RTTNews - U.S. stocks are set for a mixed opening Friday morning as traders may pause for locking gains after four days of gains led by encouraging earnings results from Goldman Sachs, Intel and JP Morgan. While underlying optimism about recovery seems to be gaining strength, a lack of conviction in the rally amid lingering doubts about an economic recovery is holding back the traders. The last day of the week would be yet another eventful one, with results from Bank of America (BAC), and Citigroup (C) on tap during the day.
General Electric Co. (GE) reported second-quarter 2009 earnings from continuing operations attributable to GE of $2.9 billion, or $0.26 per share attributable to common shareowners, down 47% from second quarter 2008. Revenues fell 17% to $39.1 billion.
As of 6.30 am ET, the Dow Futures were down 6 points, the S&P Futures were down 0.70 points, but the Nasdaq 100 futures were up 2.00 points.
Thursday, stocks ended in positive territory for the fourth consecutive session as buying interest returned to the market in the afternoon session amid the release of better-than-expected results from JP Morgan (JPM). Earlier in the day, traders digested a Labor market report that showed a the drop in weekly jobless numbers with a pinch of salt amid suspicion of skewness in the data.
Separately, the National Association of Home Builders released a report showing an increase in homebuilder confidence in the month of July, with homebuilders seeing an improvement in current sales conditions. Traders also digested a report from Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia which showed that the index of manufacturing activity in the Mid-Atlantic region fell by more than economists had been expecting.
The major gainers in the session included the biotechnology stocks, transportation stocks, steel, and natural gas stocks, housing stocks and computer technology stocks. The banking and brokerage stocks, however, slipped amid concerns about a possible bankruptcy filing of CIT Group.
The Dow closed up by 95.61 points or 1.1% at 8,712, the Nasdaq climbed by 22.13 points or 1.2% to 1,885 and the S&P 500 rose by 8.06 points or 0.9% to 941.
Traders will be reacting to the results from search-engine giant Google (GOOG), which reported second quarter results after the market closed Thursday, showing a rise in second quarter profit. Despite the rise in profit, traders may express concerns about the the slowest revenue growth rate in its 19 quarters as a public company.
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) said that its second quarter profit rose 12% from last year, as a lower tax rate, improved gross margins and tight cost control offset a 13% drop in revenues. The company also raised its full year earnings outlook.
People's United Financial, Inc. (PBCT), a savings and loan holding company of People's United Bank, reported a lower second quarter profit from a year ago, hurt by the continued margin pressure related to lower interest rate as well as an increase in provision for loan losses.
On the economic front, traders will focus on a report on housing starts and building permits slated to be released at 8:30 AM ET. Economists estimate housing starts of 530,000 for June.
After having failed to get support from the Government agencies, troubled commercial lender CIT Group, Inc. (CIT) said that it is continuing to evaluate alternatives to improve its liquidity and as part of the efforts, it is in discussions with potential lenders to secure financing, and in the bargain, avoid bankruptcy filing.
According to reports, Cisco Systems (CSCO) has trimmed the workforce by 700 personnel in its San Jose headquarters on Thursday as part of its plan to eliminate 1,500 to 2,000 jobs announced earlier in the year.
Light sweet crude oil for August delivery is currently trading below the $62 a barrel mark at $61.91, down $0.11 from the close at its previous close in New York its previous close in New York at $62.02 in the previous session. The dollar is strengthening against the Euro euro and the pound, while it is weakening against the Japanese Yen.
The European markets are trading in positive territory led by banks ahead of results from Bank of America and Citigroup. The CAC-40 Index in France is gaining 0.84%, the DAX Index in Germany is up 0.79% and the FTSE Index in the UK is rising 0.81%.
The Asian markets ended trading on the last day of the week in positive territory but below the day's high as traders preferred to lock in gains and move to sidelines ahead of earnings from Bank of America, Citigroup and GE later in the U.S.
In the economic news in Asia-Pacific region, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that export and import prices dropped at record pace in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, mainly due to the appreciation of Australian dollar. Singapore's exports in June dropped at the slowest pace in nine months as the economy strongly emerges from its deepest recession.
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