S&P futures had popped about 5 points as initial jobless claims were better than expected, and at 407,000 the lowest since July 2008.
1) Luxury retailers keep rolling: Tiffany, up 4 percent pre-open, not only reported better sales abroad, sales even improved in the U.S., up 5 percent. Japan dropped 2 percent, a smaller decline than expected. Europe increased by 24 percent. Earnings of $0.46 was well ahead of $0.37 expected, and topline of $681.7 million were well above the $652 million expected.
CEO Michael Kowalski said "sales growth is exceeding our expectations" for the holiday season, so they increased guidance for Q4. to a bit above consensus ($1.23-$1.28, consensus $1.24). Tiffany hit an historic high on Monday.
2) Deere falls 1 percent on a mixed earnings report. The agricultural equipment maker beat Q4 earnings estimates ($1.07 vs. $0.95 consensus) on a stronger-than-expected 35 percent surge in sales. CEO Samuel Allen noted that "although conditions continued to be positive in the U.S. farm sector…European agricultural markets remained soft."
Looking ahead, the firm is cautious, projecting disappointing profits of $2.1 billion (vs. $2.4 billion consensus) on a 10-12 percent rise in equipment sales during its new fiscal year.
3) Guess? jumps 8 percent after handily topping Q3 earnings estimates ($0.75 vs. $0.59 consensus). Sales grew 17 percent (more than expected), with notable strength over in Asia and Europe. The momentum looks to continue into the fourth quarter; with the apparel retailer's outlook of $1.02-$1.06 coming in well ahead of the Street's $1.02 estimate.
Additionally, the firm is raising its quarterly dividend 25 percent to $0.20 per share and is declaring a special $2.00 dividend that will be paid out on December 23.
4) Bank of Ireland plunges 22 percent after the Financial Times reported that the Irish government plans to significantly increase its stake in the bank. The capital injection would be part of the broader EU/IMF rescue plan for the country, and would help improve the bank's tier one capital ratios, but could also cause the government's ownership in the bank to more than double from its current 36 percent stake.
5) BP trading up slightly as they announce a "significant" natural gas discovery in Egypt's West Nile delta.
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