US markets look set to open higher today as both Apple and Facebook reported better than expected earnings after yesterday’s close easing concerns about the health of the tech sector which had driven recent market declines. Today we have earnings releases from General Motors, Microsoft, Starbucks, Caterpillar, Visa and Verizon. Futures suggest the S&P500 will open 10 points higher at 1,885 with the Dow Jones expected to open 59 points higher at 16,560. Having revised down estimates for this quarter in its last trading update, Apple significantly beat income and revenue estimates showing a profit of 7% higher than the equivalent quarter last year. IPhone sales were boosted from the deal with China Mobile however iPad sales dropped off amid increased competition from cheap tablets using the Android operating system. Apple also boosted their share buyback by $30bn and split the stock seven ways. CEO, Tim Cook seems keener to make these kinds of shareholder friendly moves than predecessor Steve Jobs. With this kind of earnings growth the company has a good chance of drawing a line of support under its stock price but if Apple is to re-test the highs around $700 it will likely take another game-changing device. Apple’s PC market competitor Microsoft are expected to announce earnings of $0.63 per share on revenue of $20.39bn. The PC market continues to slow but not at the rapid rate it was as the tablet market matures. The company is concentrating on its enterprise business as well as its Xbox gaming console for revenue growth while it works on its longer term vision of teaming with Nokia to boost its presence in the mobile space. General Motors is expected to report its first quarter earnings at $0.04 per share on revenue of $38.43bn. Starbucks is expected to have earned $0.56 per share on revenue of $3.95bn in its Q2. Caterpillar is estimated to report its Q1 earnings at $1.24 per share on revenue of $13.14bn Visa is expected to show Q2 earnings of $2.18 per share on revenue of $3.19bn. Verizon is expected to report its Q1 earnings at $0.87 per share on revenue of $30.70bn. On the economic data front, US durable goods orders are expected to increase by 2.1% down slightly from 2.2% last month. With larger orders received by Boeing in March than February, there is the potential for this number to surprise on the upside. CMC Markets is an execution only provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.
US to open higher as Apple and Facebook ease tech concerns
19:00, 23 April 2014