Jan. 17 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know (Update 1)

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Jan. 17:  

1.-- U.S. stock futures were rising Friday though paring gains following a decline in housing starts and after earnings reports from General Electric (GE) and Morgan Stanley (MS).

2.-- Housing starts in December fell 9.8% compared with an increase of 23.1% in November; the decline is the biggest drop since April 2013, according to Reuters.

Industrial production and capacity utilization figures for December are scheduled for 9:15 a.m. EST, and the University of Michigan index of sentiment for January is set for 9:55 a.m.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Thursday closed lower amid a spate of lackluster corporate earnings. 

The S&P 500 finished off 0.13% to 1,845.89 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.39% at 16,417.01. The Nasdaq rose 0.09% to close at 4,218.69. 

4.-- GE reported on Friday fourth-quarter industrial profit margin of 18.3%, up 100 basis points from a year earlier.

The conglomerate fell just shy of hitting its goal of a 70-basis-point improvement for its industrial margin of 2013, which rose 66 basis points from the previous year to 15.72%, excluding acquisitions.

GE reported fourth-quarter operating earnings of $5.42 billion, or 53 cents a share, up from $4.66 billion, or 44 cents a share, a year earlier. Fourth-quarter EPS, up 20%, met the consensus estimate among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $40.382 billion, increasing from $29.162 billion a year earlier.  

GE shares fell 1.7% in premarket trading Friday to $26.74.

5.-- Morgan Stanley on Friday reported fourth-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share, or 20 cents on an adjusted basis, though both figures were weighed down by legal costs.

Net revenue of $7.8 billion for the fourth quarter compared with $7 billion a year ago and $7.93 billion in the third quarter. Full-year revenue was $32.4 billion compared to $26.1 billion in 2012. Income from continuing operations was $3.1 billion, or $1.43 a share, compared with income of $138 million, or 2 cents a share, in 2012.

Morgan Stanley shares rose 1.25% to $32.40 in premarket trading.

6.-- Intel (INTC), the world's biggest chipmaker, missed Wall Street estimates, sending shares lower by more than 3% in after-hours trading on Thursday. 

Intel posted earnings of 51 cents a share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $13.8 billion. Gross margins came in at 62%.
Analysts expected Intel to earn 52 cents a share on revenue of $13.71 billion.

Intel noted its PC Client Group generated $8.6 billion in sales during the quarter, up 2% sequentially and flat from last year, as the segment looks to be bottoming out. 

Intel shares fell 4.1% to $25.44 in premarket trading.

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