RTTNews - Following a moderately strong performance in the previous session, stocks are poised for a higher open Friday, as traders may be looking for some bargains on a day free of any significant economic data. The major index futures are all in positive territory, with the Dow futures up by 60 points.
With no major economic news scheduled to be released, investors are focusing on earnings figures and some corporate news to guide trading to close out a week marred by low volume, typical of the summer season.
On the earnings front, Research in Motion Limited (RIMM) reported adjusted first quarter earnings of $564.4 million or $0.98 per share, beating analyst estimates of $0.94 per share. The BlackBerry maker also reported a 53 percent increase in sales.
Looking ahead, RIM said expects second quarter earnings of $0.94 to $1.03 per share on revenues of $3.45 to $3.7 billion. The consensus estimates call for earnings of $0.97 per share on revenues of $3.61 billion.
Separately, CarMax (KMX) reported first-quarter net income of $0.13 per share, flat compared to the prior-year quarter. Wall Street analysts had expected the auto retailer to report earnings of $0.04 per share.
In other news, Texas billionaire Sir Allen Stanford, who has been accused of perpetrating an alleged fraud worth $8 billion, was arrested by FBI agents in Virginia late on Thursday.
U.S. authorities had issued an arrest warrant for Stanford over allegations of massive fraud involving certificates of deposits issued by his Antigua-based bank, reports quoting his lawyer said.
Stanford will reportedly face criminal charges in a federal court in Richmond, Virginia Friday morning. In February, the SEC described the alleged fraud at Stanford Financial group as a fraud of shocking magnitude.
Stocks finished largely on the upside Thursday after trading in a range for most of the session. After closing lower in the three previous sessions, the Dow closed up 58 points at 8,556 and the S&P 500 closed up 8 points at 918. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq underperformed throughout the session and closed down less than a point at 1,808.
Crude oil futures are moving higher in early commodities trading, rising by $0.67 to $72.04 a barrel after ending the previous session up $0.34 at $71.37 a barrel. The price of gold is also advancing, moving up by $2.80 to $937.40 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is slipping against the major European currencies, moving down to $1.3932 against the euro and dropping to $1.6443 against the pound. On the other hand, the dollar is moving up against the yen, moving to a level of 96.79 yen after setting a fresh two-week low against the Japanese currency on Wednesday.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia Pacific region ended Friday's session showing solid gains. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed up 0.9 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished up 0.8 percent.
The major European markets are also moving higher, with the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index up by 1.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is climbing by 1.8 percent.
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