MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia
Dow Jones climbs to highest level since December 2007
U.S. stocks continued to rally on Friday with the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 hitting fresh five-and-a-half year highs. The U.S. markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. There will be action though aplenty come Tuesday with earnings from tech giants Google (GOOG, Fortune 500), IBM (IBM, Fortune 500) and Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500). In Australia - markets will look to open higher - with the SPI 200 already up 17 points.
(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 climbed to their highest levels since December 2007 Friday. By the close of trade on Friday the Dow had rallied 54 points to 13,650, with the S&P adding five points to 1486 - while the NASDAQ eased one point to 3135.
During trade investors weighed disappointment from the U.S. consumer sentiment index and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) results against news that the House of Representatives will vote next week on an increase in the U.S. debt ceiling, along with positive results from GE.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Friday that the House will vote to authorize a three-month increase in the debt ceiling, to give Congress time to pass a budget. Though the news provided some optimism to markets, the extension of the debt limit still doesn't provide a long-term solution to the U.S. deficit.
Markets were down earlier as the University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters reported its preliminary reading on consumer sentiment fell to 71.3 in January from 72.9 in December. The gauge was expected to rise to a level of 75.5.
This was taken in against better-than-expected data from China, that showed the world's second largest economy is picking up steam. Overnight, data showed that China's economy grew 7.9% in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier, topping economists' forecasts.
U.S. Corporate News
On the corporate front, last night, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) reported a quarterly profit of 0.48 per share, three cents above estimates, despite dropping sharply from a year before. Shares of the chipmaker were down almost 7% today, as it projected a bigger-than-expected increase in capital spending for this year, and issued a disappointing forecast for the first quarter.
Intel said it would invest about 13 billion in equipment this year, as its core PC business continues to weaken.
General Electric (NYSE:GE) provided some respite, however, after it said this morning fourth quarter profit rose 8%, with earnings from continuing operations reaching 41 cents per share, from 37 cents a year earlier. Operating earnings for the latest quarter came in at 44 cents a share, topping the 43 cents per share analysts expected. Revenue also beat views, rising 4% to more than 39.3 billion. Shares gained 3.8%.
Morgan Stanely (NYSE:MS) shares jumped more than 7% after posting earnings from continuing operations of 28 cents a share in the latest quarter, a penny above estimates. Revenue rose 23% to 6.97 billion.
State Street (NYSE:STT) shares also rose more than 5% after it said adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter were 1.11 a share, up from 99 cents a year earlier, topping analyst views that called for a profit of 1.01 per share. Revenue rose 6% to 2.45 billion.
Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF), meanwhile, shed almost 8% after the credit-card lender's fourth-quarter results missed expectations.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) shares were also down around 2%, a day after it said it earned 1.09 per share for the fourth quarter, in line with estimates, with revenues also matching estimates. Amex's earnings were down 47 percent from a year earlier, however, due mainly to hefty restructuring charges.
Meanwhile, oilfield services giant Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) said net earnings fell as revenue rose to 11.17 billion from 10.3 billion. But earnings from continuing operations of 1.08 matched Street views, while revenue beat forecasts of 10.81 billion. The company, whose shares rose over 4%, also increased its quarterly dividend by 13.6 percent to 31-1/4 cents per share.
Aside from earnings, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares were down again, as Reuters reported that Japan's Sharp has halted almost all production of the 9.7 inch screens for the iPad, as demand shifts to the smaller iPad mini.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs also said that investors are overlooking the company's potential in emerging markets, and affirmed Apple's buy rating with a 12-month price target of 760 a share. Its stock has lost around 4% so far this week and was lately trading around the 499 level.
AT&T (NYSE:T) shares edged up after it said it expects a non-cash fourth quarter charge of about 10 billion due to bigger than expected pension obligations. It also said its fourth quarter results will be impacted by higher than expected smartphone-related costs, and damage from Superstorm Sandy.
Gains were seen in Research In Motion (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM), after Jefferies & Co upgraded the stock to a buy rating ahead of the critical BlackBerry 10 launch at the end of January.
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) also received an upgrade from Janney Capital, which gave the online streaming business a buy rating, citing several factors ahead of the company's fourth quarter report next week. Shares in the company rose over 1.5%.
Gold futures settled lower Friday as the dollar picked up strength, with investors weighing data from both the U.S. and China for gold demand prospects.
Gold for February delivery fell 3.80, or 0.2%, to settle at 1,687 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract was 1.6% higher for the week, however.
Oil futures settled just slightly higher on Friday, as the International Energy Agency raised its global oil demand forecast for this year, amid strength from the China data. But the U.S. consumer sentiment index weighed. February crude oil rose 7 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at 95.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The commodity finished 2.1% higher for the week.
European markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The FTSE 100 gained 0.36%, while the DAX led the CAC 40 lower. They fell 0.43% and 0.07%, respectively.
MENA News Headlines
|Mar 6 2014||Cement demand in Oman to grow 6 percent annually ,MENAFN|
|(MENAFN) Cement demand in Sultanate of Oman is expected to grow in the upcoming few years, Times of Oman reported.
Huge infrastructure and tourism projects in the Gulf nation will push cement ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Gulf investors to invest in Moroccan private sector ,MENAFN|
|(MENAFN) A partnership between Saudi Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Morocco-based Al Ajial Funds has been signed to invest jointly in Morocco's private ...|
|Mar 6 2014||UAE top importer of Swiss watches in region ,MENAFN|
|(MENAFN) The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said that the UAE ranked first as the primary Middle Eastern country in the Top Ten list of importers of Swiss watches, Saudi Gazette ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Bahrain oil, gas, water projects at USD14b ,MENAFN|
|(MENAFN) Bahrain has re-asserted itself as a regional powerhouse in the oil & gas as well as power & water sectors, Saudi Gazette reported.
The country has USD14 billion worth of oil, gas power ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Jacobs wins BP contract in Oman ,MENAFN|
|(MENAFN) Jacobs Engineering has been awarded with contract by BP for process and infrastructure work on the greenfield Khazzan project in Oman, Times of Oman reported.
Vice president of Jacobs ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Al Futtaim Carillion wins USD250m contract in Dubai ,MENAFN|
|(MENAFN) Al Futtaim Carillion announced that it has won a contract by Meraas in the UAE, Arabian Business reported.
The USD250.66 million contract is for the construction of the Avenue Phase 2 ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Hilton plans Qatar expansion ,MENAFN|
|(MENAFN) Hilton Worldwide is planning to expand in Qatar with the signing of a management agreement with First Qatar Real Estate Development Company, The Peninsula Qatar.
The management agreement ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Saudi MERS death toll rises to 62 ,AFP|
(MENAFN - AFP) Saudi health authorities said Thursday a man has died from the MERS coronavirus, bringing the death toll from the respiratory disease in the worst-hit country to 62.
The 55-year-old ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Olsen writes off England's World Cup chances ,Kora|
|(MENAFN - Kora) Daniel Sturridge scored the only goal of the game with a header eight minutes from time after England had looked set to fail to win at Wembley for a third consecutive game - following ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Sabella blames tiredness for dour showing ,Kora|
|(MENAFN - Kora) Sabella's team were nowhere near their best in Bucharest on Wednesday, with captain Lionel Messi particularly underwhelming as he appeared to struggle with illness.
|Mar 6 2014||'Happy' Keane to stay with Galaxy ,Kora|
|(MENAFN - Kora) The Ireland international, 33, has made 55 league appearances for the Galaxy, scoring 31 goals and helping them to two MLS Cup titles, while also bagging the club's MVP award last ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Del Bosque predicts bright future for Costa ,Kora|
|(MENAFN - Kora) Costa, who represented Brazil in two friendlies before pledging his international loyalty to Spain, where he plays for Atletico Madrid, started against Italy on Wednesday as his new ...|
|Mar 6 2014||International Friendly: Mexico 0 Nigeria 0 ,Kora|
|(MENAFN - Kora)
It was a chance-filled affair at the Georgia Dome, with all three participating goalkeepers - Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico), Vincent Enyeama and Austin Ejide (Nigeria) - all producing ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Flyers soar over Washington in NHL ,Kora|
|(MENAFN - Kora) The Flyers and Capitals are among the backlog of teams vying for play-off spots in Metropolitan, with the Flyers sitting second on 72 points, just five clear of the sixth-placed New ...|
|Mar 6 2014||NATO Steps Up Cooperation with Ukraine ,Qatar News Agency|
|(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) NATO is stepping up its cooperation with Ukraine while reviewing cooperation with Russia, the NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
Speaking after talks ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Libya: Niger Extradites Gaddafi's Son Saadi ,Qatar News Agency|
|(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The Libyan government announced today that former leader Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saadi, has been extradited from Niger and is now in custody in Tripoli.
Saadi Gaddafi ...|
|Mar 6 2014||Dubai's Enoc to post inorganic growth in 2014 ,MENAFN|
|(MENAFN) Dubai-based fuel retailer Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) intends to register an inorganic growth this year, said a senior company official, according to the Emirates 24/7.
|Mar 6 2014||Qatar - HH the Emir Sends Congratulations to President of Ghana ,Qatar News Agency|
|(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sent today a cable of congratulations to the President of the Republic of Ghana on the occasion of the anniversary of his ...|
|Mar 6 2014||UAE's ANC invests USD2.5 b in power plants in Pakistan ,MENAFN|
|(MENAFN) UAE-based Arab National Company said it will invest as much as USD2.5 billion in Pakistan to launch two coal power plants, according to the Emirates 24/7.
ANC has signed a memorandum of ...|
|Mar 6 2014||US National Security Adviser to Visit Israel ,Qatar News Agency|
|(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) US National Security Adviser Susan Rice will visit Israel in May as head of a US delegation consulting on a range of issues involving the two countries, the White House ...|