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U.S. Stock Futures Mostly Rise After Rally in Nikkei

Published Wednesday, 6th February 2013 07:03 pm - © 2013 Dow Jones

U.S. stock-market futures mostly rose Wednesday, taking some inspiration from a rally out of Japan, as an empty data calendar leaves investors with room to question whether momentum and risk appetite will continue to build after a rout early in the week.

The earnings calendar includes Time Warner Inc. and CVS Caremark Corp. among a handful of key companies reporting premarket.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average recently rose 14 points to 13924. Futures for the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.9 of a point to 1506.80. Those for the Nasdaq 100 index edged down 0.8 of a point to 2748.50.

Wall Street stocks bounced back Tuesday to recoup from a prior-day rout, with confidence lifted by a deal to take Dell Inc. private--the biggest leveraged-buyout deal in years.

The Dow industrials rose 99.22 points, or 0.7%, to 13979.30. On Monday, that average sank nearly 130 points on political unease out of Europe.

At Deutsche Bank, strategists were posing the question as to whether Monday's selloff was a blip. "We still think the uncertainties over the Italian elections may build over the month, especially in the poll blackout period, but there were quite a few positives sustaining the turnaround Tuesday," they said in a note.

But they said the Dell news is likely to be "used as a positive for equities," with Tuesday's 1.3% jump for the Nasdaq Composite evidence of this.

Within corporate news for Wednesday, entertainment major Time Warner is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $1.10 a share, according to a survey of analysts by FactSet. CVS Caremark is likely to report earnings of $1.10 a share in the fourth quarter.

Among other corporates in the headlights, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.'s shares will be on investors' computer screens and radar screens. The New York videogame producer reported Tuesday that fiscal third-quarter earnings quintupled on stronger-than-expected revenue.

Investors also will be wrapping their hands around the Tuesday report from Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., the Denver burrito chain. The company reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.95 a share, a penny shy of the FactSet-derived analyst estimate.

Zynga Inc.'s shares rose 6.6% after hours Tuesday. The San Francisco social-games specialist reported a narrower-than-expected loss and higher-than-expected bookings for the fourth quarter.

In overseas markets, the Nikkei 225 index soared 3.8%, ending at its highest level in more than four years. The yen tumbled on speculation the Bank of Japan will now get more aggressive after the early departure, though planned, of Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa.

European stocks keyed off gains for Japan, with banks and mining firms charging north.

Crude-oil prices fell, while gold pushed slightly lower.

Write to Barbara Kollmeyer at


Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Wednesday's session are Zynga Inc. (ZNGA), Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) and Shutterfly Inc. (SFLY).

Zynga reported a quarterly loss, flat revenue and declining "bookings," but the results beat Wall Street expectations for adjusted earnings and revenue. The online game-company's shares were up 6.6% to $2.92 after hours.

Take-Two's third-quarter profit soared on a 76% increase in revenue, thanks in part to a record-breaking release of a basketball game. In addition, the New York game maker authorized the repurchase of up to 7.5 million shares. Shares jumped 6.6% after hours to $13.50.

Shutterfly's fourth-quarter earnings jumped 50% as the photo sharing and printing website operator's sales and margins improved. Shares climbed 14% to $38.32 after hours as results topped Shutterfly's estimates and as the company provided full-year revenue guidance above analyst expectations.

CSG Systems International Inc.'s (CSGS) fourth-quarter profit rose 40% as the business-support provider reported higher software sales. Shares jumped 13% to $21 after hours as earnings and revenue easily beat Street expectations.

Expedia Inc. (EXPE) warned of rivals ratcheting up competition at home as it projected a relatively modest increase in earnings this year. Shares in the online travel agent were up 5% at $70.85 in after-hours trading, after it reported a solid fourth quarter barring the effect of an extraordinary legal cost. Revenue beat analyst expectations.

Hain Celestial Group Inc.'s (HAIN) fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 58% as the organic-products company reported that its U.K. sales more than doubled. Shares fell 4.6% after hours to $56.66, however, as earnings beat analysts' expectations but revenue missed.

Pike Electric Corp.'s (PIKE) fiscal second-quarter earnings more than quadrupled as the energy-systems company recorded significantly higher revenue thanks to storm-restoration activity. Shares climbed 10% to $12 after hours Tuesday as results surpassed Wall Street expectations.

Silicon Image Inc.'s (SIMG) fourth-quarter loss narrowed as the provider of high-definition connectivity products reported fewer charges and modest revenue growth. Shares rose 5.9% to $4.85 after hours as earnings beat analyst expectations.

Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) fiscal first-quarter earnings slipped 5.6% as the entertainment giant recorded lower profits at its studio business. Shares were up 2.7% to $55.78 after hours as results beat analyst expectations.


Aeropostale Inc. (ARO) said President Michael J. Cunningham will be retiring, effective March 29, after more than 12 years at the youth-focused retailer.

Aflac Inc.'s (AFL) fourth-quarter earnings rose 8% on revenue growth in its Japan and U.S. businesses and as the company benefited from a decline in net after-tax realized investment losses.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.'s (CHRW) fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled as the transportation and logistics company's benefited from strong demand for its trucking services and revenue also was boosted by recent acquisitions. However, adjusted earnings missed expectations.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.'s (CMG) fourth-quarter profit rose 6.8% as the burrito chain was buoyed by improved revenue, though higher food costs continued to challenge margins.

CME Group Inc.'s (CME) fourth-quarter earnings fell 78% after a prior-year tax benefit of $377 million and as trading volume remained weak.

Equity Residential's (EQR) fourth-quarter profit surged as the apartment landlord benefited from real-estate sales, and rental income grew.

Fiserv Inc.'s (FISV) fourth-quarter earnings rose 25% as the financial-technology provider reported lower expenses as it got a boost from discontinued operations.

Genworth Financial Inc.'s (GNW) fourth-quarter profit rose 17% as the company benefited from a change in the way the Canadian government regulates mortgage insurance.

Hanesbrands Inc.'s (HBI) fourth-quarter earnings shot up 96% as the apparel maker reported sales growth at its underwear and outwear segments and sharply improved margins.

Healthcare Services Group Inc.'s (HCSG) fourth-quarter earnings rose 21% as the company's revenue and margins strengthened.

Jack Henry & Associates Inc.'s (JKHY) fiscal second-quarter earnings increased 5.1% as the financial-services company's revenue from electronic payments services continued to strengthen, though its overhead expenses more than doubled due to costs related to Hurricane Sandy.

Kimco Realty Corp.'s (KIM) fourth-quarter profit rose 90% as the real-estate investment trust posted higher gains from disposing properties, while funds from operations--a key measure of profitability--also grew.

Defense contractor L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL) raised its quarterly dividend 10% and authorized the repurchase of as much as $1.5 billion of its stock in a bid to boost shareholder returns.

Moody's Investors Service lowered its outlook on MetLife Inc. (MET) and its U.S. subsidiaries to negative from stable, citing pressures to the life insurer's profitability and financial flexibility as it faces a weak economic and low interest-rate environment.

Panera Bread Co.'s (PNRA) fourth-quarter income jumped 34% as the bakery-cafe chain's same-store sales continued to improve.

SLM Corp.'s (SLM) board has raised its quarterly dividend by 20% and approved a $400 million share buyback program, as the U.S.'s largest student lender looks to increase shareholder return.

TICC Capital Corp. (TICC) has commenced a public offering of 3 million shares, with the intention of using net proceeds for general corporate purposes. The company, which provides funding to technology firms, had about 41.4 million shares outstanding as of Jan. 16.

Unum Group (UNM) swung to a fourth-quarter profit as the insurer benefited from a drop in charges, and revenue increased amid continuing strength in its U.S. business.

WNS Holdings Ltd. (WNS) said its largest shareholder Warburg Pincus LLC is proposing to offer more than 12.6 million American depository shares, representing its entire roughly 25% stake in the Indian business-process-outsourcing company. WNS, which had about 50.5 million shares outstanding as of Dec. 31, doesn't plan to offer any ADSs in the offering and won't receive any proceeds from the sale.

Moody's Investors Service upgraded Wynn Resorts Ltd.'s (WYNN) rating by a notch to the brink of investment grade, saying growth in Macau is likely to continue to support the casino operator's development plans.

-Write to Nathalie Tadena at

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