U.S. futures were showing positive gains premarket Wednesday. The Nasdaq was up about 0.4% with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrials following closely behind, both up about 0.3%.
The European markets were also in the green Wednesday, reacting positively to the news that Greece reached a breakthrough deal with its creditors, who agreed to release the next round of rescue loans totaling $11.5 billion. The DAX was up approximately 1.3%, leading both the CAC 40 and the FTSE 100, which were up about 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively. Asia's markets finished with mixed results. The Shanghai Composite was down 0.2%. But both the Hang Seng and Nikkei closed with big gains. Hang Seng finished up 2.7% with Nikkei following behind, gaining about 1.6%.
Crude oil prices traded at a seven-month high Wednesday morning as oil approaches $50 a barrel, while gold is dropping, down about 0.7%.
Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) were up sharpply during premarket after announcing a major spinoff after the bell Tuesday. HP Enterprise will merge its enterprise services with Computer Sciences (CSC). HP Enterprise's shareholders will own half of the new company. The deal values the enterprise services arm of HP at $8.5 billion. Computer Sciences CEO Mike Lawrie will be CEO of the new company, while Whitman will join the board.
Tiffany & Co. (TIF) shares fell in early trading after the luxury jeweler missed first-quarter forecasts. Earnings, excluding one-time items, were $0.04 lower than Wall Street expectations, coming in at $0.64 a share. The jeweler struggled with sales, bringing in a total of $891 million, missing forecasts of $915 million. Tiffany's one shining jewel: Japan, where same-stores sales rose 5%.
Express (EXPR) shares also tumbled during premarket trading, down more than 14%, after missing by $0.02 on EPS forecasts, coming in at $0.25. The clothing-store chain also missed on revenue estimates, reporting first-quarter revenue of $502.9 million, which was well short of Wall Street forecasts of $520.7 million.
Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) were on the rise before the bell, despite announcing significant impairment losses and job cuts. The technology giant is streamlining its smartphone hardware business by cutting up to 1,850 jobs and incurring a $950 million writedown, of which $200 million will go toward severance payments. Just last year, Microsoft cut 7,800 jobs and recorded a $7.6 billion accounting charge related to its smartphone business.
--Written by Anders Keitz