Wednesday: Stocks Signaled to Move Higher

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By Justin Lahart
Staff Reporter

Yesterday's the-

Fed

-didn't-do-anything inspired rally is primed to extend into this morning.

"I guess they go freakin' higher," says one self-censoring trader. "

Dell's

(DELL) - Get Report

through the roof. That should help all the other PCs."

Dell reported first-quarter earnings of $1.08 per share after the close yesterday, beating the

First Call

consensus estimate of 93 cents. It's trading at 104 on

Reuters Instinet

up 4 3/8 from yesterday's close.

The

S&P 500

futures are up about a point, putting them above fair value and pointing to a strong morning session.

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $8.541 billion form March. That's sent the 30-year Treasury bond this morning. It's down 14/32 at 96 3/32, driving the yield up to 6.936%.

Household International

(HI) - Get Report

announced that it will acquire

Transamerica's

(TA) - Get Report

consumer finance business for $1.1 billion cash.

Uh oh.

Nuko Information Systems

(NUKO)

restated its revenue for the first quarter ending March 31 from $6.1 to $2.2 million. John Gorman, the company's CFO, has left the company.

The Wall Street Journal

reports that

Continental Airlines

(CAI) - Get Report

is entering a sole-supplier agreement with

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

. The

European Union

will not be pleased.

Japan stocks were sharply lower on fears that the

Bank of Japan

would raise interest rates. That gave exporters a double hit -- the Fed's decision to not raise rates coupled with the prospect of a Japan rate rise suggests that there could be further strengthening of the yen. The scandal du jour is

Nikko Securities

, on newspaper reports that an affiliate conducted illegal bond trades. Nikko fell 27 yen to close at 691. The

Nikkei

closed down 490.85 at 19,841.98.

Hong Kong stocks, up sharply in the morning on the Fed's decision not to raise rates, took all those gains back in later trading.

Bloomberg

reports that many investors are going into cash to raise money for the

Beijing Enterprises

initial public offering.

The South China Morning Post

reports that investors have already picked up 900,000 applications to buy shares in Beijing Enterprises. More have been ordered. The

Hang Seng

closed down 0.68 at 14,235.52.

In Frankfurt, stocks took back most of yesterday's losses, as investors reacted positively to the Fed's inaction. The

Dax

closed at 3596.09, up 52.66.

London stocks, too, are higher on the U.S. news. The

FTSE

is up 39.50 at 4647.00.