- US: Dow Futures: 12963.00 (0.05%), S&P 500 Futures: 1379.20 (0.07%), NASDAQ Futures: 2700.25 (0.21%)
- Europe: CAC: 3212.79 (-0.85%), DAX: 6704.45 (-0.41%), FTSE: 5760.59 (0.27%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4362.70 (0.32%), China: 2378.68 (-0.09%), Hong Kong: 20995.01 (1.03%), India: 5332.40 (0.61%), Japan: 9588.38 (-0.82%).
- Metals: Gold: 1636.60 (-0.18%), Silver: 31.42 (-0.20%), Copper: 3.61 (-0.41%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 102.62 (-0.05%), Natural Gas: 1.94 (-0.82%)
- Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3090 (-0.25%), GBP/USD: 1.6025 (0.02%), USD/JPY: 81.5300 (0.33%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.958% (-0.018)
Financial, Economic and Political News Update
U.S. stock-index futures trading higher: U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday, as earnings from Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley topped analysts’ estimates. The Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were all trading close to 0.3 percent higher.
Jobless claims fell last week: Labor Department figures showed today, jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 386,000 in the week ended April 14. The four-week moving average of initial jobless claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, rose by 5,500 to a seasonally adjusted 374,750.
European markets retreat: European markets erased gains made earlier in the day, as unconfirmed rumors that France’s sovereign rating may be downgraded, hit the market. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) were down more than half a percent, while the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) was marginally in the green.
Asian markets end mixed: Asian markets closed mixed on Thursday ahead of a key Spanish bond sale. NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) slipped 0.8 percent, the Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) ended 0.09 percent lower, while the HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) rose 1 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index finish at 4,362.7, its highest close since Aug 2.
Company News Update
- Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), the second- largest U.S. lender, said net income fell to $653 million, or 3 cents a share, in the first quarter, largely due to one-time accounting adjustments of nearly $5 billion.
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), owner of the world’s largest brokerage, reported a 55 per cent increase in adjusted first-quarter earnings that was way better than analysts’ expectations.
- Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) the world’s biggest handset maker last year, reported a first-quarter operating loss of 1.34 billion euros ($1.8 billion) missing analysts’ expectations for a 731 million euros loss by a big margin.
- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) said first quarter earnings rose to $1.69 billion, or 59 cents per share, topping the average analysts’ estimate of 58 cents a share.
- Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM), the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company, said first-quarter earnings rose 13 percent on the back of strong sales in Asia.
- E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD), the most valuable U.S. chemicals producer, reported first-quarter earnings of $1.57 a share that exceeded analysts’ estimates, as higher pricing offset cost increases and currency losses.
- The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV) reported first-quarter profit that exceeded analyst expectations, and raised its dividend 12 percent.
- EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), the world’s biggest maker of storage computers, reported a 23 percent jump in first-quarter earnings as growing use of cloud-based technology helped boost sales.
- SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM) said first-quarter earnings were 55 cents a share, exceeding the average analyst estimate of 52 cents a share.
Economic Calendar for Thursday, April 19, 2012:
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (Week ending Saturday, April 07, 2012)
10:00 A.M. ET: Existing Home Sales (March)
10:00 A.M. ET: Leading Indicators (March)
10:00 A.M. ET: Philadelphia Fed Survey (April)
04:30 P.M. ET: Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET: Money Supply