In the Headlines
A modestly higher open looks to be in store for U.S. stocks. Thursday's events include the weekly jobless claims report and a slew of earnings from companies that were price leaders in the past couple of years, or have just been in the news lately.
Overseas, European indices were showing mixed results. London's FTSE 100 was trading on the plus side, while bourses on the continent were in the red. The European Commission said it expects the eurozone to head into a mild recession. The euro was gaining against the dollar early Thursday.
In Asia, financials hampered results on some indices. Japan's Nikkei extended its rally as exporters once again notched gains. A weaker yen aided their cause.
U.S. traders will be eyeing the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims report, due out, as usual, at 8:30 a.m. EST. Economists expect 355,000 new claims, up from last week's level of 348,000.
At 10 a.m., the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, releases December home price data. Analysts anticipate an increase of 0.1%, down from November's gain of 1%.
Oil prices, which spiked Wednesday following Iran's halt of exports to Britain and France, gained $0.11 early Thursday, to $106.39 per barrel.
Target (TGT) reported fourth-quarter results before the open. The retailer beat earnings views, bringing in $1.49 per share, vs. expectations of $1.40. Sales were below views, at $20.9 billion. Wall Street was looking for $21.2 billion. It guided for full-year earnings well above analysts' estimates. Target shares were up $0.24 to $53.21 in the premarket.
Sears Holdings (SHLD), which recently said it would shutter more than 100 stores, reported adjusted quarterly income of $0.54 a share, below views of $0.78. Revenue was $12.5 billion, above views of $12.44 billion. The company has reported losses in recent quarters. This morning, it said it would sell 11 stores to REIT General Growth (GGP) for $270 million. Shares jumped $3.97, or 7.6%, to $56.05 before the open.
After today's closing bell, shoemaker Deckers (DECK) steps in with fourth-quarter results. Analysts see income of $3.14 per share on sales of $565.21 million.
The company formerly known as Hansen Natural, Monster Beverages (MNST), also reports later today. The energy drink maker is expected to earn $0.36 a share on revenue of $410.99 million. Shares have been trading at all-time highs.
Erstwhile growth leader Salesforce.com (CRM), which has been consolidating since July, reports its fourth quarter after the close. Analysts have pegged income at $0.40 a share and revenue at $624.03 million. Those would mark significant year-over-year gains.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) was among the premarket decliners this morning. Late Wednesday, the DJIA component beat first-quarter earnings estimates, but revenue was on the light side, as was second-quarter guidance. Shares fell $1.11, or 3.8%, to $27.83 ahead of the open.
An upside mover was Darden Restaurants (DRI). The operator of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains raised its third-quarter earnings outlook. Shares climbed $0.38 to $50.50 in the premarket.
FBR Capital downgraded Juniper Networks (JNPR) to Market Perform from Outperform. Juniper shares slipped $0.58, or 2.4%, to $23.20 in early trade.