed lower on Thursday, after Chinese consumer prices rose more than expected in April. China’s consumer price index rose 2.4 percent in April from the same period last year, according to government data released earlier in the day. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) snapped a four-day winning streak to slip 0.6 percent, while the HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) fell 0.1 percent. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) gave up gains made earlier in the session to close down 0.7 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index fell in trade after better-than-expected Australian domestic employment data reduced the possibility of further monetary easing.

Stocks in News

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX)

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) reported better-than-expected second quarter profit and raised its outlook for the year, sending shares higher in pre-market trading. Earnings excluding one-time items came in at 93 cents a share, compared to analysts’ estimates of 74 cents a share. Sales rose 14 percent to $1.00 billion, missing expectations for $1.02 billion. Separately, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) signed a new five-year agreement to triple the number of Starbucks’ branded items made for Keurig single-serve coffee brewing machines.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is closing in on a deal to acquire Israeli traffic app maker Waze for between $800 million and $1 billion, business daily Calcalist reported on Thursday. Negotiations between the two companies began six months ago, Calcalist said. Officials at Waze declined to comment on the report. Waze provides a real-time mobile navigation app that uses satellite signals from members’ smart phones to generate traffic info.

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) reported better than expected quarterly revenue, helped by strong performance at its North American daily deals business. First quarter earnings excluding one-time items were 3 cents a share, in line with expectations, while revenue increased 8 percent to $601.4 million, topping expectations for $590 million. Revenue from North America grew 42 percent, while international revenue fell 18 percent. Meanwhile, the company provided current-quarter sales outlook that was at the lower end of the expected range.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS)

Shares in Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) soared in pre-market trading following reports that partner Microsoft Corp is offering to pay as much as $1 billion to acquire all of Nook Media’s digital assets. TechCrunch reported that Microsoft is planning to take control of the digital side of the business, including a college textbook division, Nook e-readers and tablets. Microsoft already owns a 16.8 percent stake in Nook Media. Officials at Barnes & Noble declined to comment on the report.

Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758)

Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) reported its first annual profit in five years, helped by a weakening yen that boosted overseas earnings. Net profit stood at 43 billion yen ($436 million) in the year to March 31, compared with a 457 billion loss in the year-ago period. Despite the rebound in profit, its mainstay consumer gadget business continued to struggle in the last business year. Sony said current year profits should rise to 50 billion yen, with the yen expected to continue its weakness.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) could face probable enforcement action by federal energy-market regulators over bidding practices in certain markets, the bank acknowledged on Wednesday. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff notified JPMorgan in March that they intent to recommend enforcement action, the company disclosed in a quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The New York Times reported last week that U.S. government investigators had found evidence suggesting that a JPMorgan unit had manipulated trading in the California and Michigan electricity markets.

News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA)

News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) reported better than expected quarterly profit, as growth in cable networks more than offset declines in publishing and education. Third quarter adjusted earnings came in at 36 cents a share, compared to the average analysts’ estimate of 35 cents a share. Revenue increased 14 percent to $9.54 billion, easily topping expectations for $9.20 billion. Shares gained in early trading.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is planning to sell its Australian insurance unit in a deal that could fetch as much as 300 million Australian dollars ($307 million), The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. GE Capital Insurance provides consumer credit insurance to around 3 million customers in Australia and New Zealand, and has a market share of about 20 percent. The sale is seen as part of GE’s efforts to adjust its Australian portfolio.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) reported first quarter earnings of 17 cents a share, excluding one-time items, on sales of $804 million, edging past forecasts for 11 cents a share on sales of $705 million. Subscribers to its key “World of Warcraft” fantasy game dropped sharply during the period to 8.3 million from 9.6 million in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the videogame publisher provided current-quarter and full-year outlook that was tepid. Shares fell in pre-market trading.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has named Amy Hood as its new CFO, succeeding Peter Klein. Hood joined the company in December 2002, and will be the first woman to hold the top finance job at the software giant. Hood currently serves as chief financial officer of the Microsoft Business Division, and played a key role in takeovers of companies including Skype Technologies SA.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) reported weaker than expected April same-store sales, sending shares lower in pre-open session. The warehouse retailer said April sales at stores open at least a year rose 4 percent. Analysts were expecting an increase of 4.5 percent. Sales were impacted by lower fuel prices and a stronger dollar.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) posted first quarter earnings excluding certain items of 12 cents a share, on sales of $562 million, easily topping expectations for 4 cents a share on sales of $500 million. This was the first quarterly net profit since the company was founded a decade ago. The automaker, led by PayPal billionaire Elon Musk, expects to deliver 21,000 Model S cars globally during 2013, up 5 percent from its earlier target of 20,000.  Shares rallied in early-hours trading.

Economic Calendar for Thursday, May 09, 2013:

08:30 A.M. ET:    Initial Jobless Claims (Week ending Friday, May 03)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Friday, April 27)
10:00 A.M. ET:    Wholesale Trade (March)
10:30 A.M. ET:    EIA Natural Gas Report (Week ending Friday, May 03)
01:00 P.M. ET:    30-Yr Bond Auction
01:15 P.M. ET:    Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser speaks.
04:30 P.M. ET:    Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET:    Money Supply