Updated from 8:40 a.m. EDT(At 4:17 p.m. EDT)
Economic data will also be in focus after a lull to start the week. Thursday will bring the weekly jobless claims number, which will be closely watched after last week's jobless claims number came in better than expected at 610,000. However, continued claims jumped to a record 6.02 million last week, no doubt a concern for those looking for a bottom in economic reports. Perhaps more importantly, the March report on durable goods orders will be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday morning. After a strong 5.1% increase in February, economists expect durable goods orders to fall by 1.5% in March. Thursday will see the release of the March read on existing home sales, which are expected to be slightly weaker than the 472 million in February. (At 7:47 a.m. EDT)
In related news, The Wall Street Journal reported that regulators will begin briefing banks Friday about how they fared in " stress tests," giving lenders an opportunity to debate the findings before they're made public a week later on May 4. Elsewhere, Bloomberg reported that Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. head Sheila Bair introduced the idea of limiting the size of banks in order to prevent financial institutions from becoming "too big to fail," according to House Democrats that had a closed-door meeting with her on Tuesday.
Boeing ( BA) reported a profit of 86 cents a share for the first quarter on revenue of $16.3 billion, although both fell short of the average Thomson Reuters estimate. In addition, Boeing lowered its full-year guidance to a range of $4.70 to $5.00 a share, although analysts are looking for a full-year profit of $4.57 a share. The stock was up 3% in early trading. In non-Dow earnings news, Morgan Stanley ( MS) really disappointed with its first-quarter earnings report, coming up well short of earnings and revenue targets with a loss of 57 cents a share on revenue of $3.07 billion. Morgan also said it would cut its dividend to 5 cents a share from 27 cents. Shares were sliding more than 8% in the premarket session. Wells Fargo ( WFC), meanwhile, said it earned $2.38 billion, or 56 cents a share, in the first quarter, in line with the company's forecast earlier this month. Results were better than Wall Street was anticipating, although Wells Fargo shares were down about 0.8% in the premarket session. Of course, there are several other companies with earnings reports to watch, but I have limited space and can't recap them all. But it may be worth watching Altria ( MO), Continental Air ( CAL), Freeport-McMoRan ( FCX), and WellPoint ( WLP).
Elsewhere, American International Group ( AIG) said late Tuesday that it is moving to separate its property and casualty business. The insurer said it is transferring AIU Holdings to special purpose vehicle in preparation for the potential sale of part of the business.