Morning Market Update

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Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Wednesday include: Apple Inc. (NASDSAQ:AAPL), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), Polycom Inc (NASDAQ:PLCM), Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI), Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), FMC Corp (NYSE:FMC)

Market Levels:

US: Dow Futures: 15548.00 (0.23%), S&P 500 Futures: 1693.20 (0.29%), NASDAQ Futures: 3054.50 (0.94%)
Europe: CAC: 3967.73 (1.13%), DAX: 8395.46 (0.97%), FTSE: 6648.95 (0.77%)
Asia-Pacific: Australia: 5035.10 (0.36%), China: 2033.33 (-0.52%), Hong Kong: 21968.93 (0.24%), Japan: 14731.28 (-0.32%).
Metals: Gold: 1335.50 (0.06%), Silver: 20.21 (-0.22%), Copper: 3.22 (0.81%)
Energy: Crude Oil: 106.83 (-0.37%), Natural Gas: 3.71 (-0.91%)
Commodities: Corn: 4.83 (-2.56%), Soya Bean: 12.61 (-2.27%), Wheat: 6.56 (-0.61%)
Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3218 (-0.04%), GBP/USD: 1.5321 (-0.31%), USD/JPY: 100.3300 (0.91%)
10-year US Treasury: 2.582% (0.079)

Market and Economic News Update:

U.S. stock-index futures rise: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Wednesday following better than expected corporate earnings and upbeat PMI data. Financial data firm Markit said its flash manufacturing PMI rose to a four-month high of 53.2 in July, from 51.9 in June. On the economic front, new home sales data for June is scheduled for release at 10:00 A.M. ET. Economists project that sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000 in June.

European markets rise: European markets are up in trade after stronger-than-expectedpurchasing managers’ indexes from the region raised investor hopes about the economic recovery. The flash composite PMI for the region rose to an 18-month high in July, while French and German PMI’s were also better than anticipated. The CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) added 1.1 percent to 3967.73, while the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) gained 1 percent to 8395.46. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) jumped 0.8 percent to 6648.95 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was up 1.1 per cent in recent trading.

Asian stocks end mixed: Asian markets struggled for direction on Wednesday after a key Chinese manufacturing survey confirmed signs of a further slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. HSBC’s China flash PMI came in at an eleven-month low of 47.7 for July. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) gave up previous day’s gains to close 0.5 percent lower. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) ended 0.3 percent lower, dragged by declines in exporters. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index hit its highest levels since May 24 amid a rally in resource stocks.

Stocks in News:

Apple Inc. (NASDSAQ:AAPL)

The tech giant reported third quarter earnings of $7.47 a share on revenue of $35.3 billion, edging past expectations for $7.32 a share on sales of $35.02 billion. Apple sold 31.2 million iPhones, 14.6 million iPads and 3.8 million Macs during the period. However, the company provided fourth-quarter revenue guidance of between $34 billion and $37 billion that fell short of Wall Street expectations for $37.05 billion. Shares rallied in early-hours trading.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)

The automaker earned 45 cents a share for the second quarter, topping the average analysts’ estimate of 37 cents a share. Revenues rose 15 percent to $38.1 billion from $33.3 billion in the year-ago period. The strong quarterly results were driven by record profits in the Asia-Pacific region and strong demand for pickup trucks in North America. Ford also said annual pretax operating profit should be equal or higher than last year.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) posted second quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 67 cents a share, on revenue of $32.08 billion, compared to analysts’ estimates of earnings of 68 cents a share on sales of $31.81 billion. The No. 2 U.S mobile service provider reported 551,000 wireless postpaid additions in the quarter, compared to 320,000 net additions in the same period last year. Shares dipped in pre-market trading.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)

The aerospace giant posted second quarter earnings excluding certain items of $1.67 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $1.58. Boeing’s revenue rose 9 percent to $21.8 billion, also topping forecasts. In addiction, the company raised its full-year earnings and revenue outlook. Shares were up 2 percent to an all-time high in pre-market trading.

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) said Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management LLC have raised their offer for the PC maker to $13.75 per share, calling it their “best and final proposal”. The special committee has delayed the shareholder vote to August 2. The buyout group has also called for easing the voting requirements, and wants the deal to go through on a majority of votes cast, instead of a majority of all shares.

Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES)

The U.S. energy company has entered into a production sharing agreement with China National Petroleum Company to develop a shale oil block in the Xinjiang region in northwest China. The Malang block is in the Santanghu Basin in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, and covers an approximate area of 800 square kilometers. Shares of Hess Corp were inactive before the opening bell.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) reported lower than expected quarterly results, and cut its outlook for the year, sending shares lower in pre-open trading. The manufacturing company’s second quarter profit came in at $1.45 a share, well short of estimates of $1.70 a share. Revenue fell 16 percent to $14.62 billion. Caterpillar forecast full-year profit of about $6.50 a share, down from an earlier estimate of $7 a share. The company also projected full-year sales at $56 billion to $58 billion, compared to its previous estimate of $57 billion to $61 billion.

Polycom Inc (NASDAQ:PLCM)

The video-conferencing equipment maker announced that CEO and President Andrew Miller has resigned after the board’s audit committee found irregularities in his expense submissions. Miller accepted sole responsibility for the irregularities, Polycom said. Kevin Parker, chairman of the board, was named interim CEO. Also, the company posted second quarter results that topped most estimates. Shares plunged in pre-market trading.

Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI), Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB)

Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI) has agreed to buy underwear maker Maidenform Brands, Inc. (NYSE:MFB) for $547.6 million to boost its lingerie line up. Hanes will pay $23.50 a share in cash, 23 percent higher than Maidenform’s Tuesday closing price. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the year. HanesBrands said the acquisition should bolster per-share earnings in the first year after completion.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)

The videogame maker posted a first quarter loss of 40 cents a share on revenue of $495 million, easily topping estimates for a loss of 60 cents a share on sales of $454 million. In addition, the company provided full-year 2014 guidance that was largely in line with expectations. Shares soared in pre-open trading.

FMC Corp (NYSE:FMC)

FMC Corp (NYSE:FMC) will buy Epax Nutra Holding III AS, a Norwegian supplier of Omega 3 fatty acids, for $345 million to bolster its nutrition and health unit.

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