MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pre Market Trader Talk with Bob Pisani

Is there any doubt that big-cap financials are the key to this market? Despite earnings below expectations for Microsoft

MICROSOFT CORP
MSFT

27.52 UNCH 0
NASDAQ




[MSFT 27.52 --- UNCH (0) ] and Google[GOOG 533.44 --- UNCH (0) ], and a large writedown from Merrill Lynch, [MER 30.73 --- UNCH (0) ]it was Citigroup beating expectations that moved futures up almost 15 points this morning.

This is crunch time for this little mini-rally--since the earnings news is mixed, it will be critical for the market to move sideways or up today, and avoid retracing any of the last two days gains.

Options expiration today.

Citi's

CITIGROUP INC
C

17.97 UNCH 0
NYSE




[C 17.97 --- UNCH (0) ] loss of $0.49 was better than the loss of $0.66 expected. Doesn't sound great, but things are getting better: they reported a loss of $1.02 in the first quarter, and a loss of $1.99 in the fourth quarter. Yes, there was $7.2 billion in writedowns, but even that is an improvement. As with Wells Fargo,[WFC 27.83 --- UNCH (0) ] net interest margin was a bit higher than expected. Up 9 percent pre-open.

Elsewhere:

1) Freddie Mac

FREDDIE MAC
FRE

8.33 UNCH 0
NYSE




[FRE 8.33 --- UNCH (0) ]still trading up, despite the fact that the WSJ reported they were considering raising up to $10 billion in equity through a sale of common and preferred stock.

2) Meantime, Honeywell

HONEYWELL INTL INC
HON

50.86 UNCH 0
NYSE




[HON 50.86 --- UNCH (0) ]beat on topline and revenues, and raised their guidance (it's in-line with estimates).

Aerospace sales (about a third of sales) were strong. Remember, all the aerospace companies got slammed in June on concerns that aerospace sales would be slowing globally. Up 4 percent pre-open.

3) Mattel

MATTEL INC
MAT

18.28 UNCH 0
NYSE




[MAT 18.28 --- UNCH (0) ]also beat expectations, up 12 percent.

4) Bank and credit card giant Capital One

CAPITAL ONE FINL CORP
COF

42.80 UNCH 0
NYSE




[COF 42.80 --- UNCH (0) ]reported earnings below expectations, down 2 percent pre-open.

5) Barr Labs

Barra Resources Ltd
BAR

0.16 -0.005 -3.03%
ASX National




[BAR 0.16 -0.005 (-3.03%) ], which had been a speculated takeover target for a couple days, is being bought by Teva for $7.46 billion, about $66.50 in cash and stock, a 42 percent premium to Barr's closing price on Wednesday. Teva is the largest generic drug maker in the world.



Key To Market? Big Cap Financials - Trader Talk with Bob Pisani - CNBC.com



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