1) General Electric beat, and CEO Jeff Immelt was optimistic: "Emerging markets remain resilient, and in the U.S. we saw strong growth in orders this quarter," he said. "Europe is stabilizing but still challenged. We expect margin expansion to continue and segment profits to grow in the second half of the year."
2) Ingersoll Rand beat and narrowed its 2013 EPS to $3.50-$3.60 from $3.45-$3.65 and slightly lowered the top end of its revenue guidance.
3) Honeywell beat and raised the low end of its 2013 guidance by 5 cents, "with the expectation of modestly improved organic growth and continued margin expansion in the second half outlook."
These are solid, though not spectacular, performances. Considering the global macro environment, they are actually fairly good.
As for a big consumer stock, Whirlpool missed, but raised their 2013 guidance. So we're back to that old game: light in the first half of the year, but we will make it up in the second half. Still it's good news: North American volumes are expected to be some 6 — 8 percent higher, much better than the 2 — 3 percent expected before. the problem with the earnings miss wasn't with volume, it was in pricing.
As for MSFT and GOOG, Microsoft is being hurt by its exposure to PCs, which are going the way of the dinosaur (just as Intel was hurt the day before they cut their 2013 sales outlook to flat). Google specifically referenced weakness in Europe, though revenues grew 19 percent.
It's not that I think either represent the earnings season; it's just that both are so large that a miss will negatively affect the overall earnings picture of the S&P 500.
MSFT missed by 9 cents, while GOOG missed by $1.22 — more than 10 percent (yikes!). The S&P is market cap weighted, as are the earnings. Accordingly, some of the positive momentum we are seeing from industrials this morning is being offset by the MSFT and GOOG weakness.
1) Japan's Nikkei had a wild overnight session, moving in a 500-point (4 percent range before settling down 1.5 percent. There are elections in the upper house this weekend; if Prime Minister Shizon Abe's coalition wins, it will improve their chances of enacting structural reforms.
2) Several IPOs priced overnight, starting with Diamond Resorts International (DRII), a network of 295 vacation destinations located in 32 countries that control nearly 10,000 units...priced 15.5 million shares at $14 each, below the price talk of $16-$18. They will compete against Marriott, Sheraton, Walt Disney and others.
A couple of REIT IPOs as well: in the industrial space (Rexford Industrial Realty (REXR) and and healthcare (Physicians Realty Trust (DOC)); on the NASDAQ RetailMeNot (SALE) priced 9.1 million shares at $21, in the middle of an expected $20-$22 price range. SALE claims to operate te world's largest digital coupon marketplace.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani