Pre-Market Report: Stocks Looking Higher

by: Midnight Trader


-Dow Industrial futures up 30 points.

-S&P 500 futures up 5 points.

-Nasdaq 100 futures up 10 points.

-Nasdaq-100 Pre-Market Indicator up 6.75 at 1351.16


Nikkei down 1.6%

Hang Seng up 0.3%

FTSE up 2.2%


(+) Large cap tech: firmer

(+) Chip stocks: firmer

(-,+) Small cap stocks: mixed

(+,-) Drug stocks: mixed

(+) Software stocks: firmer

(+) Internet stocks: higher

(+) Financial stocks: firmer

(+) Auto stocks: higher

(+,-) Airline stocks: mixed

(+,-) Retail stocks: mixed


(+) Ford (NYSE:F) (+24%) reports smaller-than-expected loss, positive cash update. GM up about 7% in step with Ford move.

(+) American Express (NYSE:AXP) (+9%) seeing continued upside reaction to earnings, TARP payback hopes.

(+) Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) (+2.9%) firmer after evening results.

(+) Honeywell (NYSE:HON) (+0.2%) meets with lower Q1 EPS.

(+) Developers Diversified Realty (NYSE:DDR) (+35%) tops expectations.

(+) Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) (+4.5%) meets on revenue, beats by a nickel with EPS.

(+) Research in Motion (RIMM) (+2.8%) gets analyst upgrade.

(+) Xerox (NYSE:XRX) (+3%) beats with Q1 results, firmer despite guiding below Street.


(-) 3M (NYSE:MMM) (-1%) misses with Q1 and cuts guidance.

(-) Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) (flat) gets analyst downgrade.


Stocks remain higher though 3M (MMM) results have dampened some of the enthusiasm on Wall Street that met Ford's (F) smaller-than-expected loss reported earlier this morning.

Also sobering to investors, U.S.-made durable goods orders fell 0.8%, the seventh decline in the past eight months. February's gain was revised down to show a 2.1% increase. A key gauge of capital spending by businesses rose 1.5% in March, the second straight rise after a severe decline in January. Still due: figures on new-home sales at 10 a.m. ET. The report follows weaker-than-expected existing home sales data out Thursday.

3M (MMM) reports Q1 sales of $5.1 bln, just below the analyst mean of $5.22 bln. Ex items, EPS was $0.81 per share, a nickel south of the Street estimate on Thomson Reuters.

Earnings results and guidance continued to pour in early Friday.

Ford (F) grabbed the first major headlines after it reported a loss of $0.75 per share, well ahead of the analyst mean of a loss of $1.23 per share on Thomson Reuters. Revs were $24.8 bln, ahead of expectations of $22 bln.

Ford said it remains on track to meet or beat its financial targets based on current planning assumptions, including the target for its overall and North American Automotive pre-tax results to be breakeven or better in 2011, excluding special items.

3M said it now expects 2009 organic sales volume to decline between 11 percent and 15 percent, versus a previous planning assumption of negative 5 percent to negative 9 percent. The company also expects 2009 full-year earnings to be in the range of $3.90 to $4.30 per share, down from a previous range of $4.30 to $4.70. The Street view is $4.01 per share.

Meanwhile, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) remains higher after its results. The tech barometer late Thursday recorded Q3 operating income down 30% from a year earlier to $0.33. Severance charges and investment impairments shaved $0.06 from earnings. The Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate, usually ex-items, was for $0.39. Revenue of $13.65 billion is down 6% from the prior-year quarter. The Street expected $14 billion.

Financials are mostly higher this morning. American Express (AXP) said late Thursday it earned $0.31 per share in Q1 vs $0.85 a year earlier and easily beating the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.12, if comparable. Revenue was $5.93 billion, down from $7.24 billion a year earlier, but in line with the Street view.