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Thursday, 25 April 2013
U.S. Stock Futures Rise; S&P 500 May Extend Two-Week High
By Sarah Jones - Apr 25, 2013 4:38 PM GMT+0400
U.S. stock futures rose, signaling the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will extend a near two-week high, as companies from Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. to 3M Co. reported earnings that topped estimates and jobless claims fell.
Cliffs Natural soared 8.3 percent and Akamai (AKAM) Technologies Inc. rose 18 percent. 3M slid 3.8 percent as profit trailed estimates and the company cut its full-year forecast amid a slowing global economy. Qualcomm Inc. lost 4.8 percent after the biggest seller of semiconductors for mobile phones forecast profit that may miss some analysts’ projections.
April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week, pointing to an improving labor market. Applications for jobless benefits decreased by 16,000 to 339,000 in the week ended April 20, the lowest since March 9, according to Labor Department data released today in Washington. Betty Liu and Michael McKee report on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)
April 25 (Bloomberg) -- John Woods, a Hong Kong-based investment strategist for Asia Pacific at Citigroup Inc.’s private bank, talks about the U.S. economy and stock market. He also discusses the outlook for South Korea, Japan and China's economies and financial markets. He speaks with Susan Li and Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television's "Asia Edge." (Source: Bloomberg)
Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in June advanced 0.5 percent to 1,581.7 at 8:37 a.m. in New York after the gauge closed at the highest level since April 12 yesterday. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 54 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,669 today.
“The earnings season so far has been plagued by slow growth and a weak economy, but hopes of a second-half rebound continue to buoy the market,” said Nick Xanders, an equity strategist at BTIG Ltd. in London. “Everyone believes in the second half, plus you can’t get in the way of the central banks.”
Some 59 S&P 500 companies post earnings today. Of the those that have published results so far in this reporting season, 74 percent have exceeded analysts’ earnings estimates while 55 percent missed revenue projections, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Profit at S&P 500 companies dropped 1.1 percent in the first three months of the year, according to forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. That would mark the first year-over-year decrease since 2009.
Fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week, pointing to an improving labor market. Applications for jobless benefits decreased by 16,000 to 339,000 in the week ended April 20, the lowest since March 9, according to Labor Department data released today in Washington. Economists projected 350,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
In the U.K., the economy grew more than forecast in the first quarter, avoiding a triple-dip recession. Gross domestic product rose 0.3 percent in the period, the Office for National Statistics said , topping the average estimate of 37 economists in a Bloomberg survey for 0.1 percent growth.
Twenty-four of 40 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the European Central Bank to cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to 0.5 percent next week.
Cliffs Natural gained 8.3 percent to $19.73 after the company reported first-quarter net income of 66 cents a share, down from $2.63 a year earlier. Excluding a 6-cent tax benefit, per-share profit exceeded the 33-cent average of 18 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Akamai surged 18 percent to $42.65 after reporting first- quarter revenue and profit that topped estimates as Internet traffic accelerated faster than expected.
Biogen Idec Inc. added 3.7 percent to $213.80 after the fourth-largest U.S. biotechnology company by market value raised its full-year forecast as first-quarter net income increased on a tax benefit.
3M fell 3.8 percent to $103.80. The maker of products ranging from Scotch tape to dental braces said net income in the quarter was little changed at $1.13 billion, or $1.61 a share. The average of 15 estimates compiled by Bloomberg was $1.65 a share.
Qualcomm lost 4.8 percent to $62.80 after the company forecast fiscal third-quarter net income of 80 cents to 88 cents a share. Analysts on average had projected earnings of 87 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Zynga Inc. sank 8.9 percent to $3.05 after the maker of online games also forecast sales that fell short of some projections.
Intuit Inc. slid 12 percent to $56.70 as the maker of tax and financial-planning software cut its earnings forecast. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded the shares to neutral from overweight, the equivalent of a buy rating.
Boston Scientific Corp. fell 1.9 percent to $7.22. The maker of heart devices forecast second-quarter revenue of $1.80 billion at most, below the $1.81 billion estimated by analysts.