U.S. stock markets are poised to open higher ahead of the start to the third quarter earnings season. Investors are also continuing to digest last week's worse-than-expected jobs report, which heightened fears of unemployment topping 10% before the end of the year.
Stocks in Europe were little changed while Asian markets mostly fell. The Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite Index all were indicated higher in pre-market trading. Oil prices continue to hover around $70 a barrel as investors await clues from earnings season as to the direction of the market. Traders dumped the dollar after the Group of Seven finance ministers omitted any mention of the currency's weakness in their final communique, according to Bloomberg News.
U.S. stock markets are poised to rise today as more and more positive data convinces Wall Street that the economic recovery is for real.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P 500 Index were all indicated higher following a rally in overseas markets. Germany's Dax, France's CAC-40 and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 all posted strong gains. Japan's Nikkei 25 also rose while China's Hang Seng declined.
For those looking for silver linings, there are plenty to choose.
After posting strong performances earlier this week following growing optimism about the economy and the reappointment of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the main indexes appear headed toward a muted opening. The Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq Composite Index were trading down in pre-market action.
Whether this rally will hold depends on a few things. The U.S. Commerce Department is due to issue its durable goods report for July later this morning. As the Associated Press notes, "Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predict orders to U.S. factories for items expected to last at least three years increased 3 percent in July, due in part to increased auto sales from the government's Cash for Clunkers program." They fell in June.
U.S. stock markets may be poised to rise, extending their gains from earlier this week, as traders bet that the worst of the steepest economic decline since the Great Depression is ending. Then again, they may end their recent winning streak.
S&P Futures expiring in September were little changed as investors digested the latest batch of earnings news. These recent quarterly reports have been largely viewed positively. Some investors may be worrying if stock valuations have gotten too rich.
Stocks appear poised to open higher as Express Scripts Inc. (NASDAQ: ESRX) agreed this morning to acquire Wellpoint Inc.'s pharmacy benefits management business for $4.68 billion, proving that the once-moribund mergers and acquisitions market is showing signs of life.
Investors are expecting Wall Street to continue its recent winning ways.
Stocks are poised to open higher as investors await March retail sales data and the weekly unemployment report. Markets in Europe and Asia were higher.
Retail sales, though weak, may not be as bad as investors had feared. According to the Wall Street Journal, and a select group of its discounting peers have helped retail sales exceed modest expectations every month since December, and that streak likely will continue."
According to Bloomberg News, futures on the S&P 500 expiring in June decreased 0.9 percent to 806.60 at 10:50 a.m. in London, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slid 1% to 7,683 and Nasdaq-100 Index futures fell 0.6% to 1,273.75. Markets in Europe and Asia were also down.
Analysts expect the Dow component to lose 56 cents per share on revenue of $4.08 billion compared with $303 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier on revenue of $7.38 billion, according to estimates by Thomson Reuters. The Pittsburgh-based company reported its first loss in six years in January. Its shares are down about 30 percent this year, even with the recent surge in the stock market.
They have taken a "What me worry?" attitude that would make Alfred E. Neuman, the fictional mascot of "Mad" magazine proud, sending the major indexes soaring after data showed some small signs of improvement, even though the economy lost 663,000 jobs in March.
What people forget is that the Troubled Asset Relief Program is supposed to be temporary. Yes, I know $700 billion seems permanent, but it's not. Banks are supposed to pay the government back with interest once the economy improves and their toxic assets become something people want. The only way that this is going to happen is with private money.
According to CNN/Money, Big Blue has a program called Project Match that will "help interested workers whose jobs are on the chopping block to "identify potential opportunities in (overseas) growth markets and facilitate consideration by hiring managers in those markets.'" It will even help with moving costs and provide assistance with visas.
The cuts, 100 in total, were in the company's radio and TV operations. They are not surprising. Both Bloomberg TV and radio station WBBR have been poorly managed for years. Many of CNBC's biggest stars, including Dylan Ratigan, started their careers at Bloomberg TV. They no doubt went to the General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE)-owned network for bigger money and bigger audiences. The reorganization that the New York Times refers to may include the end of non-English language programming. It also means getting rid off high-priced talent.
According to Bloomberg News, this once-venerable company is headed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and a possible liquidation. The demise of Fortunoff comes a year after Lord & Taylor parent NRDC purchased the company out of bankruptcy. At the time, NRDC thought Fortunoff was the best thing since sliced bread. Lord & Taylor even made available a $10 million line of credit to the chain. But now, the chain's lease at its flagship store has expired and the store, located on Fifth Avenue near Bergdorf Goodman, Prada and Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) is vacant.
Baseball's premier choke artists are now denying an earlier report that the troubled New York-based bank was trying to back out of its commitment to the team. New York Newsday is quoting a team official "We're committed to our agreement with Citi, and Citi has indicated it is committed to users." He went on to defend Citi, saying that the bank "needs to advertise."
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Weill's office said in a statement on Monday morning that `in light of the unprecedented circumstances that Citi finds itself in' he decided to stop using Citi aircraft immediately." Wow, if you did not know any better you would have thought he had given up his left arm instead of a seat on a luxurious jet.