Futures slightly higher on earnings, economy
Investors are digesting a slew of earnings as they await jobless claims data.
U.S. equity futures were slightly higher in early premarket trade as mixed earnings and economic data kept any bullish sentiment tepid. Key economic reports from Europe continued to point to slow to no growth, and mixed earnings from key economic bellwethers in the U.S. kept gains minimal.
In other news, the U.K. avoided a triple-dip recession, according to the government. The U.K. reported that first quarter GDP grew 0.3% vs. 0.1% expected and better than the previous estimate of 0.2%. The report showed the best growth since the fourth quarter of 2011 and notably, construction output rose 2.5% in the quarter.
Spain's unemployment rate rose to a new record in the first quarter, as Spain reported that an astounding 27.2% of the labor force is unemployed, more than the fourth quarter of 2012's 26.02%.
The Japanese Ministry of Finance released data on foreign flows of funds, showing slower than expected outflows from the country into foreign assets, weighing on the USD/JPY and keeping the rate below the 100 level.
S&P 500 futures rose 3.2 points to 1,577.30.
The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3060.
Spanish 10-year government bond yields were flat at 4.28%.
Italian 10-year government bond yields were flat at 4.01%.
Gold rose 1.51% to $1,445.70 per ounce.
Asian shares were mostly higher overnight save for Japan as shares followed the strength seen in European shares Wednesday. The Japanese Nikkei Index rose 0.6% and the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.86% while the Hang Seng Index rose 0.98%. Also, the Korean Kospi rose 0.84% while Australian shares rose 1.72% on central bank easing hopes.
European shares were lower after strong gains Wednesday on increased hopes of further European Central Bank easing as well as the U.K. GDP data. The Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.1% and the Italian FTSE MIB Index fell 0.06%. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.22% and the French CAC 40 fell 0.17% while U.K. shares slipped a mere 0.05%.
Commodities were mostly higher overnight as the dollar weakened. WTI crude futures rose 0.26% to $91.70 per barrel and Brent crude futures slipped 0.08% to $101.74 per barrel. Copper futures rose 1.2% to $320.30 per pound on hopes of RBA easing. Gold was higher and silver futures rose 1.98% to $23.37 per ounce.
Currency markets were in flux overnight as the dollar weakened against most major trading partners. The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3060 and the dollar fell against the yen to 99.20 while the pound was stronger against the dollar at 1.5427. Overall, the Dollar Index slipped 0.48% on weakness against the pound, the euro, the yen, the Swiss franc, and the Canadian dollar.
Earnings reported Wednesday
Key companies that reported earnings Wednesday include:
Boeing (BA) reported first quarter earnings per share of $1.73 vs. $1.47 expected on revenue of $18.89 billion vs. $18.91 billion expected.
Ford (F) reported first quarter EPS of $0.41 vs. $0.39 expected on revenue of $33.9 billion vs. $33.77 billion expected.
Hess (HES) reported first quarter EPS of $1.95 vs. $1.59 expected on revenue of $9.3 billion.
Eli Lilly (LLY) reported first quarter EPS of $1.14 vs. $1.05 expected on revenue of $5.6 billion vs. $5.66 billion.
Proctor and Gamble (PG) reported first quarter EPS of $0.99 vs. $0.96 expected on revenue of $20.6 billion vs. $20.74 billion expected.
Qualcomm (QCOM) reported second quarter EPS of $1.17 vs. $1.16 expected on revenue of $6.12 billion vs. $6.07 billion.
Zynga (ZNGA) reported first quarter EPS of $0.01 vs. an expected $0.04 loss per share on revenue of $264.00 million vs. $209.79 million expected but lowered guidance.
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
Zynga (ZNGA) shares fell 9.82% premarket on lower than expected guidance.
Newmont Mining (NEM) shares rose 1.22% premarket on higher metals prices this morning.
Google (GOOG) shares traded near flat on reports that the company has reached a settlement with the EU on its antitrust probe.
General Electric (GE) shares rose 0.41% after the company announced that its financing arm will no longer make financing available for companies in the firearms industry.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Thursday include:
Amazon (AMZN) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.09 vs. $0.28 a year ago.
Biogen (BIIB) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $1.59 vs. $1.40 a year ago.
Expedia (EXPE) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.23 vs. $0.26 a year ago.
3M (MMM) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $1.66 vs. $1.59 a year ago.
Potash (POT) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.61 vs. $0.56 a year ago.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $1.40 vs. $1.20 a year ago.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $2.04 vs. $2.00 a year ago.
On the economics calendar Thursday, initial jobless claims and the Kansas City Fed manufacturing index are both expected. Also, the Treasury is expected to auction seven-year notes. Overnight, the Bank of Japan meeting and press conference could move the yen while Spain will release deficit data.
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