The Day Ahead: Green Is Good

 | Jan 17, 2014 | 8:45 AM EST
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Green is the color of the day, with U.S. futures trending higher early Friday. The previous day's session saw the market's two-day rally sputter as the indices closed the session mixed; only the Nasdaq finished Thursday in positive territory, but just barely.

In Europe, stocks were working on finishing the week on the plus side, while Asian markets were mixed.

It's been a big week for Action Alerts PLUS earnings. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) have already posted strong results, and General Electric (GE) and Morgan Stanley (MS) kept up the pace this morning. GE met quarterly earnings estimates on a 5% increase in net income, while Morgan Stanley beast EPS calls by a nickel.

In other Friday earnings: Schlumberger (SLB) beat bottom-line calls by $0.02 on in-line revenue, giving shares a slight premarket boost; BNY Mellon (BK) met consensus EPS calls on lower profit; and SunTrust (STI) beat net-income estimates by a wide margin as cost-cutting offset a revenue dip.

Late Thursday, AAP component Intel (INTC) said net income rose 6% compared with the same quarter last year, but the tech bellwether missed consensus calls by a penny on slightly better-than-expected revenue. Shares were down more than 3% in premarket trading.

And American Express (AXP) missed bottom-line quarterly estimates by $0.04 on in-line revenue, but the charge-card giant picked up an upgrade to Positive from Susquehanna.

Early movers include Twitter (TWTR), up 5% in early trading on a positive report from Stifel that lifted the microblogging website's price target to $75. Chipmaker Skyworks Solutions' (SWKS) shares were soaring more than 10% on strong quarterly results and outlook. And Elizabeth Arden (RDEN) shares were falling more than 20% on an ugly outlook from the beauty company.

And UPS (UPS) shares took a wrong turn this morning after the shipper lowered its fourth-quarter outlook below estimates. UPS reports earnings on Jan. 30.

The week wraps up with another round of economic data, starting with December housing starts, which the Census Bureau said dropped to 999,000 on an annualized basis from a revised 1.1 million in November. Economists had expected 985,000 housing starts.

Still to come are industrial production data from the Federal Reserve at 9:15 a.m., the Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment survey at 9:55 a.m., and the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, at 10 a.m.

At 12:30 p.m. ET, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker gives a speech on the economic outlook in Richmond.

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