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) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Thursday, April 15, 2010.

Thursday's Early Headlines

  • Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rose Last Week -- The Labor Department said weekly jobless claims increased to 484,000 from an unrevised 460,000 the previous week, surprising analysts who were looking for a decrease to 440,000. As a result, continuing claims ramped up to 4.639 million from 4.566 million the prior week
  • Apache Buying Mariner Energy for $2.7 Billion -- Energy companies Apache (APA) - Get APA Corp. Report and Mariner Energy( ME) have agreed to a merger, with Mariner shareholders receiving 0.17043 a share of Apache common stock and $7.80 in cash for each outstanding share of Mariner common stock. Apache said it will take on $1.2 billion in debt in connection with the deal.
  • China GDP Rises 11.9% in First Quarter -- China's gross domestic product rose 11.9% in the first quarter, the fastest pace in nearly three years, while inflation remained low at 2.2%. Economists had forecasted an 11.5% rise, according to a poll by Reuters.
  • Capital One Charge-offs Rise, Delinquencies Shrink in March -- Capital One Financial (COF) - Get Capital One Financial Corporation Report in a regulatory filing said the annualized net charge-off rate, or debts the company expects it will not collect, rose to 10.87% last month from 10.19% in February. However, delinquencies of U.S. credit cards -- which act as an indicator of future losses -- fell to 5.3% from 5.51% in February.
  • TD Ameritrade Eyes Acquisitions: Report -- TD Ameritrade (AMTD) - Get TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation Report is looking to use its $1.1 billion in cash for an acquisition, a dividend or a share buyback, but it's unlikely to act on any of those three options before the end of its fiscal year in September, CEO Fred Tomczyk told Reuters. "There are lots of potential acquisitions and we've got a lot of firepower, so we do look at that," Tomczyk said, according to the report.

Thursday's Earnings Roundup

  • Google (GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class C Report will post quarterly results after the close of trading Thursday. Analysts are looking for a first-quarter profit of $6.60 a share on revenue of $4.95 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. That would be an increase from a year-ago profit of $5.16 a share.
  • UPS (UPS) - Get United Parcel Service, Inc. Class B Report pre-announced first-quarter earnings results late Wednesday, saying it should report an adjusted profit of 71 cents in the quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were estimating 58 cents a share. UPS also upped its 2010 earnings guidance to a range of $3.05 and $3.30 a share, from the range of $2.70 to $3.05 a share that UPS provided in February. Analysts were estimating a 28% increase to $2.95.
  • Yum! Brands (YUM) - Get Yum! Brands, Inc. Report late Wednesday posted a first-quarter adjusted profit of 59 cents a share, which was above the Thomson Reuters average estimate for a profit of 53 cents a share. Sales were up nearly 6% from a year ago to $2.35 billion, also better than expectations. However, Yum! Said it expects full-year earnings growth of 10%, which is below the 11.1% consensus of analysts.
  • JB Hunt Transport Services (JBHT) - Get J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Report notched a first-quarter profit of 29 cents a share, better than the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of 27 cents a share. Revenue was up 17% to $845 million, above the average analyst target of $792.7 million.
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-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston


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