US stocks were looking for direction Wednesday morning in New York as traders mulled a slew of earnings news and looked ahead to another round of pivotal economic data.
As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow Futures were down 3 points, the NASDAQ Futures were down 1 point, and the S&P Futures were down 5 points.
Stocks saw substantial weakness during trading on Tuesday, as traders reacted to disappointing retail sales data and largely shrugged off some optimistic comments from President Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke.
The Dow closed down 137.63 points or 1.7 percent at 7,920.18, the Nasdaq closed down 27.59 points or 1.7 percent at 1,625.72 and the S&P 500 closed down 17.23 points or 2.0 percent at 841.50.
Economic data will be in focus Wednesday morning, with consumer price data and the New York Fed index both due to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Fed's industrial production report for March will also be released at 9:15 a.m. ET.
Intel Corp. said Tuesday after the markets closed that its first quarter profit fell 55% from last year amid lower revenue and deteriorating margins. The company's quarterly earnings per share breezed past Wall Street expectations, but shares came under pressure in afterhours trading because the company said it was not providing an official revenue outlook for the second quarter, but for internal purposes, it is currently planning for revenue approximately flat to the first quarter.
Swiss financial services firm UBS AG, Wednesday, said it expects to report a loss of almost CHF 2 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2009. The company also said it intends to cut the number of employees to about 67,500 in 2010, a reduction of about 8,700 employees from its global workforce.
Railroad operator CSX Corp. (CSX: News ) said Tuesday that its first quarter profit declined from last year, hurt by lower volumes, as construction and consumer-related markets remained weak. However, the company's quarterly earnings, on a comparable basis, came in above the analysts' expectations, due to various productivity initiatives. Following the news, the company's shares gained more than 7% in the after-hours trading.
Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co. (PG: News ) said Tuesday that it was increasing its quarterly dividend by 10%.
Online auction and shopping service provider eBay Inc. (EBAY: News ), citing limited synergies, stated its plan to separate Skype through an initial public offering or IPO aimed for completion in the first half of 2010. However, the company stopped short of providing the specific timing of the IPO and indicated that it would be based on prevailing market conditions.
Struggling internet pioneer Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO: News ) is bracing for another round of layoffs, which could be announced as soon as next week, according to reports. The proposed cutback marks the third time in little more than a year the company has slashed its head count.
Infosys Technologies Ltd. (INFY) Wednesday, reported a 2.6% rise in fourth-quarter profit despite a slight fall in revenues. However, on Indian GAAP basis, profit grew 29%, aided by revenue growth.
Abbott Laboratories Inc. (ABT: News ), a diversified healthcare company, is slated to report its first-quarter earnings for 2009 on Wednesday before the market opens. Analysts tracked by Thomson Reuters expect the company to earn $0.70 per share on revenue of $7.06 billion for the quarter.
The major markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended mixed on Wednesday. Japan ended lower, while markets in China, Hong Kong and Singapore recouped their early losses and ended in positive territory.
European markets were slightly higher in morning trading.
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