After yesterday's sell-off, stocks are set to rise as investors process corporate earnings and an uptick in jobless claims.
Before the opening bell, futures pointed toward a modest rise on the major equities indices. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are up 0.30% at 14,597 and S&P (INDEXSP:.INX) futures rose 0.35% to 1,552.00. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures advanced 0.41% to 2,786.75.
Jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week. Initial claims totaled 352,000. This is 4,000 more than the previous week's upwardly revised number. Economists expected a reading of 347,000 claims.
Earnings season kicks into high gear today. Before the market open, Morgan Stanley ( MS ) reported earnings per share of $0.61, beating earnings expectations by a nickel. Shares of the investment bank fell however, as core businesses such as fixed income trading declined.
PepsiCo ( PEP ) also beat expectations by $0.06 with EPS of $0.77 as gross margins improved.
Today will be a big one for the high-tech sector as Google ( GOOG ), Microsoft ( MSFT ), and Verizon ( VZ ) all report earnings. Google is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $10.69 as the search market grew and the cost per click increased. Analysts expect Microsoft to grow profits by $0.08 per share to $0.68 as companies trade in older computers.
Verizon's earnings call will provide investors with clues on Apple's (AAPL) iPhone sales in the quarter. Expecting an ugly quarter, shareholders sold off Apple yesterday, sending the share price down 5.5%. Verizon is expected to report $0.66 per share of profit.
Despite the government's efforts to cool the housing market, Chinese home prices heated up in March, rising 3.6% year-over-year, up from a 2.1% rise in February. Of the 70 cities in the index, 68 reported price increases.
The German Bundestag approved the bailout of Cyprus and extended loans to Ireland and Portugal.