NEW YORK (
) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Wednesday, May 8, 2010.
Wednesday's Early Headlines
- ADP Report Shows Private-Sector Job Gains in April -- Automatic Data Processing's (ADP) - Get Report latest employment report showed that the private sector added 32,000 jobs in April, compared to forecasts for a 30,000 increase. Both February's and March's job losses were revised to slight gains, making April's addition of 32,000 jobs the third straight increase. The report said employment in the service-providing sector rose by 50,000, while the goods-producing sector declined 18,000. "We reckon this is consistent with private payrolls rising about 100,000 in the official report," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist with High Frequency Economics, said in an email. "If sustained at that rate, the decline in the unemployment rate will be painfully slow at best." The Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls report, scheduled for release Friday at 8:30 a.m. EST, is also expected to show that the U.S. economy added 187,000 jobs last month, according to a Briefing.com estimate.
- Jimmy Cayne to Appear on Capitol Hill -- Former Bear Stearns CEO and Chairman Jimmy Cayne will testify Wednesday during hearings held by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), which is examining the reasons for the economic collapse in 2008. TheStreet's Dan Freed will be live blogging the event, which will also feature testimony from executives at General Electric (GE) - Get Report, State Street (STT) - Get Report and bond giant PIMCO.
- Moody's Places Portugal Rating on Review For Downgrade -- Moody's Investors Service said it has placed Portugal's Aa2 government bond ratings on review for possible downgrade, with the review to conclude within a three-month time horizon. Portugal's Aa2 ratings would fall by one, or at most two, notches, Moody's said. "The review for possible downgrade will consider a repositioning of Portugal's ratings to reflect the potentially lasting deterioration in the government's debt metrics," says Anthony Thomas, Vice President-Senior Analyst in Moody's Sovereign Risk Group.
- Mortgage Applications Rise; Rates Fall -- The Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose a seasonally adjusted 4% last week, as purchasing applications jumped 13% from the prior week. On the other hand, refinancing applications slid 2.1% compared with the previous week, the survey showed. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to 5.02% last week from 5.08% the previous week, the MBA said.
- Walgreen Sales Fall in April -- Walgreen (WAG) saw same-store sales slip 0.2% in April, which was slightly better than the 0.3% decline analysts forecast. Other retailers will post same-store sales results for April before the start of trading Thursday.
Wednesday's Earnings Roundup
- Time Warner (TWX) said it had first-quarter adjusted earnings of 61 cents a share, well above the 48-cent-a-share target analysts had forecasted. Revenue was up 5.4% to $6.32 billion, also above consensus.
- Pulte Homes (PHM) - Get Report notched a first-quarter loss of 3 cents a share, which was narrower than the 22-cent-a-share loss analysts had predicted according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue jumped nearly 75% to $1.02 billion, although that was below the $1.18 billion consensus.
- Agrium (AGU) reported a first-quarter loss of 4 cents a share, surprising analyst who had expected a profit of 33 cents a share. Revenue of $1.8 billion was up 2.6% from a year ago and was in line with consensus. Looking ahead, Agrium offered in-line earnings guidance for the second quarter.
- Garmin (GRMN) - Get Report said it had a first-quarter profit of 38 cents a share, which was below the Thomson Reuters average estimate for a profit of 42 cents a share. Revenue was down 1.4% from a year ago to $431 million, below the $484.5 million average analyst target.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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