Wednesday, April 29, 2009

US Stock Futures Rise After GDP Data, Time Warner In Spotlight

. Wednesday, April 29, 2009

By stockOzone team

US stock futures pointed to a stronger start on Wednesday even as a government release showed that economy contracted at a worse than expected rate in the first quarter of 2009. At 8:31 am ET, Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures rose 15.50 points to 859.30. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures increased 64 points to 8031. Nasdaq Composite Index futures advanced 10 points to 1370.A release by U.S. Department of Commerce showed that real gross domestic product shrank at a 6.1% annualized rate in the first quarter; compared to 6.3% decline in the fourth quarter of 2008.Economists expected a GDP reading of 4.7%.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bank of America Corp.'s (NYSE BAC) embattled chief executive Kenneth Lewis may be forced to give up his role as chairman but is set to win re-election to the bank's board by a wide margin.

Meanwhile, Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) has asked the U.S. Treasury for permission to pay special bonuses to many key employees who have threatened to leave because of pay cap.

According to reports, a 23-month-old succumbed to flu in Texas, becoming the first U.S. citizen to die from the swine flu that's left scores dead in Mexico.

Early on Wednesday, media giant Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) announced that its first-quarter net income declined 14% to $661 million, or 55 cents a share, from $771 million, or 64 cents a share, in the prior year quarter. Revenue dropped 7% to $6.95 billion.

Burger King Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BKC) reported that first-quarter net income rose to $47 million, or 34 cents a share, from $41 million, or 30 cents a share, in the a year ago quarter. Revenue increased 1% to $600 million.

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) on Wednesday said that first-quarter profit jumped 37% to $206 million, or 12 cents a share, from $150 million, or 8 cents a share, in the year earlier quarter. Revenue decreased 4% to $3.17 billion.

Late on Tuesday, E-Trade Financial (NYSE: ETFC) reported that its fiscal first quarter loss nearly doubled to $233 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with a loss of $91 million, or 20 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Sun Microsystems Inc.(NASDAQ: JAVA) said that its quarterly loss widened to $201 million, or 27 cents a share, from a loss of $34 million, or 4 cents a share, in the comparable quarter last year. Revenue plunged to $2.614 billion from $3.266 billion.

Investors are expected to focus on FOMC policy statement which is due for release later in the day.

European stocks advanced in afternoon trade. At 13:24 pm London Time, UK FTSE gained 55.88 points or 1.36% to 4,152.28. The German DAX and French CAC increased 0.92% and 1.23% respectively.

Asian stocks finished higher. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong rose 401.84 points or 2.76% to 14,956.56. Singapore’s Strait Times jumped 41.16 or 2.28% to 1,849.57 in Singapore.

NYMEX Crude oil for June delivery climbed $1.04 or 2.1% to $50.96 a barrel.

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

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