Stock futures were little changed Thursday as September PPI up 0.4 percent was hotter than expected (though ex-food and energy up 0.1 percent was inline), initial jobless claims were a bit higher than expected—but the big discussion on desks was the continuing weakness in the dollar , which lost ground against most major currencies.
1) IPO coming: auto parts maker Tower International 1) IPO coming is still set to price tonight for trading tomorrow, 6.25 million shares at $15 to $17. Tower, which was bought out of bankruptcy court by Ceberus in 2007, builds parts for Volkswagen and Toyota.
2) Apollo Group2) Apollo Groupplunges 18 percent after withdrawing its 2011 outlook. The for-profit education firm blamed a steep drop in new student enrollment (down 10 percent) in its fiscal fourth quarter and warned that declines of over 40 percent could be seen in the first half of the current fiscal year. Also heavily weighing on shares: fears that its federal aid could be reduced or eliminated down the road due to new regulations and/or future violations of existing rules.
Other for-profit education providers are down sharply on the news:
- ITT Educational Services ,
- DeVry ,
- Career Education Corp ,
- Corinthian Colleges
3) Trucking firms may see some pressure today: Landstar's Trucking firms may see some pressure today: Q4 outlook disappointed the Street. Although Q3 earnings were inline with estimates, the trucker sees earnings of $0.45-$0.50 (vs. $0.51 consensus) on light revenues, hurt by "a significant reduction in loads hauled under (its) less-than-truckload substitute line haul service offering."
4) Fairchild Semiconductor4) Fairchild Semiconductor rises 1 percent after topping Q3 estimates ($0.42 vs. $0.39 consensus) as higher margins offset slight disappointing revenue numbers. The semiconductor maker guides Q4 sales inline with current estimates ($390 million-$410 million vs. $404 million consensus) and expects margins will continue to grow.
5) Rio Tinto (RIO 5) Rio Tinto — note new ticker) is up 3 percent after reporting a 1 percent increase in its Q3 iron ore output (iron ore mining makes up about 30 percent of total sales). But that growth was tempered by a 49 percent decline in coal production and a 19 percent drop in copper production.
6) Pop the corks: Luxury goods maker LVMH (think Christian Dior, Donna Karan, Louis Vuitton, TAG Heuer, Sephora, and lots of champagne—Dom Perignon, Krug, Moet & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot, and Hennessy cognac) reported earnings above expectations...partly on increased sales in China. All the major divisions had double-digit comparable sales growth compared to the same period last year: Wines & Spirits up 15 percent, Fashion & Leather Goods up 14 percent, Retail up 13 percent, Perfumes & Cosmetics up 10 percent, Watches & Jewelery up 18 percent.
German fashion giant Hugo Boss also raised their 2010 profit forecast.
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