Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wall Street Poised For Mixed Opening, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson Eyed

. Tuesday, April 14, 2009

By stockOzone team

US stock futures were little changed on Tuesday after a government release showed that US retail sales fell 1.1% in March. However, better-than-expected quarterly results from Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson boosted investor optimism.

At 8:31 am ET, Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures fell 1.70 points to 852.30. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures decreased 12 points to 7983. Nasdaq Composite Index futures rose 6.75 points to 1338.75.

According to Department of Commerce, retail sales declined 1.1% in March. Economists had forecast a drop of 0.3%.

A release by US Labor Department on Tuesday showed that producer price index fell 1.2% in March. The report also showed that core PPI was unchanged in the month. Economists expected the March PPI to rise 0.4%, and for the core PPI to remain unchanged.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said on Tuesday there are signs that the “sharp decline” in the U.S. economy may be slowing. “I am fundamentally optimistic about our economy,” Bernanke said in a speech in Atlanta. “Today’s economic conditions are difficult, but the foundations of our economy are strong, and we face no problems that cannot be overcome with insight, patience, and persistence.”

Late on Monday, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) reported a first quarter profit of $1.8 billion, or $3.39 a share, compared to $1.5 billion, or $3.23 a share in the year ago quarter. The bank said that it plans to repay the $10 billion of federal loans as soon as the government approves.

Early on Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported that first-quarter net income fell slightly to 3.5 billion, or $1.26 a share, from $3.6 billion, or $1.26 a share, prior year quarter. Revenue decreased 7% to $15 billion from $16 billion. Shares of the drugmaker rallied in pre market trade.

Grainger Inc (NYSE: GWW) said Tuesday that its first quarter profit declined to $96.4 million, or $1.25 a share, from $114.2 million, or $1.41 a share, in the comparable quarter a year ago. Quarterly revenue declined to $1.47 billion from $1.66 billion last year.

Chipmaker Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) is due to announce quarterly results after the market close.

On the front of economic data, business inventories data for the month of February is scheduled for release at 10:00 am ET.

Overseas, European stocks climbed in afternoon trade. Asian stocks finished mostly higher.

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

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