MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pre Market Trading Indications

Futures indicate a modestly lower open for the mkt following weaker than expected Q1 results from Bank of America (BAC). Bank of America missed by $0.18, saying provision expense increased by $4.78 bln from a year ago to $6.01 bln due to rising credit costs -- particularly in the home equity, small business and homebuilder portfolios -- including a $3.30 bln increase to the reserve. But shares of BAC, as well as futures, touched their lows immediately following the release and have regained most of their losses. Other than those results, it has been a slow news morning, and things are not expected to pick up much with no economic data on today's agenda and no potentially market-moving earnings releases today after the close.

Dow
futures are currently -14; Nasdaq futures are currently -4.0; S&P futures are currently -2.1.

Following a large sell-off last week, the Bond mkt managed a late-session rally Friday to close flat on the day. This morning, however, treasuries are trading lower once again as Bank of America's miss has done little to alter the sour mood. The 10-yr is currently -10/32 to 3.745%. Looking ahead on the Fed calendar, Chicago President Evans speaks twice today at a conference, first at 9:30ET and then at 14:30ET, while Governor Kroszner speaks on community development at 13:30ET... In

Commodities
, May crude oil ($116.90 +0.21) modestly extended its all-time high to $117.60 this morning after Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) declared a Force Majeure following an attack on its Nigeria pipeline, saying 169K bpd have been shut...

In Europe, mkts started the week lower as earnings took center stage, while banks were volatile after the BoE gave details of the liquidity plan it first announced last week. FTSE is currently -0.4%; DAX is currently -1.0%; CAC is currently -1.2%.

In Asia, mkts rallied, tracking the gain on Wall Street Friday night, after results from cos like Citigroup and Google raised investor hopes earnings will remain strong despite slower global growth. Nikkei closed +1.6%; Hang Seng closed +2.2%; Shanghai Composite closed +0.7%... Notable pre-market Calls include Upgrades: SLB at Morgan Stanley; Downgrades: AVR and PEIX at Morgan Stanley, BCS at Merrill Lynch, CAT at Credit Suisse and Wachovia, WFC at Oppenheimer; Miscellaneous: Citi raises its Q1 EPS ests on AAPL, Lehman cuts its Q1, 2008 and 2009 EPS ests on PBR, Oppenheimer lowers ests on C... On the

Earnings calendar
, 38 cos are confirmed to report today after the close, though none are expected to be market-moving releases... Today's Economic calendar is empty.

Gapping up in reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: HAS +4.6%, ACI +4.5%, NVS +3.9%, DGX +3.0%, MRK +1.3%, LEE +1.0%...

M&A news
: PKTR +13.8% (to be acquired by BCSI for $7.10 a share)...

Select coal names ticking higher on light volume following ACI's earnings report
: ICO +3.4%, MEE +2.9%, BTU +2.7%...

Other news: TIBX +5.3% (announces $300 mln stock buyback program), JASO +3.7% (signs long-term wafer supply agreement with GCL Silicon Technology), ICO +3.4% (still checking), SNP +3.3% (China Petroleum and PetroChina jump on government subsidy - Reuters), STO +3.0% (gains 1/7% in Norwegian trading, the most in 4 months as crude oil rose over $117 a barrel in New York after OPEC said it would maintain production), QGEN +2.4% (still checking), PTR +2.3% (China Petroleum and PetroChina jump on government subsidy - Reuters), TS +2.0% (still checking), GSK +1.1% (up in sympathy with MRK), IRBT +1.0% (announces funding agreement with US Army valued at $6 mln)...

Analyst upgrades
: HCSG +3.3% (upgraded to Outperform at Morgan Keegan), PPC +2.4% (upgraded to Outperform at Credit Suisse), SLB +1.1% (upgraded to Overweight at Morgan Stanley), POZN +1.1% (upgraded to Neutral at Broadpoint).

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