Futures flat on earnings, ahead of house vote

Wednesday highlights quarterly results from Apple and another debt ceiling vote.

By Benzinga Jan 23, 2013 9:24AM
zurbar age fotostockU.S. equity futures were near unchanged overnight despite mostly positive earnings from large tech and transportation companies. Also, investors await a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on raising the debt ceiling.

In other news, Spain's GDP contracted 0.6% in the fourth quarter to bring the total year rate of GDP contraction to 1.3%. Weak domestic demand and slack in export markets weighed on the Spanish economy, said the Bank of Spain.

British Prime Minister David Cameron promised a U.K. referendum on Europe in a speech overnight with a full vote not expected until 2017.

Greece actually beat its deficit targets for 2012 with the total deficit coming in at 15.69 billion euros compared to the forecast of 16.31 billion euros, according to the Greek Accounting Office.
  • S&P 500 futures fell 1.5 points to 1,487.90.
  • The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3328.
  • Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell to 5.072%.
  • Italian 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.18%.
  • Gold fell 0.06% to $1,692.10 per ounce.
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Asian markets
Asian shares were mixed overnight with strong weakness seen in Japanese equities overnight. The Japanese Nikkei Index fell 2.08% overnight while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.25% and the Hang Seng Index fell 0.1%. Also, the Korean Kospi fell 0.81% and Australian shares rose 0.18%.

European markets
European shares were also mixed overnight with weakness in the periphery offset by strength in the core. The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.25% and the Italian MIB Index also fell 0.25%. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.3% and the French CAC fell 0.08% while U.K. shares rose 0.19%.

Commodities were mostly higher overnight, once again led by Natural Gas futures as the cold weather in the U.S. drives prices higher. WTI crude futures rose 0.1% to $96.77 per barrel and Brent crude futures rose 0.12% to $112.54 per barrel as Natural Gas futures rallied 0.67% to $3.58 per million BTU. Copper futures were near flat overnight despite positive comments from Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold's (FCX) CEO stating that he sees low copper inventories and accelerating demand in 2013. Gold was slightly lower and silver futures rose 0.07% to $32.20 per ounce.

Currency markets continued to see yen strength Wednesday as the euro was near flat overnight and the pound rallied after selling off late Tuesday on comments that the U.K. is mulling more stimulus. The EUR/USD was slightly higher at 1.3328 and the dollar fell against the yen to 88.35. Overall, the Dollar Index fell 0.14% on weakness against the yen, the pound, and the Canadian dollar.

Premarket movers
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
  • Google (GOOG) shares rose 5.05% premarket after the company reported better than expected earnings Tuesday after the bell despite revenue figures being slightly weak.
  • Cree, Inc. (CREE) shares rose 14.94% after the company reported strong earnings and guidance after the bell.
  • Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) shares rose 8.68% after the company reported better than expected earnings.
  • IBM (IBM) shares rose 4.04% premarket following the company's strong fourth quarter earnings report and guidance for the future.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Wednesday include:
  • Abbott Labs (ABT) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.50 vs. $1.45 a year ago.
  • McDonald's (MCD) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.33 vs. $1.33 a year ago.
  • Netflix (NFLX) is expected to report a fourth quarter loss of $0.60 per shares vs. earnings per share of $0.73 a year ago.
  • Apple (AAPL) is expected to report fiscal first quarter earnings per share of $13.41 vs. $13.87 a year ago.
  • Quest Diagnostics (DGX) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.07 vs. $1.23 a year ago.
Wednesday is the first full day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, so look for comments from Davos all day. On the economics calendar, MBA purchase application and the FHFA house price index are set to be released. In addition, the Treasury is set to auction four-week bills. Overnight, the Chinese HSBC manufacturing index, Eurozone manufacturing PMIs, and Italian retail sales are expected.

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Jan 23, 2013 10:32AM
Look, the House is going to have to realize, the Democrats will NEVER cut a dime of spending.  At some point the House is going to have to end this, and that means NO MORE DEBT CEILING increases (Failed Leadership, and America deserves better to use Obama's own words).   Then the continuing resolution MUST be voted down.  If Bankruptcy is the end result, we will know who to blame.   It will not be because we taxed to little (We have RECORD tax revenue), but because Obama SPENT way too much.  

Balance the budget, across the board cut.  Hell, I'd even let Obama decide what 1.3 Trillion he wants to cut.  And if he wanted to do away with the ENTIRE defense budget so be it, then he would only have another 600 billion to cut.  

We cannot increase taxes another dime.  The HOUSE must begin the economic healing, and we cannot do that with 4 more years  of trillion dollar deficits.   Obama will have drive the debt from 10.2 trillion to 21+ trillion before he leaves office.   The interest of 21 trillion @ 4% exceeds our ENTIRE defense budget.
Jan 23, 2013 10:34AM
Don't we already know how the House is going to vote?...No big whoop..!
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