Futures slightly higher on G20 agreement
The countries agreed to avoid using competitive devaluations of their currencies.
U.S. equity futures rose slightly in premarket trading following the release of a G20 draft statement. In the statement, the G20 countries agreed to avoid using competitive devaluations as a tool of policy. However, the group refrained from singling out any individual countries.
In other news, foreign Direct Investment in China rose faster than expected in March, increasing at a 5.1% annualized rate vs. the forecast 1.9% gain.
Chinese home prices rose in 68 of 70 cities in March, more than the 66 of 70 in February, showing that the People's Bank of China tightening is not enough to restrain the booming property market.
German economists, in a report published overnight, cut their German GDP forecast to 0.8% from 1.0%. Also, they forecast 1.9% growth in 2014 and about 2% HICP (harmonized index of consumer prices) inflation over the next two years. They are not in favor of a rate cut currently and suggest that the banking regulator be outside the European Central Bank.
S&P 500 futures rose 2.9 points to 1,549.50.
The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3055.
Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.67% from 4.68%.
Italian 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.23% from 4.25%.
Gold rose 0.65% to $1,386.70 per ounce.
Asian shares were mostly lower overnight after the G20 statement release despite the statement not singling out Japan. The Japanese Nikkei Index fell 1.22% and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.17% while the Hang Seng Index declined 0.26%. Also, the Korean Kospi fell 0.24% and Australian shares fell 1.6%.
European shares were mostly higher in early trade following some strong bond auctions from France and Spain and on the German economic forecasts. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.94% and the Italian FTSE MIB Index rose 0.99%. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.69% and the French CAC rose 0.97% while U.K. shares gained 0.37%.
Commodities were mostly higher overnight as oil bounced back from its recent steep declines. WTI crude futures rose 1.11% to $87.40 per barrel and Brent crude futures gained 1.36% to $100.39 per barrel. Copper futures fell 1.08% to $315.20 per pound on continued supply fears. Gold was higher and silver futures rose 0.87% to $23.39 per ounce.
Currency markets were rather calm overnight after two days of large moves in the overnight sessions. The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3055 and the dollar rose against the yen to 98.27. Overall, the Dollar Index fell 0.15% on weakness against the euro, the Canadian dollar, and the Swiss franc.
Earnings reported Wednesday
Key companies that reported earnings Wednesday include:
American Express (AXP) reported first quarter earnings per share of $1.15 vs. $1.12 expected on revenue of $7.88 billion vs. $8.05 billion expected.
Bank of America (BAC) reported first quarter earnings per share of $0.20 vs. $0.22 expected on revenue of $23.85 billion vs. $23.5 billion expected.
eBay (EBAY) reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.63 vs. $0.62 on revenue of $3.7 billion vs. expectations of $3.76 billion. Also, guidance was reaffirmed while the street was looking for a guidance raise.
SanDisk (SNDK) reported first quarter earnings per share of $0.84 vs. $0.77 expected on revenue of $1.34 billion vs. $1.3 billion expected.
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
eBay (EBAY) shares fell 2.35% premarket after the bottom line beat and top line miss and the guidance miss.
Carnival Corp. (CCL) shares rose 1.87% premarket after the company announced new plans to invest in emergency preparedness protocols.
SanDisk (SNDK) shares rose 1.31% premarket following the earnings.
Theravance (THRX) shares rose 18.71% premarket after the FDA Advisory Committee recommended Breo for the treatment of COPD.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Thursday include:
The Blackstone Group (BX) is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $0.51 vs. $0.44 a year ago.
Chipotle (CMG) is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $2.14 v.s $1.97 a year ago.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $3.05 vs. $2.78 a year ago.
Morgan Stanley (MS) is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $0.58 vs. a loss of $0.06 per share a year ago.
Google (GOOG) is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $10.69 vs. $10.08 a year ago.
Microsoft (MSFT) is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $0.76 vs. $0.60 a year ago. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)
Pepsico (PEP) is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $0.71 vs. $0.69 a year ago.
UnitedHealth Group (UNH) is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $1.14 vs. $1.31 a year ago.
Union Pacific (UNP) is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $1.97 vs. $1.79 a year ago.
On the economics calendar Thursday, initial jobless claims are due out as well as the Philly Fed survey, leading indicators, and the Bloomberg consumer comfort index. Also, Fed members Kocherlakota and Raskin are set to speak. In addition, the Treasury is set to auction five-year TIPS. Overnight, German inflation as well as Spanish industrial data are due out.
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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