Morning Market Update

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Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. market on Thursday include: Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT), Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ), GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK), VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS), Apollo Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL), Rockwell Medical Inc (NASDAQ:RMTI).

Market Levels:

US: Dow Futures: 15370.00 (0.83%), S&P 500 Futures: 1664.40 (0.96%), NASDAQ Futures: 3026.00 (0.99%)
Europe: CAC: 3868.05 (0.71%), DAX: 8152.71 (1.06%), FTSE: 6532.56 (0.42%)
Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4965.70 (1.31%), China: 2072.99 (3.13%), Hong Kong: 21437.49 (2.49%), Japan: 14472.58 (0.39%).
Metals: Gold: 1280.40 (2.65%), Silver: 19.86 (3.60%), Copper: 3.19 (3.33%)
Energy: Crude Oil: 105.47 (-0.99%), Natural Gas: 3.64 (-1.01%)
Commodities: Corn: 5.22 (0.10%), Soya Bean: 12.81 (0.82%), Wheat: 6.83 (0.37%)
Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3020 (0.32%), GBP/USD: 1.5088 (0.49%), USD/JPY: 99.3400 (-0.34%)
10-year US Treasury: 2.586% (-0.038)

Market and Economic News Update:

U.S. stock-index futures rise: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Thursday, despite jobless claims rising last week. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose by 16,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, from a revised 344,000, according to the Labor Department. Analysts were expecting a reading of 340,000. Meanwhile, U.S. imports prices fell 0.2 percent in June, the fourth straight monthly decline. In other economic news, the U.S. Treasury will sell $13 billion of 30-year bonds.

European markets gain: European stocks are up in trade, mirroring gains in Asia, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said monetary policy will remain accommodative to aid economic recovery. Also on Thursday, the ECB said its commitment to keep interest rates low for an extended period of time will depend on the euro area’s economic performance. The CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) added 0.7 percent to 3868.05, while the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) jumped 1 percent to 8152.71. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) rose 0.4 percent to 6532.56 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was up 0.9 percent in recent trading.

Asian markets rally: Asian stocks closed higher on Thursday following dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) hit a three-week high to close above the key 2000-level amid hopes that the Beijing may act to boost growth. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index climbed more than a percent, following better-than-expected June employment data. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) ended 0.4 percent higher, as a stronger currency weighed on export stocks.

Stocks in News:

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to announce a major restructuring today, reorienting the company around devices and services. The shakeup comes at a time when Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is struggling to make headway in the fiercely competitive technology sector, where smart phones and tablets are revolutionizing the marketplace. Shares are up in pre-open trading.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)

China’s Lenovo Group Limited (HKG:0992) edged past Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) as the world’s top personal computer maker, according to new rankings from research firm Gartner. Lenovo now commands 16.7 percent of the world’s PC market, compared to HP’s 16.4 percent. Gartner said global shipments of personal computers declined for the fifth straight quarter, hurt by the rising popularity of tablets.

PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT)

The membership warehouse club operator said third quarter profit rose 18 percent, helped by strong sales growth. For the quarter ended May 31, profit came in at $18.5 million, or 61 cents a share, up from $15.7 million, or 52 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue gained 13 percent to $571.7 million. Analysts had forecast earnings of 64 cents on revenue of $569 million. Shares dipped in early-hours trading.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) reported better than expected June same-store sales as higher fuel prices offset the negative impact of foreign exchange rates. For the five-week period ended July 7, sales at stores open at least a year rose 6 percent, beating estimates of a 5.4 percent rise. Total net sales during the period gained 8 percent to $9.92 billion.

Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX)

The second-largest U.S. oil company said production declined last quarter because of shutdowns and maintenance work in Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Australia. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) produced 2.57 million barrels of oil and natural gas a day in April and May, down 2.1 percent from its production rate in the second quarter of 2012. The company is scheduled to post full second-quarter results on August 2.

Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ)

The teen apparel retailer’s same-store sales rose 1 percent in June, below expectations for a gain of 1.6 percent. For the five weeks ended July 6, Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ) said total sales increased 15 percent to $58.8 million. Shares of rose 50 cents to $31.06 on Wednesday and were unchanged in pre-market trading.

GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK)

China’s Ministry of Public Security has accused GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK)’s personnel of tax fraud and of bribing doctors and hospitals to prescribe the company’s medication, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The British drug maker said it was “willing to cooperate with the authorities in this inquiry,” but declined to comment on the number or nationality of the executives involved.

VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)

The obesity drug maker’s third-largest shareholder, QVT Financial LP, intends to vote for the full slate of nine directors proposed by largest shareholder First Manhattan Co, according to a Reuters report. VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) is scheduled to hold its annual meeting of shareholders on July 15. Shares closed Wednesday at $13.54, and were up in recent trading.

Apollo Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL)

Shares of the for-profit education company jumped in pre-market trade after the accreditation of its University of Phoenix subsidiary was reaffirmed through 2022 to 2023. In February, Apollo Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL) said the Higher Learning Commission was considering placing the University of Phoenix on probation because of alleged deficiencies involving its governance, student assessment and faculty scholarship for doctoral programs.

Rockwell Medical Inc (NASDAQ:RMTI)

Rockwell Medical Inc (NASDAQ:RMTI) soared in pre-market trade after a late-stage trial of its experimental iron deficiency drug, SFP, met the main goal of improving patients’ hemoglobin levels. The drug was tested in adult patients with chronic kidney disease, in the first of two planned late-stage trials.

Economic Calendar for Thursday, July 11, 2013:

08:30 A.M. ET: Initial Jobless Claims (July 6)
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (July 29)
08:30 A.M. ET: Import Price Index (YoY) (June)
08:30 A.M. ET: Import Price Index (MoM) (June)
08:30 A.M. ET: Export Price Index (YoY) (June)
08:30 A.M. ET: Export Price Index (MoM) (June)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Natural Gas Report (July 05)
11:00 A.M. ET: Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo speaks.
01:00 P.M. ET: 30-Year Bond Auction
02:00 P.M. ET: Monthly Budget Statement (June)