US Stock Futures Waver Near Flatline Amid Mixed Corporate Results

Dow Jones


–Stock futures waver around unchanged levels

–Google disappoints, but IBM, Microsoft, Intel top earnings estimates

–Europe set to halt four-session win streak as Greece talks continue

–Data on existing home sales for December on tap

By Tomi Kilgore

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- U.S. stock futures fluttered around the flatline Friday
morning as Google’s disappointing results and a pullback in Europe markets were
offset by strong showings from some blue-chip technology companies.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 9 points, or 0.1%, to 12578. The
Dow rose 45 points, or 0.4% on Thursday, to close at the highest level since
July 22. Despite the early weakness, the Dow was still on track to post its
third-straight weekly gain.

Standard Poor’s 500-stock index futures edged 3 points, or 0.2%, lower to
1308 while Nasdaq 100 futures gained 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2429. Changes in
stock futures don’t always accurately predict stock moves after the opening
bell.

The Nasdaq 100 Index rose 0.7% on Thursday to close at the highest level since
February 2001.

Shares of Google slumped 8.2% after the Internet giant reported fourth-quarter
earnings and revenue that fell short of expectations, with average cost that
advertisers paid Google per click declining from year-ago levels.

Meanwhile, IBM rose 2.6% after the blue-chip technology company reported
better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, and indicated that 2012 earnings
would exceed current forecasts.

Among other Dow components, Microsoft advanced 2.8% after the software giant
reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that beat expectations, with revenue
essentially in line. The company also lowered its operating expense outlook for
2012.

Intel gained 0.6% after the chip maker topped fourth-quarter earnings and
revenue forecasts, amid strength in the personal-computer business, and provided
a first-quarter revenue outlook that was in line with current estimates.

European markets slipped, with the Stoxx Europe 600 down 0.7% to put it on
track for the first loss in five sessions. Talks between Greece and its private
creditors over a debt restructuring plan were continued, with reports suggesting
an agreement was close. The talks resumed this week after breaking down last
Friday.

Asian bourses were broadly higher, as data showed that manufacturing activity
in China contracted in January but at a slightly slower pace than in December.
China’s Shanghai Composite climbed 1% and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rallied
1.5%.

Gold futures eased 0.4% to $1647.60 an ounce, while crude oil futures slipped
0.6% to $99.83 a barrel. The U.S. dollar gained ground against both the euro and
the yen.

The economic calendar was relatively light, with just data on existing home
sales in December scheduled for release at 10 a.m. EST.

In other corporate news, General Electric lost 2.4% after the blue-chip
conglomerate’s fourth-quarter earnings topped estimates but revenue came up
short, with discontinued operations weighing on results.

American Express fell 2.1% after the fellow Dow component beat earnings
estimates but missed on revenue, and reported increased loan-loss provisions.

Elsewhere, Fifth Third Bancorp slid 7.7% as the regional bank’s fourth-quarter
earnings and revenue missed expectations.

Skyworks rallied 6.7% after the semiconductor maker exceeded forecasts for
fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue, and indicated that second-quarter
revenue would be above current estimates.

Capital One Financial slumped 5.7% after the credit card-issuer-turned bank
reported disappointing fourth-quarter earnings as loan-loss provisions
increased.

-By Tomi Kilgore, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2470; tomi.kilgore@dowjones.com


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  01-20-120832ET
  Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones  Company, Inc.


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