Stock Futures Mixed After Jobless Claims Data


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were trading mixed early Thursday with a worse than expected jobs number being weighed against a smooth Spanish bond auction and a solid round of earnings reports.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 3 points, or 11.8 points below fair value, at 12,960. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.1 points, or 2.4 points below fair value, at 1378. Futures for the Nasdaq were rising 6.8 points, or 10.8 points below fair value, at 2701.

Wall Street lost ground Wednesday, weighed down by lackluster earnings from tech heavyweights Intel ( INTC) and IBM ( IBM) and nervousness about the market appetite for Spanish debt.

Spain ended up selling €2.54 billion of two-year and 10-year bonds, which came in higher than the targeted range of €1.5 billion to €2.5 billion. The Spanish government was able to sell the 10-year bonds at an average yield of about 5.7%, whereby demand for the security was about 2.4 times what was sold versus about 2.2 times at a Jan. 19 auction. The average yield for the two-year was about 3.5%.

In the U.S., the Labor Department reported that jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 386,000 in the week ended Apr. 14, from an upwardly revised 388,000 in the previous week. The number was worse than expected, as economists polled by Reuters forecast a total of 370,000 new jobless claims filings.

The four-week moving average was 374,750, an increase of 5,500 from the previous week's 369,250. The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits increased by 26,000 in the week ended Apr. 7 to 3.3 million.

Still on today's economic calendar are existing home sales for March at 10 a.m., the Philadelphia Fed regional manufacturing index for April at 10 a.m., and leading indicators for March at 10 a.m. Existing home sales probably rose to 4.62 million in March from 4.59 million in February, according to Reuters.

London's FTSE was rising 0.6% and Germany's DAX was up 0.4%. Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei Average closed down 0.8% on wariness ahead of the Spanish auction, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished up 1%.

In corporate news, Bank of America ( BAC) reported first-quarter earnings of 3 cents a share, or 28 cents on a valuation-adjusted basis, beating analysts' estimates of 12 cents.

Revenue of $22.5 billion was in line with analyst expectations but lower than $25.1 billion in the previous quarter and $27.1 billion a year ago. Taking away debt valuation adjustments, however, revenue was $27.3 billion, compared to $26.4 billion last quarter and $28 billion a year ago. Shares were popping 4% at $9.28 ahead of the open Thursday.

Morgan Stanley ( MS) reported a first-quarter profit of 71 cents a share, beating estimates. Revenue came in at $8.9 billion. Analysts expected a profit of 42 cents a share on revenue of $7.31 billion, when excluding adjustments related to the trading price of the firm's debt, according to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters. Shares were jumping 6.2% at $18.75.

Chemicals producer DuPont ( DD) was up 0.4% at $53.50 in premarket trading after it posted a first-quarter net income rise of 4% to $1.49 billion, or $1.57 a share, from $1.43 billion, or $1.52, a year ago. Excluding costs related to damage from the herbicide Imprelis, earnings were $1.61 a share, exceeding the average analyst estimate of $1.55 a share. Net sales increased 12% to $11.2 billion from $10 billion, about in line with the consensus target.

Microsoft ( MSFT), the giant software maker, is expected to post fiscal third-quarter earnings of 57 cents a share on revenue of $17.18 billion after the closing bell. Shares were down 0.1% at $31.11.

Human Genome Sciences ( HGSI) received an unsolicited buyout proposal of $13 a share in cash, or about $2.6 billion, from GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK) but rejected the offer saying the bid "does not reflect the value inherent" in the company. The Glaxo bid represents an 81% premium to Human Genome's closing price Wednesday of $7.17. Human Genome shares were soaring more than 100% in premarket trading.

American Express ( AXP), the credit card company, reported quarterly earnings Wednesday of $1.26 billion, or $1.07 a share, in the March-ended period, on revenue net of interest expense of $7.61 billion. Analysts were expecting profit of $1 a share on revenue of $7.57 billion.

June oil futures were up 29 cents at $103.41 a barrel, while June gold futures were rising $1.30 at $1,640.90 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was flat with a yield of 1.979%, while the U.S. dollar index was up 0.1%.


-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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