Jan
31

Wall Street Savors Greek Assurance Of Deal

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(RTTNews.com) – Wall Street may have a spring in its steps, as indicated by the U.S. index futures, which point to a higher opening on Wall Street on Tuesday. The encouragement came from an assurance from Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, who indicated that the nation may be closer to inking a pact with its private creditors. The sustenance of the optimism may also depend on a slew of key earnings due to be released before the markets open and a few first tier domestic economic reports.

As of 6:30 am ET, the Dow futures are rising 78 points, the SP 500 futures are adding 8.40 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are adding 15.50 points.

U.S. stocks retreated on Monday, although closing well off the lows of the session, with sentiment hurt by hurt by negative cues from Europe and a lackluster domestic consumer spending data.

On the economic front, the Conference Board is scheduled to release its consumer confidence report for January at 10 am ET. The report is expected to show that the consumer confidence index improved to 68 in January from 64.5 in December.

Shortly before that, the results of the Institute of Supply Management-Chicago’s business survey for January are scheduled to be released. Economists expect the business barometer index based on the survey to rise to 63 from 62.5 in December.

Additionally, the SP/Case-Shiller home price index, which tracks monthly changes in the value of residential real estate in 20 metropolitan regions across the U.S., is scheduled to be released at 9 am. Economists expect a 0.4 percent month-over-month drop in the 20-city composite house price index for November.

The Labor Department is scheduled to release its report on the employment cost index for the fourth quarter at 8:30 AM ET. Economists expect a 0.4% in the index for the quarter.

In corporate news, Rent-A-Center’s (RCII) earnings exceeded estimates, while its revenues were shy of estimates. The company’s updated 2012 guidance showed a sales growth estimate of 7-10 percent. The company estimates earnings of $3-$3.20 per share, including 20 cents per share dilution related to its international growth initiatives.

Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) reported fourth quarter operating income of $1.91 per share, lower than $2.15 per share last year. The results exceeded estimates. The company’s operating earnings per share guidance for 2012 surrounded the consensus estimate.

PAREXEL (PRXL) reported in-line second quarter earnings, while it issued a healthy guidance for its third quarter and the full year.

Plum Creek Timber (PCL) reported fourth quarter earnings that missed estimates by a penny, while its revenues despite declining from the year-ago period exceeded estimates. The company issued below-consensus guidance for the first quarter and the full year 2012.

Limited Brands (LTD) announced a 25 percent increase in its regular annual dividend to $1 per share.

RadioShack (RSH) announced preliminary fourth quarter results and now expects fourth quarter earnings of 11-13 cents per share. The company also said its net sales and operating revenues from continuing operations rose 6 percent to $1.39 billion. Analysts estimate earnings of 37 cents per share on revenues of $1.35 billion.

Archer-Midlands Daniels (ADM), Biogen Idec (BIIB), Entergy (ETG), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Illinois (ITW), Kulicke Soffa (KLIC), McGraw-Hill (MHP), Pfizer (PFE), Tellabs (TLAB), U.S. Steel (X), UPS (UPS) and Valero Energy (VLO) are among the companies due to release their results before the markets open.

After the markets close, Amazon (AMZN), Broadcom (BRCM), C.H. Robinson (CHRW), C.R. Bard (BCR), Illumina (ILMN), Jack Henry Associates (JKHY), JDA Software (JDAS), Manhattan Associates (MANH), Manitowoc (MTW), Seagate (STX), Stanley Furniture (STLY), Unisys (UIS), Websense (WBSN) and Suncor Energy (SU) are scheduled to report quarterly results.

The Asian markets closed a nervous session mostly higher, with the Indian, Hong Kong and Taiwanese markets pacing the gains in the region. Along with the Greek optimism, traders were also encouraged by a positive industrial production data from Germany.

Despite witnessing lackluster sentiment in early and late trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 average added 9.46 points or 0.11 percent before closing at 8,803. A report released by Japan’sMinistry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed a 4 percent increase in industrial output compared to the previous month, with auto and electronics products leading the gains.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 230.08 points or 1.14 percent to 20,391, while Australia’s All Ordinaries ended down 8.70 points or 0.20 percent at 4,326.

The European stocks are advancing too, with all three major averages in the region rising notably.

Chipmaker ARM Holdings reported fourth quarter pre-tax profits of 69 million pounds on 21 percent sales growth. The results were better than expected. Meanwhile, Spanish financial giant Banco Santander reported a tumble in its fourth quarter profits, hurt by charges related to its real estate holdings.

On the economic front, the eurozone jobless rate came in at 10.4 percent in December, equaling an upwardly revised rate for November, thus remaining at a record high.

Crude oil futures are surging up even as gold is seeing weakness, while risk currencies are gaining ground at the expense of the dollar.

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Article source: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/wall-street-savors-greek-assurance-of-deal-20120131-00258

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