Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earnings Jitters Dominate Wall Street, Morgan Stanley Swings To Loss

. Wednesday, April 22, 2009

By stockOzone team

US stock futures pointed to lower open on Wednesday as weaker than expected corporate earnings dampened investor sentiment. At 8:26 am ET, Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures dropped 10.60 points to 837.10. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures shed 77 points to 7846. Nasdaq Composite Index futures fell 5.25 points to 1322.75.

Early on Wednesday, telecom giant AT&T (NYSE: T) announced that its first quarter net income fell 9.7% to $3.126 billion, or 53 cents a share, from $3.461 billion, or 57 cents a share, in year earlier quarter.

McDonald's Corp. (NYE: MCD) said that its first qurter profit increased 4% to $979.5 million, or 87 cents a share, from $946.1 million, or 81 cents a share, in the comparable quarter last year.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) said that it swung to a first quarter net loss of $190 million, or 57 cents a share, compared to a profit of $1.41 billion, or $1.26 a share.

Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) reported that first-quarter net income declined to $589 million, or 28 cents a share, from $2.45 billion, or $1.16 a share, in the prior year period. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 39 cents a share compared to 37 cents a share.

Continental Airlines Inc. (NYSE: CAL) said that its first-quarter net loss widened to $136 million, or $1.10 a share, $82 million, or 82 cents a share, in the same quarter of 2008. Revenue slumped 17% to $2.96 billion, from $3.57 billion.

Health insurer WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) reported that its first quarter income slipped to $580.4 million, or $1.16 a share, from $588.1 million, or $1.07 a share, in the first quarter of 2008. Revenue fell 0.4% to $15.3 billion.

Late on Tuesday, Yahoo Inc (NASDAQ: YHOO) announced that it would reduce 5% of its global workforce. The Sunnyvale, California-based web company reported a net profit in the first quarter of $118 million, or 8 cents a share - down from $537 million, or 37 cents a share, a year ago.

European stocks advanced in afternoon trade. At 13:12 London Time, UK FTSE rose 7.68 points or 0.19% to 3,995.14.The German Dax and French CAC gained 0.39% and 0.42% respectively.

Asian stocks finished mixed. The Nikkei 225 increased 15.97 points or 0.18% to 8,727.30. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong plunged 407.44 points or 2.67% to 14,878.45.

US stocks finished with gains on Tuesday after positive comments by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Giethner sparked a rally in financials. In a testimony before the TARP's Congressional Oversight Panel, Geithner said that the "vast majority" of U.S. banks "have more capital than they need."

NYMEX Crude oil for June delivery climbed 8 cents to $48.63 a barrel.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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