This morning, giant fluffy clouds and little happy trees crowded the early morning market picture, as preopen activity took its cues from Afro artiste Bob Ross. A positive European outlook, attractive futures and some interesting news made this morning a sunny one.
announced third-quarter losses of 20 cents a share for the third quarter, a penny off analyst estimates and well off the 47-cent gain of the same quarter last year. Earlier, Xerox warned about the third quarter, the fourth such warning in five quarters, and analysts reduced their estimates. To regain profitability and to stop warning about profitability, Xerox announced a restructuring plan designed to save $1 billion through cost cutting measures and gain between $2 and $4 billion through the sale of some assets.
was marginally higher after announcing disappointing fourth-quarter earnings and replacing its CEO and chairman. It last traded at $22.75, 69 cents higher that its composite close of $22.06.
board of directors reportedly approved a plan to divide the company into four parts.
The New York Times
reported that AT&T will spin off its cable television and wireless units as separate businesses. AT&T also plans to issue a tracking stock for its flagship consumer long-distance business and run its business division as its core business. The company rose 37 cents to $28 on Instinet as the news hit.
Surprised to hear this from the company that in 1984 was forced by the government to split into smaller parts to break up its monopoly hold on the telecom industry? Not. AT&T has been sagging under, among other things, its large debt load and continuing weakness in the consumer long-distance market.
earlier this month wrote a
separate story on why AT&T has been looking to spin off its New Economy business. And
complete story on the restructuring.
, which has gained $7.62 over the past five trading sessions, gaining each and every day, last traded at $43.50 with a gain of 19 cents.
The futures are so bright, you have to wear shades.
futures were lately up 1.40 to 1418.60, 11.5 points higher than fair value as calculated by
futures on Globex were up 33.50 to 3527.50, 72.4 points above fair value as calculated by
Meanwhile, European markets were cruising right along, posting some large gains. The British
rose 72.00, or 1.2%, to 6387.90, while Germany's
rose 129.76, or 2.3%, to 6750.63 and France's
rose 102.88, or 1.6%, to 6285.22. But we're not Finnish yet! Look at the huge 4.3% gain in the
Over in Asia, where markets have already closed, things were mixed. Japan's
rose 50.23 to 15,148.19. Hong Kong's
Hang Seng Index
fell 176.43 to 14,925.93.