(Updated from 9:29 a.m.)
At the end of a tough season of earnings warnings, investors were concentrating on the good news this morning. And there was plenty of it.
Pre-announcement season is that time when companies let investors know if something ate into the quarter's earnings cake. And this pre-announcement season has brought disappointment after disappointment, as companies succumbed to a slowing economy, a weak euro and rising oil prices. But with the season coming to a close, maybe -- just maybe -- the market will be finally be able to sustain a little bit of upside. Recent attempts, though, have failed miserably.
has been tracking earnings warnings that have come out this month. A chart of many of the
warnings is published separately.
Many stocks were bouncing this morning. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average moved 23 higher to 10,654. The
Nasdaq Composite Index added 57 to 3746. And the
S&P 500 moved 7 higher to 1434.
Networking systems provider
was the morning star after reporting better-than-expected sales post-close yesterday, beating Wall Street's estimates of a 33 cent per share loss hands down. Despite a shift in its business strategy, the company had only an 18 cent per share in loss. 3COM was soaring in after-hours trading last night. The company also reassured Wall Street on the euro issue, saying it hasn't seen the weakness in European demand that is hitting
. 3COM jumped 22.4% in early trading.
News that telecom and fiber-optics bigwig
90% stake in
-- a Delaware-based company that makes optical components -- will surely move the stocks this morning. Corning was of 0.7% in early action.
, which owns the other 10% of Optical Technologies, was 2.5% higher in early trading.
And diversified power company
could give some energy stocks a rise today after it announced it expects earnings to beat analyst estimates of $1.07 per share by some 25% to 30%. The company cited increased earnings from its wholesale energy group for the boost.
Elsewhere in energy, Spain's biggest power company,
, is in talks to team up with smaller rival
, which would create one of Europe's biggest electricity producers,
reported. The combination could open the Spanish market to foreign utilities.
Today's bad news comes from electronics designer
and Internet retailer
, both of which warned they expect to miss revenue or earnings estimates this quarter. Blaming currency troubles, higher interest expense and a shortage of materials, Manufacturer's said after the close yesterday that it would miss the 25 cent per share analyst estimate by 10 cents to 15 cents a share.
priceline.com said this morning it sees
third-quarter revenues reaching $340million to $345 million compared to estimates of $360 million to $380 million. The company blamed weakness in September airline tickets sales. priceline's shares have been considerably beaten up of late. This morning, they were off 38%.
Other deals that could get some attention from Wall Street today include one between
, which say they are in a CDMA (code division multiple access, a kind of telecom technology) test equipment license pact. And pharmaceuticals giant
and genomics company
have partnered on genomics research. Qualcomm was up 1%. Agilent was 2.8% higher. Bristol Meyers was slipping 0.1% in early going. And Lexicon was 4.6% higher.
is also among the day's deal-makers, after
The Wall Street Journal
reported that the company is in
talks to buy
. Terms of a possible deal aren't known, but Summit has a market cap of $5.4 billion. Fleet was 1.8% lower. Summit jumped 5.5% in early going.
durable goods orders came in at a 2.9% rise vs. expectations of 2.7%. The previous month's number was revised to a 13.1% drop, vs. the previous 12.9% drop. Futures barely budged on the news. Durable goods orders measure the value of orders received by manufacturers for durable goods -- those designed to last three years or more such as vehicles and appliances.
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Bonds are under pressure this morning, in part because a
report in today's
says an error in calculating the
Consumer Price Index
) resulted in the key inflation measure being understated. The error will be corrected and is likely to add 0.1 to 0.3 percentage points to the overall and core inflation rates, the article says.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
said it will hold a briefing on the matter on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. EDT, but it had no other comment.
A higher inflation rate devalues bonds because it erodes the value of the fixed interest payments they make.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note lately was down 8/32 at 99 11/32, lifting its yield to 5.839%.
Overall CPI inflation was running at a rate of 3.4% in August, while core CPI inflation, which excludes food and energy, was running at 2.5%, nearly a two-year high.
The error consisted of accidentally double-counting some of the adjustments statisticians make for quality improvements when they compare the price of certain products from year to year, the article says.
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Europe's major indices were a shamrock shade of green at
In London, the
was up a healthy 82.30 points today at 6295.50, buoyed by big oils, telecoms and pharmaceuticals.
Across the channel, the
in Paris was up 56.25 to 6350.31, and the
in Frankfurt was up 72.62 to 6837.66.
The euro was lately trading higher at 0.8861.
Asian markets were mixed overnight, with Tokyo tumbling and Hong Kong pulling higher.
Worries over a slowing economic recovery set Japanese shares back once again Wednesday, with the
index setting a fresh 18 month low.
The Nikkei 225 index shed 288.67, or 1.8%, to 15,639.95
The greenback barely budged against the yen in Tokyo trading to 107.73. The dollar was lately trading at 107.79 yen.
index gained 153.28, or 1.0%, to 15,444.13 after investors picked up major blue chips as a safe haven vs. volatile technology shares. Property shares were red-hot, including
Sun Hung Kai Properties
, up HK$2.00, or 3.0%, to 69.50 ($8.91), and
, up 1.00, or 1.1%, to 92.25.
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