Wall Street Keeps Zigzag Pattern Intact
Barring a sizable Friday selloff, Wall Street's major averages are headed for a 7th straight week of alternating between gains and losses. The Dow currently has a 1 percent gain for this week, while the S&P 500 is up nearly 2 percent.
Investors will get their first look at the U.S. economy's first quarter performance, with GDP figures set to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent, compared to the anemic 0.4 percent rate during the fourth quarter of 2012.
At 9:55 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan is out with its final consumer sentiment index for April, seen coming in at 73.5 compared to the preliminary April reading of 72.3 and March's 78.6.
Dow component Chevron (CVX) leads our Friday list of morning earnings reports, accompanied by D.R. Horton (DHI), Goodyear Tire (GT), Tyco (TYC), V.F. Corp. (VFC), and Weyerhaeuser (WY). There are no reports of note due out after the bell, as is often the case on Friday afternoons.
J.C. Penney (JCP) leads our list of stocks to watch, as investor George Soros takes a 7.9 percent passive stake in the retailer. The Soros stake is now the fifth largest among J.C. Penney shareholders.
Amazon.com (AMZN) reported first quarter profit of $0.18 per share, ten cents above estimates, though revenues were slightly short of estimates. One of the most positive notes in Amazon's report was a gross profit margin of 26.6 percent, the highest in at least ten years.
Starbucks (SBUX) reported fiscal second quarter profit of $0.48 per share, in line with estimates, though its current quarter profit outlook is short of what analysts had been anticipating. For the full year, the coffee chain has raised its EPS outlook to $2.12 - $2.18 per share, compared to consensus estimates of $2.16, as U.S. sales increase.
Expedia (EXPE) earned $0.25 per share for the first quarter, excluding certain items, two cents above estimates, with revenues also beating analyst estimates. The travel services provider's growth has been helped by technology upgrades, with gross bookings up 16 percent in the latest quarter.
Yahoo (YHOO) chairman Fred Amoroso resigned effective immediately, to be replaced by current director Maynard Webb Jr. Amoroso had told Yahoo when he became chairman last year that he only intended to serve for one year.
Baidu (BIDU) reported first quarter profit of $1.00 per share, excluding certain items, missing estimates by three cents. China's largest search engine saw its results impacted by higher traffic acquisition costs.
Coinstar (CSTR) earned $0.93 per share for the first quarter, seven cents above estimates, and raised its full year profit forecast. The improved forecast comes on stronger growth for its Redbox video rental business. Separately, Coinstar is planning to change its corporate name to Outerwall, pending shareholder approval.
VeriSign (VRSN) earned $0.58 per share for the first quarter, excluding certain items, four cents above estimates, with revenues beating forecasts as well. The internet domain name provider also reported improved profit margins.
Wynn Resorts (WYNN) reported first quarter profit of $2.03 per share, excluding certain items, well above estimates of $1.55. The beat came on the strength of increased revenues from its operations in Macau.
International Game Technology (IGT) scored a six cent earnings beat with fiscal second quarter profit of $0.36 per share. Revenues also beat estimates on improved sales of its slot machines, and IGT also raised its full year forecast.
Humana (HUM) has raised its quarterly dividend to $0.27 per share from $0.26. The hospital operator's increased payout will come on July 26 to shareholders of record as of June 28.
UPS (UPS) reached a tentative five-year deal with the Teamsters Union that covers nearly 250,000 workers. The current contract expires on July 31.