S&P futures moved about 40 points off their highs of the morning, before posting a slight rebound off the lows late in the morning. They are finishing the morning session only down slightly.
Commodity stocks continue to be under pressure pre-open (down 4%-6%), as many of the commodities are weak this morning. Among them: platinum is down 7%, copper is down 5%, and gold is down 4%. The dollar is showing strength again, with the dollar index up for the seventh day in a row.
It’s another busy earnings morning today. While several companies beat estimates in the past quarter, one thing trend was clear: companies were cautious to pessimistic on the upcoming quarter.
Some of the earnings highlights:
1) UPSbeat estimates despite lower U.S. domestic volume, which fell 3.4% in the quarter. Its international operations, which posted a 7% INCREASE in volume, along with strength in its supply chain division, helped the company’s results. With greater concerns over the U.S. economy and consumer spending, the company is guiding towards the low-end of its previously-announced $3.50-$3.70 range for the full year. Analysts are expecting full-year results of $3.57. The CEO also remarked that a U.S. economic recovery may not happen until 2010.
2) Dow Chemicalbeat estimates ($0.60 vs. $0.57 est.), as it was helped tremendously by its 22% increase in prices which offset volume declines. While the company didn’t provide guidance, it warned of a “global recession through most of 2009.”
3) Potash is up 4% pre-open following its earnings beat. Higher prices helped its Q3 results to beat both analysts’ estimates and the company’s own expectations. Despite the stock’s rise in the pre-open, keep in mind the stock is down 72% from its June high, as concerns over slower global demand have significantly plagued the company. While Potash expects strong demand to continue in the long term, it does see some risk in the near term, and guides to the low end of its previous $12-$13 EPS guidance for the full year – which may come in just slightly below the analysts’ estimate of $12.55.
4) While Black & Deckeralso beat estimates for the past quarter, it sees weaker consumer confidence and slowing global economies in the next quarter. Its guides significantly below analysts’ estimates ($0.70-$0.90 vs. $1.13 est.).
Ahead of its full earnings report next week, Sony slashed its operating profit forecast by more than half for the year. The company noted it’s not only being hurt by poor sales but also but volatile currency markets. Remember, over half of Sony’s revenues are generated outside of Japan (in Europe and the U.S.)
In other news:
The Wall Street Journal reports that Goldman Sachs intends to lay off 10% of its staff (about 3,250 job cuts) in the ongoing staff reductions across Wall Street financial firm.
- Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected
- Greenspan, Others Face Grilling Over Financial Crisis
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