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Pre-Market: BlackBerry Surprises With Narrower Than Expected Loss; Global Stocks Rally on Low US Interest Rates


Facebook's website crashed and recovered earlier this morning.

Stock futures pointed toward a mixed open on Thursday morning. Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures rose 0.01% to 16,816. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved higher, rising 0.05% to 3,797.75.  Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were down 0.2% to 1,948.70.


BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) beat estimates with a narrower reported loss than analysts expected as the company cut costs in the face of declining sales. BlackBerry lost only $0.11 per share, compared to analysts estimates of $0.25, with sales reaching $966 million in the first quarter. CEO John Chen, who took the helm last November, is aiming to make BlackBerry profitable by the fiscal year ending in 2016. Chen's cost-cutting measures have included cutting jobs, selling most of the company's property holdings in Canada, and relocating production to Foxconn (OTCMKTS:FXCOF) in China. Shares of BlackBerry rose 8.69% in pre-market trading.

In other earnings-related news, Sony (NYSE:SNE) CEO Kazuo Hirai apologized to investors at the company's annual meeting after Sony forecast a sixth annual loss in seven years. Since Hirai become CEO in 2012, Sony has lost $831 million. Another $49 billion in losses are expected this year. Hirai is banking on further restructuring efforts, new films in the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, a new line of smartphones, and a boost in PS4 sales in China to help turn the company around. Shares of Sony rose 2.94% ahead of the opening bell.

Rolls Royce Holdings (OTCMKTS:RYCEY) is planning a  $1.7 billion share buyback, the first ever from the London-based jet engine maker. The company is planning to pass on the profits from the sale of its industrial gas turbine business to Siemens (OTCMKTS:SIEGY) for $1.3 billion. The buyback comes after a year and a half of rocky waters for the company, including investigations by the US and UK governments into bribery allegations, the failed acquisition of a Finnish Marine engine business, and a warning that sales this year would shrink for the first time in 10 years.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) went down inexplicably for about half an hour this morning, citing an unspecified issued that has now been fixed. The crash is believed to have happened just before 4 a.m. The temporary crash was apparently global, with tweets indicating outages in the US, India, Germany, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and more. Facebook was down 0.20% in pre-market trading.


Initial jobless claims decreased by 6,000 to 312,000 in the week ending June 14. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 jobless claims to 318,000. At 9:45 a.m., Bloomberg releases its monthly consumer comfort index. The Philly Fed business outlook will be released at 10:30 a.m., and the EIA natural gas inventory will follow shortly after at 1:30 p.m. The Federal Reserve will release its balance sheet and the money supply at 4:30 p.m.

Global Markets

Asian stocks hit a six-year high after the Federal Reserve said interest rates would continue to remain low as the country rebounds. In China, Premier Li Keqiang was adamant the country would reach its 7.5% minimum growth target this year and said there would be no "hard landing," which added to positive sentiment in the region. Crude oil future rose in Asia overnight after US stockpile dropped by 579,000 and conflict in Iraq continued. In Japan, manufacturer confidence remained unchanged from May at positive 19, suggesting that the effects of the country's April sales tax hike on the economy won't be as pronounced as some believe. In Europe, stocks rallied on continued low US interest rates, while eurozone bond yields fell. In the UK, May retail sales declined 0.5%, the first monthly drop in the past four months. In the Ukraine, fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops continued, as newly elected Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko's plan for peace has yet to be realized.  

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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