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Pre-Market Primer: Stocks Hit Another Milestone; China Trade Surges

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But there is some reason to question China's trade surplus report.

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After breaching another milestone on Tuesday, it appears that US stocks will have another upbeat day as Chinese trade data shows an improvement.

China reported that exports rose 14.7% and imports rose 16.8% from the year before in April. This data calms fears that China's growth is cooling. The report sent stocks in Japan and Hong Kong higher. However, some analysts including Zhiwei Zhang of Nomura are treating the data with suspicion. Zhang writes (via Business Insider) that the exports to destinations like Hong Kong are being over-invoiced to get around the mainland's capital controls, and the two extra business days in April contributed to the upside surprise.

German industrial output beat expectations, rising 1.2% month-over month in March, echoing yesterday's better-than-expected factory orders report.

After a mixed session on Monday, US stock indices are pointing toward a higher open today. After breaking 15,000 for the first time in history, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are up 0.05% at 14,990. The S&P (INDEXSP:.INX) also broke records yesterday, and futures are up 0.04% to 1,621.20. Futures on the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) index were up 0.09% at 2,949.25. No major economic data for the US is scheduled for today.

Disney (NYSE:DIS) reported a 32% rise in profit in its fiscal second quarter, exceeding expectations. The media company earned $0.83 per share.

The weaker yen helped Toyota (NYSE:TM) more than triple its profits from last year, and it forecasts a further 42% rise in the fiscal year ending in March 2014. The automaker had a net profit of $3.17 billion.

Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) shares rose 8.3% in the pre-market today after announcing a 2 for 1 stock split and reporting strong earnings. Net income for the upmarket grocery store rose to $142 million, or $0.76 per share. Whole Foods also said that it expects to earn more than previously estimated in fiscal 2013.

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) is projected to post its first-ever profit after the bell today. Analysts expect to see earnings of $0.04 on $492 million in revenue as the Model S went on sale in the past quarter.

Also after the bell, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) will report its first earnings since ousting founder Andrew Mason. Analysts expect $0.03 in earnings on $588.92 in revenue.

Superstar hedge fund managers will meet investors at the Ira Sohn conference in New York today.


Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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