Rising tension in Ukraine weighed on markets as investors
watched the situation with caution.
After Ukrainian forces killed five pro-Russian separatists
trying to recover its eastern cities, Russia called on its
thousands of troops massed at the Ukrainian border.
It is unclear whether the military drills mean that Moscow is
planning to send in military support, or if it is simply a show of
strength; but the US has taken the response as a violation of the
The accord, drawn up just last week, was intended to deescalate
the situation and stabilize the region, but the US has blamed
Russia of doing the "exact opposite" of what is necessary to move
In other news around the markets:
Despite increased spending on technology, new warehouses and
.'s revenue surpassed expectations by rising 23 percent in the
first quarter. The company's Prime membership grew even after
Amazon upped the price of the service and North American Sales
continued to drive growth. Reuters reported that
is expected to announce that Rajeev Suri will take over as the
company's CEO on Tuesday next week. The company, set to sell its
phone business to
, will also announce its latest strategy, which will likely focus
on networks equipment. is looking to buy Alstom SA's energy
business in an agreement that will reduce GE's reliance on its
finance business. If carried out, the deal will be GE's largest in
ten years, likely costing between $1 and $4 billion.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services downgraded Russia to one
level above junk status, BBB-minus. The company's outlook was
negative for Russia, citing the geopolitical tension with Ukraine
and outflows of foreign and domestic capital as reason for their
Asian markets were mostly lower with the exception of the
NIKKEI, which gained 0.17 percent. The Shanghai composite was up
1.00 percent, the Shenzhen composite lost 1.87 percent, the Hang
Seng index was down 1.50 percent and the KOSPI fell 1.34
European markets were down across the board; the UK's FTSE was
down 0.19 percent, the eurozone's STOXX 600 lost 0.38 percent, the
German DAX fell 0.72 percent and France's CAC 40 was down 0.30
Energy futures were lower; Brent futures lost 0.32 percent and
WTI futures were down 0.41 percent. Gold gained 0.70 percent but
silver lost 0.62 percent and industrial metals were mostly higher
with the exception of Copper which lost 0.28 percent.
The euro was steady at $1.3834, but lost 0.05 percent against
the pound and 0.08 percent against the yen. The dollar fell 0.10
percent against the yen and 0.12 percent against the Australian
Notable earnings released on Thursday included:
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.23 on revenue of $19.74 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.18 on revenue of $12.58 billion.
Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:
) reported first quarter EPS of $1.61 on revenue of $13.20 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $1.23 on revenue of $13.21 billion.
General Motors Company (NYSE:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.29 on revenue of $37.40 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.67 on revenue of $36.88 billion.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.68 on revenue of $20.40 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.72 on revenue of $20.49 billion.
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.56 on revenue of $3.87 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.51 on revenue of $3.56 billion.
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Ford Motor Co (NYSE:
) was up 1.10 percent in premarket trade after gaining 2.00 percent
over the past week. Transocean LTD (NYSE:
) was down 1.23 percent in premarket trade after rising 4.13
percent on Thursday. Bank of America Corp (NYSE:
) was down 0.86 percent in premarket trade after rising 1.18
percent over the past five days. Verizon Communications (NYSE:
) lost 0.82 percent in premarket trade after falling 2.42 percent
Notable earnings releases expected on Friday include:
Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:
) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $1.88 on revenue of
$105.62 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $2.12 on revenue of
$108.81 billion. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:
) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.31 on revenue of
$34.06 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.41 on revenue of
$33.86 billion. AbbVie (NYSE:
) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.68 on revenue of
$4.33 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.68 on revenue of
$4.33 billion. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:
) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $2.76 on revenue of
$56.26 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $3.18 on revenue of
Friday's economic calendar will be relatively thin with releases
including US consumer sentiment, US services PMI, British retail
sales and Singaporean industrial production.
For a recap of Thursday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's #PreMarket Prep show with Dennis Dick and
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