Futures slip after jobless claims data
Twitter announces it has filed confidential documents to go public.
Twitter announced Thursday -- via a tweet -- that it has begun the process for an initial public offering. The company, whose user base has grown to more than 200 million users since its creation seven years ago, has been valued between $10 billion to $20 billion; consensus estimates value the company closer to $10 billion.
Twitter's IPO has come much sooner than most expected. However, the company was able to take advantage of the JOBS act, which allows small companies to file confidential papers with the SEC until a certain point in the process when the documents become public.
In other news around the markets:
The Japanese government is considering a stimulus package worth nearly $50 billion to offset the impact of the government's planned sales tax hike. In April 2014, the Japanese government may raise the country's sales tax from 5% to 8%. Some say the higher tax could drag on the economy.
Questions have been raised about Syria's commitment to a recent proposal that would allow the country to turn over its chemical weapons and avoid military intervention. U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies have reported that the Syrian military has been moving stocks of poison gasses and munitions to up to 50 different sites in order to make them more difficult to track.
With the Federal Reserve meeting coming up next week, bets are on for the beginning of the bank's tapering plan. The Wall Street Journal reported that a survey of economists showed that most are expecting the bank announce it will cut its bond buying program by $10 billion to $15 billion.
An explosion outside the U.S. consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, followed by an exchange of gunfire, resulted in reports of seven deaths and 17 injured. The attack came in the early hours of Friday and the Taliban has claimed responsibility.
Asian markets were mostly lower on Friday. The Shanghai composite lost 0.86%, and the Hang Seng index was down 0.17%. Australia's ASX 200 fell 0.44%, and the South Korean KOSPI was down 0.49%.
European markets retreated on Friday morning. The UK's FTSE lost 0.27%, and the eurozone's STOXX 600 was down 0.25%. Italy's MIB and the Spanish IBEX lost 0.45% and 0.47% respectively, and the German DAX slid 0.39%.
Crude futures slid on Friday morning. Brent futures lost 0.39%, and WTI futures were down 0.49%. Gold lost 1.04% to $1,316.00 per ounce, and silver was down 1.19%. Industrial metals were mixed with aluminum up 0.50% and tin down 1.93%.
The euro and pound were flat against the dollar on Friday, and the Yen remained below the 100 yen to one dollar mark at 99.62. The rupee lost 0.34% against the greenback.
Earnings reported Thursday
Notable companies that reported earnings on Thursday included:
United Natural Foods (UNFI) reported earnings per share of $0.65 on revenue of $1.64 billion, compared to last year's earnings per share of $0.51 on revenue of $1.34 billion.
Kroger (KR) reported earnings per share of $0.60 on revenue of $22.70 billion, compared to last year's earnings per share of $0.51 on revenue of $21.73 billion.
Lululemon Athletica (LULU) reported earnings per share of $0.39 on revenue of $344.50 million, compared to last year's earnings per share of $0.39 on revenue of $282.63 million.
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
Verizon Communications (VZ) was up 0.32% in premarket trade after holding the largest ever debt sale on Wednesday.
United States Steel (X) was down 0.89% in premarket trade after rallying earlier in the week.
Economic releases expected on Friday include U.S. retail sales, consumer sentiment, and PPI data. Eurozone employment change data and Japanese industrial production are also due out.
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