Thursday, April 30, 2009

US Stocks Poised For Higher Start On Positive Earnings, Exxon Eyed

. Thursday, April 30, 2009

By stockOzone team

US stock futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday as investors cheered better than expected corporate earnings. At 8:26 am ET, Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures jumped 12.30 points to 881.40. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures increased 106 points to 8231. Nasdaq Composite Index futures gained 20.25 points to 1398.According to a Commerce Department release, US consumer spending, which accounts for nearly two third of economy, declined 0.2% in March. Economists expected personal spending to rise 0.4%. Personal Income fell 0.3% in March compared to consensus estimates of decrease of 0.2%.

A release by Department of Labor on Thursday showed number of Americans filing first- time claims for unemployment benefits declined 14,000 to 631,000 in the week ending April 25. Economists expected a reading of 640,000. The four-week average of seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims, a less volatile gauge, decreased by 10,750 to 637,250. Continuing claims for the week ending April 18 jumped 133,000 to a record 6.27 million.

Early on Thursday, oil giant Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) announced that first-quarter net income slipped 58% to $4.55 billion, or 92 cents a share, from $10.89 billion, or $2.02 a share in the year-ago period.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) reported that it earned $2.61 billion, or 84 cents per share, compared to $2.71 billion, or 82 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue dropped 8 percent, to $18.42 billion.

Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) announced that its first quarter net income plunged to $24 million, or 3 cents a share, from $941 million, or 99 cents a share, in the prior year quarter. Revenue declined 39% to $9.09 billion from $14.82 billion.

Eastman Kodak Co. (NYSE: EK) said that its first-quarter loss from continuing operations totaled $360 million, or $1.34 a share, compared with a loss of $114 million, or 40 cents a share, in the year earlier period. Revenue decreased 29% to $1.48 billion. The company also suspended the dividend on its common stock to save capital.

Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA) reported that first-quarter net slumped 34% to $177 million, or 29 cents a share, from $270 million, or 42 cents a share, in the year ago quarter. Quarterly revenue fell 6.8% to $2.91 billion.

Cellphone maker Motorola (NYSE: MOT) posted a wider quarterly loss of $231 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a loss of $194 million, or 9 cents per share in the comparable quarter a year ago. Revenue slipped to $5.37 billion from $7.45 billion

The largest cable TV provider Comcast Corp.(NASDAQ: CMCSA), said Thursday that first-quarter earnings rose 6% to $772 million, or 27 cents a share, from $732 million, or 24 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue increased 5% to $8.84 billion.

According to the Wall Street Journal, talks between the U.S. Treasury Department and Chrysler LLC lenders aimed at cutting the automaker's debt and keeping it out of bankruptcy collapsed late on Wednesday, making bankruptcy almost certain.

US stocks finished with gains on Wednesday after Federal Reserve policymakers suggested that the worst may be over for US economy.

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 solidly higher. The Nikkei 225 jumped 334.49 points or 3.94% to 8,828.26. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong surged 564.04 points or 3.77% to 15,520.99.

NYMEX Crude oil for June delivery climbed as much as 97 cents or 1.9% to $51.94 a barrel.
Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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