MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Indications: U.S. stock futures trim rise after jobless claims

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By Kate Gibson and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock-index futures trimmed Thursday gains after the government reported a second consecutive week where initial jobless claims topped 400,000.

“While the overall trend in claims is decidedly downward, there has clearly been an uptick of late,” noted Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak, in an email after the Labor Department reported the number of people submitting their initial filings for state unemployment benefits fell 13,000 to 403,000 last week.

Up about 40 points before the data, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\m11 DJM11 +0.31%  were lately up 29 points at 12,425.

Shares of Apple Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!aapl/quotes/nls/aapl AAPL +2.42%  rose 4.2% in premarket trade after the firm late Wednesday reported a 95% surge in quarterly earnings, exceeding Wall Street’s expectations.

Apple results soar, unhurt by Japan

Apple's earnings rose sharply thanks to strong iPhone sales, and the company played down concerns about Japan's impact on its supplies, its recent lawsuit against Samsung and CEO Steve Jobs's medical leave.

Futures on the technology-focused Nasdaq 100 /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\m11 NDM11 +0.87%  rose 19.25 points to 2,374.25.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\m11 SPM11 +0.20%  advanced 4.5 points to 1,332.8.

The gains for stock futures come after a strong session for Wall Street on Wednesday. The blue-chip Dow industrials /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed DJIA +0.42%  rallied 1.5% as investors’ mood was buoyed by Intel Corp.’s /quotes/comstock/15*!intc/quotes/nls/intc INTC +0.23%  earnings report.

Also Thursday, McDonald’s Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!mcd/quotes/nls/mcd MCD -1.90%   reported better-than-expected quarterly profit after the fast-food chain tallied March sales that exceeded expectations. Its shares fell 0.6% in the premarket, however.

Industrial conglomerate General Electric Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!ge/quotes/nls/ge GE -2.21%  said /quotes/comstock/13*!ge/quotes/nls/ge GE -2.21% first-quarter net profit rose to $3.43 billion from $1.95 billion in the same period a year ago. GE also increased its dividend, as the firm’s shares rallied 4.2% in preopen trade.

Also higher, shares of mobile-phone maker Nokia Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!nok/quotes/nls/nok NOK +0.47%   /quotes/comstock/64h!e3:o-nok1v-eur FI:NOK1V +0.42%  rose 4% after its earnings were well received by investors.

In corporate news, British oil group BP PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp BP +0.26%   /quotes/comstock/23s!a:bp. UK:BP 0.00%  said it’s suing Halliburton Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!hal/quotes/nls/hal HAL +1.61%  , Transocean Ltd. /quotes/comstock/13*!rig/quotes/nls/rig RIG 0.00%   /quotes/comstock/06p!rign CH:RIGN -2.22%  and Cameron International Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!cam/quotes/nls/cam CAM -0.64%  over their roles in the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

In the commodity markets, gold futures /quotes/comstock/21e!f:gc\j11 GCJ11 +0.33%  rose $7.30 to $1,505.60 an ounce in electronic trading on Globex.

Crude-oil futures /quotes/comstock/21n!f:cl\m11 CLM11 +0.75%  gained 28 cents to $111.73 a barrel.

/quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\m11 /quotes/comstock/15*!aapl/quotes/nls/aapl /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\m11 /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\m11 /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed /quotes/comstock/15*!intc/quotes/nls/intc /quotes/comstock/13*!mcd/quotes/nls/mcd /quotes/comstock/13*!ge/quotes/nls/ge /quotes/comstock/13*!ge/quotes/nls/ge /quotes/comstock/13*!nok/quotes/nls/nok /quotes/comstock/64h!e3:o-nok1v-eur /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp /quotes/comstock/23s!a:bp. /quotes/comstock/13*!hal/quotes/nls/hal /quotes/comstock/13*!rig/quotes/nls/rig /quotes/comstock/06p!rign /quotes/comstock/13*!cam/quotes/nls/cam /quotes/comstock/21e!f:gc\j11 /quotes/comstock/21n!f:cl\m11

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York. Polya Lesova is chief of MarketWatch’s London bureau.

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