Wall Street is set for a flat open on Friday, as traders wait for more information about the U.S. economy. A key report on consumer sentiment is set to be released early in the trading session.
Stocks gained ground yesterday, shaking off the doldrums of the previous few days. The markets benefited from a positive reaction to quarterly results from Cisco as well as from remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Dow rose 85 points. The Nasdaq jumped 31 points. The S&P 500 climbed about 10 points.
Retailers have been in focus lately, with some of the industry's biggest players announcing their quarterly results in the past few days. Some additional reports are likely to make an impact on today's trading.
Gap revealed earnings for the second quarter that rose 29 percent from last year and topped the amount analysts had predicted. Revenues rose nearly 6 percent to $3.58 billion. The owner of the Banana Republic and Old Navy brands also raised its forecast for the full year.
Fellow apparel retailer Aeropostale said its second-quarter profit slipped from last year. Sales rose 4 percent to reach $485 million. The company also gave a cautious outlook for the third quarter.
Companies from some other sectors have revealed results as well.
Marvell Technology announced quarterly earnings that fell from last year. The bottom line came in below what market analysts were predicting. Disappointing sales contributed to weak quarter, with revenue falling 9 percent.
Brocade Communications Systems revealed earnings for the latest quarter that rose from last year. The company also announced that its CEO plans to resign. He will step down once a successor is found.
In other news, Sprint Nextel said it has closed its offering of $1.5 billion of notes. The telecommunications giant plans to use the funds to redeem debt, expand its network and possibly fund its Clearwire subsidiary.
Taking a look to overseas markets, European stocks are showing modest gains. France and Germany are up about 0.2 percent. The U.K. is showing a gain of 0.1 percent.
Asian stocks have finished today's trading with gains. Japan advanced 0.8 percent. Hong Kong rallied 0.8 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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