MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Before the bell: Futures higher after WMT, ahead of CPI; (AAPL, INTC, MER, GM

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), the world's largest retailer, reported a second-quarter earnings growth of 17% to of $3.4 billion, or 87 cents a share, beating analyst estimates of profit of 84 cents a share. Revenue rose 10% to $101.6 billion, slightly below estimates. The company also boosted its full-year earnings forecast. The company benefited from the challenging economic conditions as shoppers looked for lower prices. Its cost cutting measures also helped. WMT shares are gaining nearly 1.5% in premarket trading.

As Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares rose in recent years, many have tracked its progress as it surpassed one major company after another in market capitalization. Well, All Things Digital noticed that Apple can put another check mark, this time as it passed Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG). Yes, Apple is now larger than Google.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) is announcing a new component with new technology that will let computers wake up from their power-saving sleep state when they receive a phone call over the Internet. No longer will computers have to remain full-powered to receive calls, enabling them to act as replacements for the telephone.

While Merrill Lynch & Co. (NYSE: MER)'s CEO John Thain vowed last week to maintain the firm's 35-cent quarterly dividend, the options market doesn't believe him and is pricing a significant cut of roughly 50% to the dividend. If it happens, it would the first since it went public in 1971.

Also battered by recent economic downturn and the slumping U.S. auto market, General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM) is seeking to speed up the restructuring plan and said it may be able to reap more of the $10 billion in projected savings this year instead of in 2009. GM also had preliminary contact with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska on a possible sale of its Hummer brand, according to Reuters.

Before the bell: Futures higher after WMT, ahead of CPI; (AAPL, INTC, MER, GM ...) - BloggingStocks



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