Tech stocks maintained their momentum ahead of the bell Friday as solid earnings at
fired up the bulls.
Index futures recently showed the
trading about a point above fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 4-point gain. The 10-year Treasury bond was down 4/32 in price to yield 4.48%, while the dollar rose against the yen and euro.
Tech stocks led broad gains on Thursday, with the
surging 1.5% to a four-year high.
first trip above $400 a share brought buyers into a host of Internet and software names, while slowing order growth at
was largely ignored.
Overseas markets rallied in the wake of New York's strong close. In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was recently up 1% to 5515 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.1% to 5156. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 1.5% overnight to 14,623, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.6% to 14,883.
Oil, which fell to a four-month low Thursday after the government reported another gain in natural gas inventories, was recently down another 11 cents to $56.23 in electronic Nymex trading. Gasoline futures were unchanged at $1.46 a gallon.
Shares of Hewlett-Packard are up about 6% after the hardware giant reported a 7% jump in fourth-quarter sales and adjusted earnings that beat estimates by a nickel. In the quarter, H-P earned $1.5 billion, or 51 cents a share, excluding a $1.1 billion restructuring charge, compared with $1.2 billion, or 41 cents a share, last year.
shares also rose after the company struck a deal to sell its insurance operations to Swiss Re for $6.9 billion in stock and cash. GE also bumped up earnings guidance for 2006, raised its dividend and added $10 billion to an existing buyback authorization.
, a weak third quarter and reduced full-year guidance sent the stock down 11% in premarket trading. Gap, which has been struggling with bad fashion choices, expects to earn $1.12 to $1.17 a share this year, well below the Wall Street consensus of $1.25 a share.
added 2% early Friday after saying earnings rose 21% in its fourth quarter thanks to gains in sales and profit margins. The company reiterated its 2006 earnings guidance for 63 cents to 65 cents a share, including a 9-cent expense for stock options. Analysts are calling for 74 cents a share without the costs.
was punished despite reporting a 28% jump in third-quarter earnings that beat estimates before items. The problem was fourth-quarter guidance that suggested the software maker will struggle to hit Wall Street's consensus forecast of 36 cents a share.
reported a 27% decline in fourth-quarter earnings that reflected an operating loss in its movie studio division. Adjusted earnings beat estimates by 2 cents a share but revenue was about $130 million light.