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Morning News: Morgan Stanley, IBM, UnitedHealth, eBay, BlackRock

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Morning Market Update

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Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Thursday include: Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM), The Allstate Corporation (NYSE:ALL)

Market Levels:

US: Dow Futures: 15441.00 (0.01%), S&P 500 Futures: 1678.20 (0.16%), NASDAQ Futures: 3077.50 (-0.06%)
Europe: CAC: 3898.75 (0.69%), DAX: 8285.67 (0.37%), FTSE: 6622.37 (0.76%)
Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4993.40 (0.23%), China: 2023.40 (-1.06%), Hong Kong: 21345.22 (-0.12%), Japan: 14808.50 (1.31%).
Metals: Gold: 1279.90 (0.19%), Silver: 19.42 (-0.03%), Copper: 3.12 (-0.18%)
Energy: Crude Oil: 106.77 (0.27%), Natural Gas: 3.64 (0.30%)
Commodities: Corn: 4.98 (-1.71%), Soya Bean: 12.76 (-0.47%), Wheat: 6.66 (-0.52%)
Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3075 (-0.38%), GBP/USD: 1.5204 (-0.05%), USD/JPY: 100.3000 (0.71%)
10-year US Treasury: 2.493% (0.004)

Market and Economic News Update:

U.S. stock-index futures little changed: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a flat open on Thursday ahead of the second day of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s semi-annual testimony to the U.S. Congress. In economic news, weekly jobless claims dropped by 24,000 to 334,000 in the week ended July 12, from a revised 358,000 the week before, according to the Labor Department. Economists were expecting first-time applications to fall to 345,000. The Conference Board’s leading indicator and Philadelphia Fed index will both be released at 10 A.M. ET.

European markets gain: European stocks are up in trade, boosted by some strong second quarter corporate earnings. On the economic front, U.K. retail sales increased for the second straight month in June as discounts at department stores lured customers to buy more. The CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) added 0.7 percent to 3898.75, while the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) rose 0.4 percent to 8285.67. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) jumped 0.8 percent to 6622.37 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was up 0.6 percent in recent trading.

Asian markets mixed: Asian stocks closed mixed in Thursday trading, with the NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) hitting a new eight-week high, as the yen weakened to 100 per dollar mark. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) tumbled one percent amid broad declines in property stocks. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index pared gains to close below the key 5000-level, hurt by losses in banking stocks.

Stocks in News:

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) reported better than expected quarterly results amid higher revenue from underwriting and wealth management. Excluding certain items, second quarter earnings stood at 45 cents per share, two cents above the consensus estimate, with revenues also beating projections. The Wall Street bank also unveiled a $500 million stock buyback program.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) posted second quarter earnings excluding one-time items of $3.91 a share, topping expectations for $3.77 a share. Sales came in at $24.92 billion, below forecasts for $25.37 billion. In addition, the company raised its full-year adjusted profit outlook, and now expects to earn $16.90 per share, above the $16.66 that analysts expect. Shares gained in early-hours trading.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH)

The health insurer reported a bigger-than-expected rise in second-quarter profit as steady enrollment growth helped boost revenue. UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) earned $1.40 per share, 15 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue rose to $30.4 billion, compared to expectations for $30.5 billion. In addition, the company raised the lower end of its full-year profit forecast.


eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) reported quarterly earnings in line with estimates, but CEO John Donahoe warned of “headwinds” in the second half of the year, sending shares nearly 7% lower in pre-market trading. eBay posted second quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 63 cents a share, matching Wall Street expectations, on revenue of $3.88 billion that was slightly lower than estimates of $3.89 billion. The company also provided current-quarter and full-year guidance that were below expectations.

BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK)

The investment firm posted second quarter earnings excluding items of $4.15 per share, above estimates of $3.82. Revenue increased 11% to $2.48 billion, against expectations for $2.49 billion. BlackRock ended the quarter with assets under management of $3.9 trillion, up 8% from a year earlier, but down around 2% from the first quarter.


The student loan provider reported second quarter earnings of $1.02 a share, topping expectations for 97 cents a share. Sallie Mae now expects full-year core earnings of $2.80 per share, above the prior view of $2.49 per share. Shares were unchanged in pre-open session.

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE:ALL)

The insurer has agreed to sell life insurance unit Lincoln Benefit Life to British financial services firm, Resolution Life Holdings, for $600 million. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. Allstate expects the transaction to generate cash proceeds of about $785 million. Shares closed at $51.03 on Wednesday, and were in-active in pre-market trading.

Economic Calendar for Thursday, July 18, 2013:

08:30 A.M. ET: Initial Jobless Claims (July 12)
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (July 6)
10:00 A.M. ET: Conference Board Leading Indicator (MoM) (June)
10:00 A.M. ET: Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey (July)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Natural Gas Storage change (July 12)
10:30 A.M. ET: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks.
01:00 P.M. ET: 10-Year TIPS Auction

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