Wednesday's Headlines: Thursday Preview

Thursday is shaping up to be a busy day with a spate of earnings and economic reports investors will have to sift through.
Author:
Publish date:

Updated from 7:27 a.m. EDT

(At 4:55 p.m. EDT)

Thursday Preview

With all of Wednesday's news out of the way (I hope), it's time to turn our attention to Thursday. For those looking for a breather, I'm sorry to say that Thursday looks to be the busiest day for earnings report in an already busy week.

Not only will traders still be digesting earnings reports that came after Wednesday's close, including

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

and

Visa

(V) - Get Report

, they will have to sift through reports from

Motorola

(MOT)

and

Comcast

(CMCSA) - Get Report

.

Oh wait, there's more.

Borg Warner

(BWA) - Get Report

,

Dominion

(D) - Get Report

,

Kellogg

(K) - Get Report

,

Marathon Oil

(MRO) - Get Report

and

Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report

, among many others, will report before Thursday's open.

Image placeholder title

The economic docket is stuffed, too. At 8:30 a.m. EDT, separate reports on weekly jobless claims, personal income and spending for March, and the first-quarter read on the employment cost index will be released. At 9:45 a.m. EDT, the April read of the Chicago Purchasing Manager's index will be posted.

(At 6:39 a.m. EDT)

Busy Wednesday

Today marks President Barack Obama's 100th day in office. Later, the

Federal Reserve

will release its latest statement on interest rates. Additionally, there are several key earnings and economic reports due to be released today. And perhaps most importantly, Wednesday saw the first confirmed death in the U.S. from the swine flu outbreak (a 24-month old child in Texas, according to

CNBC

).

All in all, it looks as though it's going to be a very busy news day, so let's get to it.

Earnings Roundup

Time Warner

(TWX)

was the highlight of companies reporting before Wednesday's open. Shares were trading about 2% higher in the premarket session after

Time Warner

posted an adjusted first-quarter profit 45 cents a share on revenue of $6.95 billion. While both numbers were down from a year ago, they beat the Thomson Reuters average estimate.

Elsewhere, Germany's

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

reported a decline in first-quarter net income as

software revenue

fell 33% in what the company called a "difficult operating environment." Shares were falling 3.7% in the premarket session.

Siemens

(SI) - Get Report

also reported earnings before Wednesday's open. Second-quarter revenue rose 5% to 18.96 billion euros, and the

German industrial conglomerate

said total sectors profit in the second quarter rose 43% from a year earlier to 1.84 billion euros, led by strength in energy. Shares were jumping 6.3% in early trading.

After Tuesday's close,

E*Trade Financial

(ETFC) - Get Report

reported quarterly earnings, as the

online brokerage

acknowledged that it would need to raise more capital in conjunction with a first-quarter loss that widened when compared to the prior year. Shares were down nearly 25% ahead of Wednesday's session.

Wyeth

(WYE)

,

Qwest

(Q)

and

General Dynamics

(GD) - Get Report

, among many others, will be reporting quarterly results ahead of Wednesday's open.

Economic Release Schedule

The economic calendar will also be closely watched Wednesday, especially with the Fed set to deliver their latest rate decision. With a target rate of 0% to 0.25%, there won't be much for the Federal Open Market Committee to do with rates, but the central bank's policy-making arm may offer comments on quantitative easing and other plans the Fed has.

In addition to the FOMC statement, investors will see the advanced read on first-quarter gross domestic product, which is expected to be revised to a decline of 4.7% from a prior read of decrease of 6.3%. It may also be interesting to watch a $26-billion auction of 7-year Treasury notes.

Citi's Special Bonuses

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

was making headlines Wednesday after reports it is asking the Treasury Department for permission to pay

special bonuses

to many key employees, according to a report in

The Wall Street Journal

.

The news comes one day after word that the government's stress tests of banks would show capital levels to be insufficient to weather the economic storm. A separate report in

The Financial Times

Wednesday says Citigroup has told U.S. regulators it could fill the capital shortfall by selling large businesses, asking more investors to convert their preferred shares into common stock and reducing its balance sheet.

Speaking of the need for capital,

Bloomberg

reported Wednesday that at least 6 of the 19 largest U.S. banks require additional capital, according to preliminary results of government stress tests. The report cited people briefed on the matter.

The report said that some of the lenders may need extra cash injections from the government, most of the capital is likely to come from converting preferred shares to common equity, according to sources. The Fed is now hearing appeals from banks, including Citigroup, that regulators have determined need more of a cushion against losses, according to the report.

Shareholder Meetings

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

and

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

will both hold annual shareholder meetings Wednesday, although only one will likely see fireworks.

Like Citigroup, Bank of America reportedly needs more capital after the government's stress tests, and those reports are badly timed for the bank, which is hosting its

annual meeting of investors

in Charlotte, N.C. More likely that not, shareholders will be calling for CEO Ken Lewis' head.

Lewis is expected to win re-election to the company's board of directors, but a vote to strip him of the title of chairman was reportedly too close to call.

Dendreon Surging

Dendreon

(DNDN)

is going to be a fun stock to watch today. The stock dropped precipitously minutes ahead of the results of a

cancer drug trial

, which prompted an

examination by the Nasdaq

.

Ahead of Wednesday's open, Dendreon shares were surging 121.4% to $26.15.