Futures dropped as the first quarter GDP estimate, at down 6.1 percent, was well below expectations of down 4.7 percent.
However, the downside impact has been limited because personal consumption was higher than expected.
Banks: there are now stories floating around that 6 of the 19 banks subjected to the stress test may need to raise money, but it has not hurt futures.
There is a sense that bank earningsare improving. Santander's earnings were better than expected.
And analysts have clearly become more positive on banks this week, including European banks. Nomura had positive comments on Barclays, Fox-Pitt upgraded the entire U.S. bank group, and UBS titled its UK bank report a few days ago "Green shoots." They see improving credit availability, slowing arrears, a comprehensive bailout, and noted "the equity market will buy a slowing in the rate of deterioration and we believe there are indeed green shoots in UK banking."
FOMC statement not without drama. Remember last time the announced they were buying Treasuries. With the 10-year sitting right at the important 3 percent yield level, many traders are speculating that the FOMC may announce they will be increasing the size of treasury purchases today to keep the yield below 3 percent.
1) Sales of small planes have dropped dramatically, so it's no surprise that Textron, maker of Cessna airplanes and Bell helicopters, is down 9 percent pre-open. They beat earnings expectations but revenues were below expectations and guidance for the full year was below expectations as well. The company is seeking to raise more capital by offering 19 million shares and $300 million in convertible notes.
2) Like U.S. Steel,ArcelorMittal is raising capital, planning to sell $2.5 billion of common shares and $500 million of convertible notes. Yesterday U.S. Steel reported earnings well below expectations, citing order rates below expectations and further downward pressure on steel prices.
3) Earnings for oil driller Baker Hughesmissed estimates. Citing particular weakness in North America, where revenues fell 8%, the oil services company blamed weaker results on lower spending and reduced activity by its customer base.
Additionally, CEO Chad Deaton has little optimism for the rest of the year: "We expect customer activity in North America to continue to decline and see little chance of a recovery before the end of the year."
4) Shares of health insurer Aetna are falling 7 percent despite an earnings beat. Revenues rose 11 percent, as membership grew 9 percent.
However, unlike some of its other peers which reported results over the last few days, Aetna's margins were pressured by higher medical costs.
5) Time Warnertrades up 7 percent pre-open after itsQ1 results surprisedWall Street analysts. The media giant also reaffirmed 2009 guidance 2 cents above the current consensus forecast.
Q1 revenues fell however, led by a 23 percent drop in each of its AOL and Time Inc divisions amid continued weakness in advertising. Revenues for its cable networks rose 6 percent, but that was mostly due to higher rates.