Morning Market Update
Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Wednesday include: Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE;ABT), Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT), CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), Realogy Holdings Corp (NYSE:RLGY).
US: Dow Futures: 15390.00 (-0.01%), S&P 500 Futures: 1673.90 (0.16%), NASDAQ Futures: 3080.50 (0.32%)
Europe: CAC: 3870.88 (0.51%), DAX: 8234.91 (0.41%), FTSE: 6566.32 (0.15%)
Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4981.70 (-0.09%), China: 2044.92 (-1.02%), Hong Kong: 21371.87 (0.28%), Japan: 14615.04 (0.11%).
Metals: Gold: 1284.40 (-0.46%), Silver: 19.74 (-0.95%), Copper: 3.15 (-1.24%)
Energy: Crude Oil: 105.86 (-0.13%), Natural Gas: 3.67 (-0.22%)
Commodities: Corn: 5.07 (1.39%), Soya Bean: 12.83 (2.22%), Wheat: 6.70 (-0.07%)
Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3131 (-0.24%), GBP/USD: 1.5218 (0.38%), USD/JPY: 99.8600 (0.77%)
10-year US Treasury: 2.543% (0.011)
Market and Economic News Update:
U.S. stock-index futures little changed: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a flat open on Wednesday as Ben Bernanke testifies before lawmakers at 10 A.M. Eastern time, with investors looking for clues on when the central bank may begin tapering its $85-billion-a-month asset purchases. In economic news, housing starts plunged 9.9 percent last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 836,000 units, according to the Commerce Department. Economists were expecting a rise to a 959,000-unit rate in June.
European markets hold gains: European stocks are up in trade ahead of Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s annual testimony to the U.S. Congress. On the economic front, UK jobless claims fell by 21,200, while unemployment rate held steady at 7.8 percent. The CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) rose 0.5 percent to 3870.88, while the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) added 0.4 percent to 8234.91. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was flat in trade. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was gained 0.5 percent in recent trading.
Asian markets mixed: Asian stocks struggled for direction ahead of the much anticipated speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) reversed from lows made earlier in the session to end higher as the dollar-yen edged closer to the 100-yen level. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) fell for the first time in three days, led by sharp declines in property stocks. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) closed flat in trade as a rally in resource stocks offset losses on the benchmark index.
Stocks in News:
Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)
Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) reported better than expected quarterly profit, sending shares higher in pre-market trading. On a per-share basis, profit came in 32 cents, on revenue of $22.73 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 25 cents per share on revenue of $22.8 billion. Shares were up close to a percent in recent trading.
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE;ABT) posted second quarter adjusted earnings of 46 cents a share, 2 cents above the consensus estimate. Sales rose 2.5 percent to $5.45 billion, trailing estimates of $5.52 billion. In addition, the drug maker reaffirmed its full-year guidance for per-share earnings of $1.98 to $2.04 and per-share adjusted earnings of $1.39 to $1.45.
Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT)
The toymaker posted second quarter profit of 21 cents per share, 11 cents below the average analyst’ estimates. Sales edged 1 percent higher to $1.17 billion, trailing expectations for $1.22 billion. Global Barbie sales fell 12 percent, while sales of American Girl dolls 14 percent. In addition, the company increased its share buyback program by $500 million.
CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX)
The railroad operator posted better than expected second quarter results, helped by a surprise jump in coal shipments to domestic utilities. Earnings came in at 52 cents a share, 5 cents above the average analysts’ estimate, on revenue of $3.1 billion that also beat expectations for sales of $3.02 billion. Shares rallied in pre-open session.
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)
The computer maker’s special committee urged its shareholders to vote for the buyout offer of $13.65 a share from the company’s founder, Michael Dell, and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, and criticized activist investor Carl Icahn’s latest proposal. Shares edged lower in early-hours trading.
Realogy Holdings Corp (NYSE:RLGY)
Shares gained in pre-market trading after the real estate services provider said it expects to post second-quarter earnings of between $1.03 and $1.09 a share on sales of between $1.53 billion and $1.54 billion, compared to Street expectations for 70 cents a share on revenue of $1.47 billion. Separately, private equity firm Apollo Global Management unveiled an offering of its remaining 25.1 million-share stake in Realogy Holdings Corp (NYSE:RLGY).
Economic Calendar for Wednesday, July 17, 2013:
07:00 A.M. ET: MBA Mortgage Applications (July 12)
08:30 A.M. ET: Housing Starts (MoM) (June)
08:30 A.M. ET: Building Permits (MoM) (June)
10:00 A.M. ET: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks.
08:55 A.M. ET: EIA Crude Oil Stocks change (July 12)
02:00 P.M. ET: Fed’s Beige Book