Morning Market Update

market news Morning News

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Friday include: Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL), EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT), Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758), Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB), Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR), Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), Aspen Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:AZPN), AllianceBernstein Holding LP (NYSE:AB).

Market Levels:

US: Dow Futures: 15079.00 (0.06%), S&P 500 Futures: 1658.50 (0.17%), NASDAQ Futures: 3077.75 (0.22%)
Europe: CAC: 4092.91 (-0.01%), DAX: 8344.18 (-0.38%), FTSE: 6481.57 (-0.05%)
Asia-Pacific: Australia: 5113.90 (-0.75%), China: 2068.45 (-0.65%), Hong Kong: 22517.81 (-0.10%), Japan: 13650.11 (-0.75%).
Metals: Gold: 1364.10 (0.24%), Silver: 22.93 (-0.02%), Copper: 3.36 (0.82%)
Energy: Crude Oil: 107.57 (0.22%), Natural Gas: 3.38 (-1.26%)
Commodities: Corn: 4.68 (-0.79%), Soya Bean: 12.60 (-0.41%), Wheat: 6.48 (-0.19%)
Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3361 (0.10%), GBP/USD: 1.5643 (-0.01%), USD/JPY: 97.3200 (-0.05%)
10-year US Treasury: 2.786% (0.019)

Market and Economic News Update:

U.S. stock-index futures rise: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a modestly higher open on Friday after data showed housing starts increased in July. Housing starts climbed 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000 units in July, from the revised 846,000 units in June. A separate report from the Labor Department showed that non-farm productivity rose in the second quarter at an annual rate of 0.9 percent. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey is scheduled for release at 9:55 a.m. ET.

European markets decline: European markets are down in trade for the second consecutive session amid continued uncertainty about when the U.S. Federal Reserve might start to reduce its bond-buying program. On the economic front, euro zone inflation remained unchanged at 1.6 percent in July, according to data released by Eurostat. The CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) was largely unchanged at 4092.91, while the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) slid 0.4 percent to 8344.18. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) edged 0.1 percent lower to 6481.57 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was down 0.1 percent in recent trading.

Asian stocks end lower: Asian markets fell in trade, with the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) giving up gains made earlier in the session to close 0.7 percent lower. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) pared losses to end down 0.8 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index slipped 0.8 percent despite a rally in gold mining stocks.

Stocks in News:


Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) reported a 72 percent slide in fiscal second quarter earnings amid weak PC sales, driven by growing customer reliance on smart phones and tablets. Excluding one-time items, earnings came in at 25 cents a share, compared to the average analysts’ estimate of 24 cents a share. Revenue stood at $14.51 billion, topping expectations for $14.18 billion. Shares edged higher in pre-open trading.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL), EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC)

The three tech companies will be probed by China authorities over security issues, according to the official Shanghai Securities News. The report follows revelations by Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency hacked into networks at universities in China and Hong Kong. China’s Ministry of Public Security and a cabinet-level research centre are planning to carry-out the investigation.

Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT)

Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) posted third quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 18 cents a share, on revenue of $1.98 billion, trailing estimates for 19 cents a share on sales of $2.06 billion. For the current quarter, the chip gear maker forecast adjusted earnings of 16-20 cents per share. Separately, the company said Gary Dickerson will replace Michael Splinter as CEO on September 1.

Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758), Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB)

Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) has reached a preliminary deal to carry content from media company Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) on a new Internet-based TV service, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday. Sony is working to roll out the service by the end of the year, the newspaper reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Tokyo-based Sony is also in talks with Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX), CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) about potential programming deals, the newspaper further reported.

Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN)

The high-end department store chain reported second quarter earnings of 93 cents a share on sales of $3.20 billion, compared to Wall Street expectations for earnings of 88 cents a share on revenue of $3.29 billion. In addition, the company slashed its full-year earnings and revenue outlook, sending shares sharply lower in recent pre-market trading.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR), Life Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ:LIFE)

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) will replace biotech firm Life Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ:LIFE) in the NASDAQ 100 index before the start of trading on Thursday, August 22. Green Mountain will also join the Nasdaq-100 Equal Weighted Index and the Nasdaq-100 Ex-Tech Sector Index. Shares are up more than a percent in recent trading.

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc (NASDAQ:JOSB)

The men’s retailer forecast second-quarter profit of 49 to 53 cents per share, far below current Wall Street projections for 68 cents per share. President and CEO R. Neal Black said the company’s highly promotional, high sales-volume marketing campaigns failed to resonate with consumers, leading to a surprise sales decline. Shares plunged in early trade.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)

Videogame stocks, including Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), could be in focus today after market research firm NPD Group said sales of new videogame products in U.S. retail stores fell 19 percent in July to $443 million. Hardware sales plunged 34 percent to $99.4 million, compared with the year ago period, while software sales for the current generation consoles dropped 19 percent to $210.1 million.

Aspen Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:AZPN)

Aspen Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:AZPN) swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit, helped by a sharp increase in sales of software and subscriptions. For the three months ended June 30, the company earned 24 cents per share, well above estimates of 8 cents per share. Revenue jumped 30 percent to $83.3 million, also edging past expectations for $78.8 million. Shares rallied in recent trading following the earnings announcement.

AllianceBernstein Holding LP (NYSE:AB)

Investment manager AllianceBernstein Holding LP (NYSE:AB) has agreed to buy smaller peer W.P. Stewart & Co. for about $60 million in cash. Under the terms of the deal, expected to close within four to six months, AllianceBernstein will pay $12 per share to W.P. Stewart shareholders. Shares of AllianceBernstein closed Thursday at $20.05, and were inactive in early-hours trading.

Economic Calendar for Friday, August 16, 2013:

08:30 A.M. ET: Housing Starts (MoM) (July)
08:30 A.M. ET: Building Permits (MoM) (July)
08:30 A.M. ET: Non-farm Productivity (Q2)
08:30 A.M. ET: Unit Labor Costs (Q2)
09:55 A.M. ET: Reuters/Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (August)