MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Monday, August 18, 2008

Opening View: U.S. Stock Futures Ride Rebound in Oil, Gold Prices

Turning to currencies and commodities, the U.S. Dollar Index is off 0.19% in early trading this morning, as the greenback is losing ground to the euro. This weakness has pushed gold futures higher in London trading, with the December futures contract up $8.90 at $801.00 an ounce. Finally, crude futures have risen 30 cents per barrel to trade at $114.24 on fears that Tropical Storm Fay could reach installations in the Gulf of Mexico.

In earnings news, Lowe's Companies (LOW: View sentiment for LOWsentiment, chart, options) said that second-quarter earnings fell to $938 million, or 64 cents per share. Sales rose to $14.5 billion, compared to $14.2 billion a year ago. Analysts were looking for earnings of 56 cents per share on sales of $14.1 billion. Looking ahead, Lowe's said it sees sales growth at 1% to 2% and earnings of 27 cents to 31 cents per share. For the 2008 fiscal year, the company expects earnings of $1.48 to $1.56 per share.

In the solar sector, Trina Solar (TSL: View sentiment for TSLsentiment, chart, options) reported that second-quarter net income more than doubled to $17.1 million, or 68 cents per share, as revenue grew to $204 million from $75.3 million. Analysts were looking for earnings of 78 cents per share. The quarter included losses of 24 cents per share from currency exchange and 8 cents per share from discontinued operations. For the full year, TSL boosted its revenue outlook to a range of $850 million to $900 million, up from $770 million to $808 million.

In the mining sector, BHP Billiton (BHP: View sentiment for BHPsentiment, chart, options) reported that its fiscal-year net profit rose 14.7% to $15.39 billion, as revenue climbed 25.3% to $59.57 billion. Analysts had expected a net profit of $15.86 billion. The company boosted its dividend by 48.9% to 70 cents per share. Demand for raw materials in emerging-market economies has remained strong, BHP Billiton noted. "Looking to the longer term, demand for our commodities is expected to remain strong," it said.

Finally, Lehman Brothers Holdings (LEH: View sentiment for LEHsentiment, chart, options) could reportedly face a third-quarter loss of $1.8 billion, according to analysts. Furthermore, such a loss would take the company's total losses since the start of March to at least $4.5 billion, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Back-to-back losses would add to the pressure on CEO Richard Fuld to show the losses won't continue, the newspaper said. If the losses continue to mount, Lehman may need to raise additional capital beyond the $6 billion it received in June,

Opening View: U.S. Stock Futures Ride Rebound in Oil, Gold Prices


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