Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, Jan. 22:
1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower open for Wall Street on Wednesday as European stocks were rising and Asian shares finished the session with gains. Shares of IBM (IBM) were trading down 3.4% to $182 in premarket trading Wednesday.
The Shanghai Composite rose 2.2% after China's central bank on Tuesday promised extra liquidity in the financial system. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.2%.
2.-- The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity rose 2.6% for the week ended Jan. 3.
3.-- U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed mixed as disappointing earnings reports from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Travelers (TRV) gave investors yet another reason to believe that equities may be overbought.
The S&P 500 rose 0.22% to close at 1,842.79, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.31% to 16,408.34. The Nasdaq gained 0.62% to finish at 4,223.54.4.-- Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pacific Investment Management Company, or Pimco, will resign in March, in an abrupt change of leadership at the world's biggest bond fund manager. The resignation, made at a management meeting on Tuesday, was disclosed in press statement from Allianz, Pimco's parent company. Allianz said current Pimco Chief Operating Officer Douglas Hodge was appointed to take over as CEO of the asset manager upon El-Erian's resignation in March. The firm's chief investment officer and founder, William H. Gross, will continue with his current duties, Allianz said.
El-Erian's resignation will shake up the management ranks of Pimco at a time when investors have begun to withdraw money from some of the firm's stalwart bond funds amid a rise in interest rates as the Federal Reserve works to rein in some of its easing measures.
Pimco manages roughly $2 trillion in assets, mostly in bond mutual funds. 5.-- IBM (IBM) reported fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday that beat expectations, but revenue missed estimates. IBM earned $6.13 a share in the fourth quarter; Wall Street expected $5.99. Revenue was $27.7 billion, down 5% from a year earlier and below the average expectation of $28.25 billion as upbeat software and cloud performance helped offset the continued drag from its poorly performing hardware business and a strong dollar.
IBM reportedly is trying to sell its worst performing hardware businesses, namely its xSeries line, as it continues to shift its focus away from hardware to software and services. 6.-- Texas Instruments (TXN) said Tuesday it plans to cut 1,100 jobs globally as it reduces investment in "markets that do not offer sustainable growth and returns." The savings, the chipmaker said, "will reflect the elimination of about 1,100 jobs worldwide." Texas Instruments reported fourth-quarter sales of $3.03 billion, just above analysts' forecasts of $2.99 billion. Texas Instruments earned 46 cents a share, in line with Wall Street's estimates. But the quarter included a restructuring charge of $49 million, which reduced earnings by 3 cents a share.
For the first quarter, Texas Instruments expects revenue of between $2.83 billion and $3.07 billion, with earnings of between 36 cents and 44 cents a share, including charges. Analysts expect sales of $2.95 billion and earnings of 44 cents a share.
The company's fourth-quarter numbers and first-quarter outlook include restructuring charges related to its Embedded Processing business and its operations in Japan. 7.-- Sparq, the mobile marketing company, revealed on its Web site Tuesday that it had been acquired by Yahoo! (YHOO).
A purchase price wasn't disclosed and Yahoo! declined to illustrate the deal's financial details. Sparq's team will be joining Yahoo's Sunnyvale, Calif., campus, according to TechCrunch.
"Words cannot describe how ecstatic we are to be joining such an amazing team with an inspiring mission. We see endless opportunity ahead," said Jesse Chor, Sparq's CEO, in a statement on the company's Web site.
The streaming video service earned 13 cents a share in the year-earlier quarter.
Shares fell marginally in premarket trading to $328.45.
9.-- Online retailer eBay (EBAY) is forecast to post earnings on Wednesday of 80 cents a share on fourth-quarter revenue of $4.54 billion.
The stock slipped 15 cents in premarket trading to $54. 10.-- Amazon.com (AMZN) has approached big entertainment companies about licensing their television channels for a possible new online pay-TV service, The Wall Street Journal reported, in what would be a significant expansion of Amazon's online video efforts.
Amazon initially declined to comment on the report from the Journal. But it said in a statement later Tuesday that it continues "to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios, but we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service."
Amazon shares fell 0.2% to $406.10 in premarket trading.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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