Stocks are trading broadly higher at mid-day as investor's gear
up for spate of earnings news after McDonalds' (
) report this morning, which matched the Street's expectations.
With no economic data due today, investors will be eying results
from the likes of American Express (
) and Texas Instruments (
), both of which are due to report after the close.
Among companies reporting after the closing bell:
--American Express is higher, with the company due with Q4
results in today's after-hours. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters
expect the company to report a profit of $0.97 per share on revenue
of $7.29 billion.
--Texas Instruments is higher with the chip maker due with its
Q4 results after the bell tonight. Wall Street is targeting a
profit of $0.63 per share on revenue of $3.50 billion, according to
In other company news:
) said its earnings from the fourth quarter were reduced by $306.4
million because the a combination of the health care law and the
economy reduced the value of units providing medical coverage,
Bloomberg reported. Assurant is focusing on insuring foreclosed
properties and electronics as regulations weigh down profits from
providing health care coverage.
) announced today that it will raise its dividend by 15% and will
authorize its share buyback program by another $100 billion. INTC
has declared a quarterly dividend of $18.12 per share.
Shares of Sara Lee Corp. (SLE) are rising in morning trade
following news the food products company received a takeover bid
from Apollo Global Management LLC, Bain Capital LLC and TPG Capital
that is higher than the food company's current share price of
$18.70, three people with knowledge of the matter told
Also, CVS Caremark (CVS) announced that it will appoint Larry
Merlo as new CEO when current CEO Thomas M. Ryan retires on March
1, 2011. Merlo is currently the president and chief operating
officer, while Ryan will remain chairman of the board until he
retires in May. David Dorman, who has been director since 2006,
will then be appointed to that position.
ADRs of French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis SA (SNY) are
higher after news that it has extended its offer for Genzyme Corp.
(GENZ) until Feb. 15. The offer was previously scheduled to expire
on Jan. 21. All other terms and conditions of the offer remain
unchanged, Sanofi-Aventis said in a statement. Sanofi-Aventis is
offering $69 a share in cash.
Sony Corp. (SNE) is poised to start its own music streaming
service with major record labels in the U.S. this quarter. The move
will challenge Apple Inc.'s (APPL) iTunes, according to reports.
The company began its service dubbed "Music Unlimited powered by
Qriocity" in Sept. in the U.K. and Ireland in Dec. It will be
available in other European countries this weekend. Music Unlimited
has more than 6 million songs available on Playstation 3 game
console, Blu-ray Disc player, Bravia televisions, PCs and on
smartphones using Google Inc's Android operating systems.
Shares of Citigroup (C) are flat as the bank said in a
late-afternoon statement Friday that its Board of Directors is
hiking the base pay for CEO Vikram Pandit to $1.75 million from $1.
Pandit has received a symbolic salary of $1 a year, which Pandit
had vowed to keep until his firm returned to profitability, note
the New York Times. "The board is very pleased with the progress
that the company has made under VikramÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢âÂ¢s
leadership," the report quotes Richard Parsons, chairman of the
board of Citigroup, as saying.
Willbros Group (WG) shares are sharply higher after it says a
unit of its Upstream Oil & Gas segment has been awarded the
construction contract for a portion of the Acadian Haynesville
Extension Project. The 270-mile project, which expands the existing
Acadian Gas Pipeline System, will originate in Red River Parish,
LA, southeast of Shreveport, and will terminate near
Donaldsonville, LA. Construction on Segment 1 is expected to begin
in February with completion in August.
Shares of Goldman Sachs (GS) are just lower following an
announcement late Friday that Facebook offering it was running
raised $1.5 billion. The offering suggests a $50 billion value for
In the latest earnings reports:
--McDonald's Corporation (
) slips after it reports Q4 EPS of $1.16, up 5% from the year-ago
period and meeting the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate.
Revenue of $6.21 billion compares to $5.97 billion a year earlier.
The Street looked for $6.2 billion.
--RadioShack (RSH) drops sharply after it reports preliminary Q4
sales were about $1.37 billion, ahead of the analyst consensus of
$1.36 billion on Thomson Reuters. EPS are seen in the range of
$0.50 to $0.54 per share, vs. Street estimates of $0.66 per
--Halliburton (HAL) reports Q4 earnings of $0.68 per share, a
nickel better than the analyst consensus on Thomson Reuters.
Revenue was $5.2 billion, vs. expectations of $4.87 billion.
Commodities are mixed. February gold contracts--still the most
active--are up $3.50, or 0.26%, to $1,345 an ounce while March
crude oil contacts are down 1.21%, or $1.09, at $88.02 a
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 1.79%
to $36.84 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down
0.55% to $6.36.
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.19% to
$131.28. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 0.5% to $54.22.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 0.78% to $26.62.
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