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Pre-Market: Nokia Appoints New CEO; Twitter to Post Earnings After the Close

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The two-day FOMC meeting begins today.

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Stock futures were higher on Tuesday morning. Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures rose 0.29% to 16,445. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were up 0.33% to 1,871.10. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved higher, rising 0.39% to 3,554.50.

Stocks

Earnings season continues today, with Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), and BP (NYSE:BP) having all delivered earnings overnight. Samsung reported its second straight decline in quarterly profits thanks to sluggish flatscreen panel sales and a maturing high-end smartphone business. As expected, Nokia appointed Rajeev Suri -- who has run the network unit for four years -- as its new CEO. The company plans to spend $6.9 billion on dividends, share buybacks, and debt reduction following the sale of its mobile-phone business to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). BP earnings fell 23.5% year-on-year, however the $3.2 billion earned did beat analyst forecasts. Shares of Nokia were up 5.41% in pre-market trading. BP rose 1.75%.

After the closing bell, a slew of companies including Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), and Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) report earnings. Twitter has much to prove in its first post-IPO quarter as shares have fallen 33% since the company went public last fall. Last quarter, Twitter saw new users grow by a thoroughly disappointing 9 million users. Mike Isaac, writing for Re/code, illustrates the other half of the picture:

The good news: The revenue side of the business is doing well so far. Twitter revenue was higher than expected last quarter, and the company is getting more money from each person using Twitter. Analysts expect a loss of three cents per share on revenue of $241 million, the latter number up about 110% compared to the same period last year....But again, that revenue growth will eventually hit a ceiling as long as Twitter's user growth continues to slow.
  
Banco Santander (NYSE:SAN), the eurozone's biggest bank, is taking steps to acquire the remaining 25% stake in Banco Santander Brazil that it does not already own. The deal could be worth as much as $6.5 billion. Meanwhile, the Spanish lender reported an 8% rise in first-quarter profits as economic conditions improved and the company paid fewer charges for bad loans. Shares of Santander were up 1.02% in pre-market trading.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba continues to prepare for its upcoming initial public offering with the acquisition of an 18.5% stake in a company called Touku Tuduo, popularly referred to as China's YouTube (NASDAQ:GOOG). Alibaba's IPO is slated to be the largest ever.

The Economy

The two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting kicks off today, with policymakers expected to announce an additional $10 billion cut in monthly bond purchases, bringing down total purchases to $45 billion. The Fed is expected to end bond purchases this fall.

Warm weather helped drive same-store retail sales up 1.6% last week according to the ICSC-Goldman store sales reading. At 8:55 a.m., Redbook chain-store sales will complement this ICSC-Goldman reading. At 9:00 a.m., the S&P Case-Shiller 20-city home price index will be released. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index and the State Street consumer confidence index will both be released at 10:00 a.m. At 1:00 p.m., expect the results of the $15 billion 2-year FRN note auction.

Global Markets

Asian stocks for the most part moved higher overnight, rebounding off of a three-week low. In China, 30 out of 31 provinces and municipalities missed lowered growth targets in the first quarter while income inequality in the world's second-largest economy surpassed the United States'. In Europe, stocks moved higher as gold and bonds declined. The European Union revealed its latest round of sanctions against Russia. Meanwhile EU regulators unveiled the details of their bank stress test. In the UK, GDP grew at its fastest rate in six years.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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