Updated from 8:11 a.m. EDT

(At 4:10 p.m. EDT)

Intel Beats Estimates, Trades Lower

Chipmaker and Dow component Intel ( INTC) was the marquee name reporting earnings after Tuesday's close. The company notched a first-quarter profit of 11 cents a share on $7.14 billion in revenue. On average, analysts were expecting a profit of 3 cents a share on revenue of $6.99 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

While those numbers were better than expected, Intel shares traded 4.5% lower in the after-hours session as the company said it would not provide a revenue outlook for the second quarter. Intel also said that gross margin percentage in the second quarter will be in the mid-40s.

Gross margin, a key metric for Intel, was 45.6% in the first quarter, down from 53.8% in the year-ago quarter and 53.1% sequentially.

Economic Data Rush

The economic calendar will likely garner the most attention Wednesday, with a flurry of reports expected to hit before the start of trading. At 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Labor Department will post the March read on its consumer price index, which is expected to show an increase of 0.1%. The core CPI number, which excludes food and energy, should rise 0.1%.

Inflation has been a hot topic lately amid worries that an economic rebound will lead to inflation, courtesy of all the liquidity the Federal Reserve has pumped into the system. While Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday that the central bank would carefully monitor the situation, investors' fears will be put at ease if tomorrow's CPI report shows that inflation is indeed under control.

Among the other economic reports to be posted Tuesday, the New York Fed will release its Empire Manufacturing index for April at 8:30 a.m. EDT, followed by the Fed's report on industrial production and capacity utilization for March at 9:15 a.m. EDT. Later in the day, the Fed will post its beige book survey, which shows economic activity across its 12 districts.

In addition, weekly crude inventory numbers will be posted at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

Other News Headlines

CSX Corp. ( CSX) was also out with earnings after the closing bell Tuesday. The railway operator recorded a first-quarter profit of 62 cents a share, compared with the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 51 cents a share. Revenue was down 17% from a year ago to $2.2 billion, coming in slightly below the consensus estimate of $2.26 billion.

CSX shares were up nearly 6% in late trading.

Several companies will be out with earnings before Wednesday's opening, including Abbott Labs ( ABT), Infosys ( INFY) and Piper Jaffray ( PJC).

Shares of Citigroup ( C) were trading down 2% in the after-hours session after The Wall Street Journal reported that the bank's plans to issue 4.4 billion new shares won't move forward until after it announces its first-quarter earnings results Friday morning, citing people familiar with the situation.

The report said that the Securities and Exchange Commission has told Citigroup executives that it won't approve the company's stock registration until the earnings report is released. Citigroup had told traders that the approval would come in early April.

Meanwhile, eBay ( EBAY) announced plans late Tuesday to separate Skype from the company through an initial public offering intended for the first half of 2010. Specific timing of the IPO will be based on market conditions, the company said.

Rumors of some sort of transaction involving Skype had been swirling earlier in the day after eBay said it would selling Internet site StumbleUpon for an undisclosed price as the company found few strategic synergies.

(At 7:36 a.m. EDT)

Goldman and J&J Report Earnings

Goldman Sachs ( GS) may have surprised investors by reporting a first-quarter earnings beat last night, but it hasn't been able to boost stock futures early Tuesday.

Goldman reported earnings of $3.39 a share, more than doubling expectations for a profit of $1.60 a share, according to Thomson Reuters, on revenue of $9.43 billion (analysts were looking for $7.08 billion).

Goldman also announced a public offering of $5 billion of its common stock, adding that if permitted by its supervisors and if supported by the results of the government's stress test, Goldman would like to use the capital raised plus additional resources to redeem all $10 billion of the TARP capital it borrowed. If that comes to pass, Goldman would be the first big bank to repay the government.

Investors were sour on the idea of a new common stock offering, as the stock was down 2.7% in premarket trading. Still, at $126.70 a share, Goldman shares are well off their 52-week low of $47.41 set in November.

Dow member Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) just released first-quarter results, beating the Wall Street consensus of $1.22 a share by 4 cents a share. The company also said revenue was $15 billion, slightly ahead of estimates.

J&J said that full-year earnings should fall in a range of $4.45 to $4.55 a share, just barely catching the Thomson Reuters average estimate of $4.55 a share. The stock was rising on the announcement, adding nearly 3% in the premarket session.

Following Tuesday's close, Intel ( INTC) will be the earnings headliner, with at least one analyst expecting the chipmaker (and many others) to beat first-quarter targets and guide higher for the second quarter.

Economic Reports Set to Hit

Investors will have to keep an eye on several important economic reports today as well. The March read on the producer price index is set to hit the wires at 8:30 a.m. EDT alongside retail sales data for March.

The PPI reading should be flat, with the core number (which excludes food and energy) expected to increase 0.1%. Meanwhile, retail sales are expected to have increased 0.3% last month, although may have been flat when auto sales are taken out.

Later, at 10 a.m. EDT, the February read on business inventories will be released, with economists expecting a 1.2% decline.

Other Top Headlines

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Obama administration will replace TARP head Neel Kashkari with Fannie Mae ( FNM) CEO Herb Allison. The report said that an announcement will happen in the coming days. Kashkari was a holdover from the Bush administration, who stayed on at the request of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

What remains to be seen is if Allison can do a better job with TARP oversight than his predecessor, as well as who will head up Fannie Mae now.

Bloomberg reported that the U.S. government is considering swapping some of the $13.4 billion General Motors ( GM) borrowed for an equity stake in a stripped-down version of the automaker, citing people familiar with the situation.

A government stake would likely erode the share of the new auto company for bondholders, who currently own about $27.5 million in debt. Bondholders had been offered 90% of the new entity's equity by the company before the government rejected the company's previous restructuring plan.

GM, which reportedly has a June 1 date with bankruptcy, was lately up 5.9% in premarket trading.

In other automaker news, The Wall Street Journal reported that Chrysler's creditors are planning to make a counteroffer this week to the U.S. Treasury, which originally asked lenders owed about $6.9 billion to accept just $1 billion to keep the automaker from liquidating,

Elsewhere, The Financial Times reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing whether Bank of America broke the law by not telling shareholders about Merrill Lynch's plan to pay out $3.6 billion in bonuses before shareholders voted for a government-backed merger of the two banks, a report says

More Earnings News

Talbot's ( TLB) rallied 16.9% ahead of its earnings release Monday, but the stock was plummeting 13.6% early Tuesday after the release of its fourth-quarter report.

The retailer reported a loss, excluding items, of $1.17 a share, falling well short of the Thomson Reuters average target for a loss of 65 cents a share. Still, sales fell 23.3% from a year ago to $327.9 million, also coming up short of Wall Street's forecast of $328.4 million.

Meanwhile, Dress Barn ( DBRN) said late Monday it expects fiscal third-quarter earnings to fall in a range of 30 cents to 32 cents a share, compared with the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 21 cents a share.

The company said it expects to communicate a narrower fiscal 2009 earnings guidance range when it reports its fiscal third quarter results on May 21. Still, the stock was up 8.9% in premarket trading.

Phillips Electronics ( PHG), meanwhile, reported a first-quarter loss of 59 million euros ($78 million) as sales fell to 5.1 billion euros from almost 6 billion euros a year earlier.

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