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US stock rally on hold

Thursday, 25 Jul 2013 | 5:28 AM ET


The S&P 500 is coming off its biggest drop of July, as investors wade their way through second quarter earnings season. Stocks have solid gains for the month, however, and the new day begins with a number of upbeat quarterly reports already in the mix.


In addition to the flood of earnings reports out this morning, Wall Street will have its first pre-market economic stats of the week, as the government releases both weekly initial jobless claims and June durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are looking for 339,000 new claims for the week ending July 20, up from 334,000 the prior week, and a durable goods orders increase of 1.9 percent compared to a 3.7 percent rise in May.


The Energy Department is out with its weekly look at natural gas inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET, while the Treasury is set to sell $29 billion in 7-year notes. The results of that sale will be available shortly after 1 p.m. ET.


Dow component 3M (MMM) and automaker General Motors (GM) lead a busy list of earnings reports due out before the market opens. Also scheduled out this morning: Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Boston Scientific (BSX), Celgene (CELG), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), D.R. Horton (DHI), Dow Chemical (DOW), Harley-Davidson (HOG), Starwood Hotels (HOT), Hershey (HSY), International Paper (IP), Southwest Airlines (LUV), McGraw-Hill Financial (MHFI), PulteGroup (PHM), Raytheon (RTN), Sirius XM Radio (SIRI), Under Armour (UA), United Continental (UAL), and Xerox (XRX).


Amazon.com (AMZN), Expedia (EXPE), Starbucks (SBUX), Zynga (ZNGA), Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Newmont Mining (NEM) are among the companies set to release earnings after the closing bell.


Facebook (FB) leads our list of stocks to watch, after the social networking company reported second quarter profit of $0.19 per share, excluding certain items, five cents above estimates. Revenues beat consensus as well, and investors were encouraged by better than expected growth in mobile advertising.


Crocs (CROC) reported second quarter earnings of $0.48 per share, well below estimates of $0.64, and its current quarter revenue and earnings guidance was well below Street forecasts as well.


Qualcomm (QCOM) matched Street estimates with fiscal third quarter profit of $1.03 per share, excluding certain items. Revenues beat estimates, helping soothe concerns about how the chipmaker would do amid slowing smartphone sales growth.


Visa (V) reported second quarter profit of $1.88 per share, nine cents above estimates, with revenues beating consensus as well. Visa also raised its full year outlook, as its customers spend more using its credit cards.


TripAdvisor (TRIP) earned $0.52 per share, excluding certain items, for its second quarter, beating estimates by three cents. Revenues were also above consensus, as traffic continued to grow on the travel review web site.


F5 Networks (FFIV) reported fiscal third quarter profit of $1.12 per share, excluding certain items, beating estimates by four cents. Revenues and the company's full year forecast also were above consensus on growing new product sales for the maker of data traffic management equipment.


Baidu (BIDU) reported second quarter profit of $1.26 per share, five cents above estimates, with the China internet search provider also forecasting current quarter revenue well above analyst forecasts.


Akamai Technologies (AKAM) earned $0.46 per share for the second quarter, excluding certain items, one cent above estimates, with revenues above forecasts as well. The maker of equipment that moves data more quickly on the internet benefited from an increase in TV and video viewing online.


Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) fell short of estimates by three cents with its second quarter profit of $0.54 per share, excluding certain items. Revenues were also below consensus as sales at its existing restaurants were weaker than expected. Cheesecake Factory did, however, raise its dividend to $0.14 per share from $0.12.


Western Digital (WDC) reported fiscal fourth quarter profit of $1.96, excluding certain items, topping estimates of $1.81. Revenue was also above consensus, although the hard disk drive maker's net income was down 44 percent from a year earlier amid slumping personal computer sales. It also gave a current quarter forecast below analyst estimates.


E*Trade (ETFC) earned $0.21 per share for the second quarter, excluding certain items, nine cents above estimates, with revenues above consensus as well. The results were helped by the online brokerage's highest trading volume in more than a year.


Citrix Systems (CTXS) earned $0.66 per share for its second quarter, three cents above estimates, with revenues above estimates as well. The enterprise software maker, however, did forecast current quarter earnings and revenues below Street forecasts, although it lifted the lower end of its prior forecast range.