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Futures Pare Gains After Durable Goods Orders

Wednesday, 24 Apr 2013 | 9:17 AM ET

U.S. stock index futures shaved their early gains following a weaker-than-expected durable goods orders report and as Apple shares weighed.

On the economic front, durable goods orders tumbled 5.7 percent in March, logging their steepest drop in seven months, according to the Commerce Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected orders to slip 2.8 percent from a previously reported 5.6 percent increase. Excluding transportation, orders declined 1.4 percent after falling 1.7 percent the prior month.

Traders also had time to digest Apple earnings, which beat on the top and bottom lines. But shares declined as investors were disappointed with the company's comments on slower growth and lower margins and a lack of new products on the near horizon. Adding to woes, at least eleven brokerages slashed their price target on the company.

Among other earnings, Ford Motor gained after the automaker beat Wall Street expectations on profit and revenue.

Dow component Procter & Gamble turned in quarterly earnings that beat expectations, but shares declined as the household goods manufacturer posted outlook for the current quarter that fell short of Wall Street forecasts.

Fellow blue-chip Boeing rallied after the aerospace giant reported blockbuster earnings that trumped Street estimates, despite worries over the company's 787 Dreamliner problems.

Sprint Nextel posted a smaller than expected quarterly loss, even as it saw steep customer losses from the Nextel network it is shutting down. Sprint's board is currently evaluating a $25.5 billion acquisition offer from satellite TV service Dish Network, which challenged Sprint's October agreement to sell 70 percent of the company to Japan's SoftBank for $20.1 billion.

Qualcomm, Aflac and Zynga are among companies slated to post earnings after the closing bell.

Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal reported that Nasdaq plans to set aside $10 million to settle the probe over its botched handling of Facebook's IPO (Initial Public Offering), citing unnamed sources.

European shares traded higher after posting the best one-day gains of the year on Tuesday. Bank stocks were in focus, with Barclays, Credit Suisse and Nordea Bank posting first quarter results. Credit Suisse and Nordea beat analysts' expectations, while Barclays narrowly missed.

In addition, Ericsson, the world's number one mobile phone equipment maker, reported a bigger-than-expected fall in first quarter profit. However, Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis posted upbeat sales numbers and surprised investors by announcing a new CFO, Harry Kirsch.

Also on the economic front, weekly mortgage applications edged higher last week as rates declined for the fifth-consecutive week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

And in the bond markets, the Treasury is scheduled to auction $35 billion in 5-year notes with the results available shortly after 1pm ET.

—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

Coming Up This Week:

WEDNESDAY: Oil inventories, 5-yr note auction, AB InBev shareholder mtg, Caesar Entertainment shareholder mtg, Citi shareholder mtg, Coca-Cola shareholder mtg, DuPont shareholder mtg, GE shareholder mtg; Earnings from Qualcomm, Aflac, Akamai, Cabot Oil & Gas, Zynga
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, natural gas inventories, 7-yr note auction, Fed balance sheet/money supply, Barclays annual mtg, Herbalife shareholder mtg, Intuitive Surgical annual mtg, J&J shareholder mtg, NYSE Euronext shareholder mtg, Pfizer shareholder mtg; Earnings from Altria, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, 3M, UPS, Altera, Baidu, Expedia, Starbucks, Coinstar
FRIDAY: GDP, consumer sentiment, AT&T shareholder mtg; Earnings from Chevron, Honda, DR Horton

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