Wall Street is mustering optimism despite the intensifying uncertainty, as reflected by the U.S. index futures, which point to a modestly higher open on Friday. The European markets are firmer for a second straight day, propelled by financial stocks. Crude oil is extending its gain and gold is also firmer. Risk currencies, including the euro, are also seeing a modest bounce. In the absence of any other market moving catalysts, traders may closely track the results of a U.S. consumer sentiment report.
As of 6:30 am ET, the Dow futures are rising 16 points and the S&P 500 futures are up 3.20 points, while the Nasdaq 100 futures are gaining 7.00 points.
U.S. stocks moved about in a lackluster fashion for much of Thursday's session before closing on a mixed note. The major averages opened little changed and moved back and forth across the unchanged line in the morning, as traders digested the about in line jobless claims data and a report that showed a smaller than expected increase in durable goods orders.
On the economic front, the Reuters and the University of Michigan's final report on the consumer sentiment index for May is scheduled to be released at 9:55 am ET. The consumer sentiment index is expected to be left unrevised at to 77.8.
In corporate news, Semtech (SMTC) reported first quarter non-GAAP earnings of 27 cents per share compared to 45 cents per share in the year-ago period. Net revenues fell 4.7 percent to $116.6 million. For the second quarter, the company expects non-GAAP earnings of 37-45 cents per share on revenues of $146 million to $154 million. The results missed expectations, while the guidance surrounded the consensus estimate.
Verifone (PAY) reported second quarter non-GAAP income of 64 cents per share, higher than 58 cents per share last year, as net non-GAAP revenues climbed to $479 million from the year-ago quarter's $293 million. The results exceeded expectations. The company guided full year earnings to $2.60 to $2.66 per share and revenues to $1.9 billion to $1.925 billion. The Street estimates earnings of $2.66 per share on revenues of $1.92 billion.
CME Group (CME) announced a 5-for-1 split of its common stock in the form of a 400 percent stock dividend.
Acxiom (ACXM) announced that its board has increased the size of its stock repurchase authorization by $150 million.
The major Asian markets closed mixed, with the Japanese, Hong Kong, Malaysian and South Korean averages advancing, while the rest of the markets declined. The lackluster lead from Wall Street overnight weighed on sentiment, stifling the re-emergence of risk appetite.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average showed considerable volatility before closing modestly higher, with the index ending up 17.01 points or 0.20 percent at 8,580.
Consumer price inflation released by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication showed that core consumer prices rose 0.2 percent year-over-year in April. Economists had expected a more modest 0.1 percent increase. The headline inflation rate was 0.4 percent, in line with estimates.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index languished below the unchanged line for the bulk of the session before closing up 47.01 points or 0.25 percent at 18,713. Meanwhile, Australia's All Ordinaries surrendered its early gains and declined throughout the session.
The European averages are advancing for the second straight day, as relative calm dawned after the fears kicked up by Greece and Spain subsided. Financial stocks are advancing, as traders pick up beaten down stocks in the space.
On the economic front, confidence among German consumers is set to remain stable in June, according to the results of a survey by the GfK. The forward looking consumer confidence index for June came in at 5.7, unchanged from the revised reading for May.
Meanwhile, a survey by French statistical agency INSEE showed that its consumer confidence index for France rose 1 point to 90 in May compared to expectations for a reading of 88. Notwithstanding the increase, the index still stands before its long-term average of 100.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org