Futures flat ahead of Bernanke, key tech earnings
The Fed chief is set to continue his testimony on Congress. Verizon, Google to report quarterly results.
U.S. equity futures were nearly unchanged ahead of some key earnings Thursday as well as the second day of Congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
In other news, British retail sales rose in line with estimate in June, gaining 0.2% in the month. However, the year over year figure was strong, showing 2.1% growth vs. an expected gain of 1.7%, while May's year over year figure was revised higher to show 2.1% growth vs. the previous estimate of 1.9%.
Overnight, software giant SAP (SAP) reported weak second quarter revenue and blamed the miss on slowing Chinese growth. The news could foretell weakness for other software companies.
Chinese home prices rose 6.6% from a year ago in the 69 major cities, better than May's rise of 6.1%.
S&P 500 futures rose 0.7 points to 1,676.30.
The EUR/USD was lower at 1.3115.
Spanish 10-year government bond yields were flat at 4.73%.
Italian 10-year government bond yields rose 1 basis point to 4.5%.
Gold rose 0.2% to $1,281.40 per ounce.
Asian shares were mixed overnight as Japanese shares gained while Chinese shares lagged after some negative comments from the IMF Wednesday. The Japanese Nikkei 225 Index rose 1.32% and the Topix Index gained 0.72%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index fell 0.12% and the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.05% in China. Also, the Korean Kospi fell 0.64% and Australian shares gained 0.24%.
European shares were mostly higher in early trade following the positive British retail sales data and bond auctions from France and Spain. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.73% and the Italian FTSE MIB Index gained 0.63%. Meanwhile, the German DAX declined 0.07% and the French CAC 40 Index rose 0.27% while U.K. shares added 0.36%.
Commodities were lower overnight save for gold on China fears. WTI crude futures declined 0.13% to $106.34 per barrel and Brent crude futures fell 0.28% to $108.31 per barrel. Copper futures fell 0.08% to $312.60 per pound. Gold was higher and silver futures fell 0.08% to $19.41 per ounce.
Currency markets were on the move as the USD/JPY crossed back above 100. The EUR/USD was lower at 1.3115 and the dollar rose against the yen to 100.12. Overall, the Dollar Index gained 0.1% on strength against the yen, the Swiss franc, the Canadian dollar, the pound, and the euro.
Earnings reported Wednesday
Key companies that reported earnings Wednesday include:
IBM (IBM) reported second quarter earnings per share of $3.91 vs. $3.77 expected on revenue of $24.9 billion vs. $25.36 billion expected. The company sees full year earnings per share at $16.90 vs. the $16.70 estimate.
Bank of America (BAC) reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.32 vs. $0.25 expected on revenue of $22.9 billion vs. $22.79 billion expected.
Intel (INTC) reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.39, in line, on revenue of $12.8 billion vs. $12.89 billion expected and guided sales for the full year to the lower end of the previous guidance.
American Express (AXP) reported second quarter earnings per share of $1.27 vs. $1.22 expected on revenue of $8.24 billion vs. $8.3 billion expected.
eBay (EBAY) reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.63 vs. $0.64 expected on revenue of $3.87 billion vs. $3.89 billion expected and lowered second quarter guidance.
Sandisk (SNDK) reported second quarter earnings per share of $1.21 vs. $0.92 expected on revenue of $1.48 billion vs. $1.4 billion expected and posted strong revenue guidance for the next quarter and the full year.
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
IBM (IBM) shares rose 2.6% premarket after posting earnings and some strong earnings per share guidance.
Intel (INTC) shares declined 3.15% premarket on the weak second results and the weak revenue guidance.
eBay (EBAY) shares dropped 6.71% premarket following weak earnings and lowered guidance.
Sandisk (SNDK) shares rose 5.99% premarket after the company reported a strong second quarter and strong guidance after the bell.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Thursday include:
UnitedHealth Group (UNH) is expected to report second quarter earnings per share of $1.25 vs. $1.27 a year ago on revenue of $30.5 billion vs. $27.26 billion a year ago.
Verizon (VZ) is expected to report second quarter earnings per share of $0.73 vs. $0.64 a year ago on revenue of $29.82 billion vs. $28.55 billion a year ago.
Microsoft (MSFT) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.75 vs. $0.67 a year ago on revenue of $20.79 billion vs. $18.06 billion a year ago.
(Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)
Google (GOOG) is expected to report second quarter earnings per share of $10.79 vs. $10.12 a year ago on revenue of $14.42 billion vs. $9.61 billion a year ago.
Johnson Controls (JCI) is expected to report third quarter earnings per share of $0.75 vs. $0.64 a year ago on revenue of $10.99 billion vs. $10.58 billion a year ago.
Union Pacific (UNP) is expected to report second quarter earnings per share of $2.35 vs. $2.10 a year ago on revenue of $5.5 billion vs. $5.22 billion a year ago.
On the economics calendar Thursday, initial jobless claims, the Philly Fed Survey and leading indicators are due out ahead of Bernanke's second day of testimony on Capitol Hill.
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