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Pre-Market Primer: Starbucks Corporation Beats; Activision Blizzard, Inc. Taking Control Back From Vivendi

By: Minyanville
Posted: 7/26/2013 8:45:00 AM

Stocks are lower today as earnings season quiets down and global markets slumped.

Before the opening bell, major US indices pointed to a lower open. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were down 0.34% to 15,432 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) sank 0.39% to 1,677.50 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures fell 0.23% to 3,043.00.

Later this morning, the July University of Michigan/Reuters Consumer Sentiment guage is released. It is likely to have risen just 0.1 point over the flash reading to 84.

The earnings schedule slows down a bit today. Yesterday, Amazon ( AMZN ) missed expectations as it continues to expand and invest in data centers and video. Amazon booked a loss of $0.02 per share while revenue rose 22% to $15.7 billion. As of this morning, shares were down 1.9%.

Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) also missed on its bottom line, but profit rose 50% to $6.8 billion. Shares declined 0.9% as margins for high-end smartphones fell. The Korean electronics company will invest $18 billion in its memory and display units.

Vivendi ( VIV ) agreed today to sell back 85% of its share in Activision Blizzard ( ATVI ). The video game maker will repurchase the shares for $5.83 billion. Activision's stock soared 18.25% on the news.

Starbucks ( SBUX ) announced second quarter profit of $0.55 per share, beating expectations by $0.02 while revenue rose 13% to $3.7 billion. Same store sales rose 8% worldwide despite some price hikes. Investors applauded the company's results as the stock gained 7% after hours.

European shares are mostly in the red. Japan's Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:.NI225) fell 3% today as the yen rose against the dollar after a mixed report on inflation. The deflation-fighting policies are just starting to show results. Consumer prices rose 0.2% on a yearly basis last month after falling 0.3% in May. This exceeded economists' expectations, but excluding volatile energy and fresh food, consumer prices declined by 0.2%.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett