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Pre-Market: Procter & Gamble Beats Estimates; Chinese Manufacturing Declines for a Fourth Month

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After the closing bell, Apple, Facebook, and Qualcomm report earnings.

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Stock futures pointed toward a lower open on Wednesday morning as investors weighed results from companies like AT&T (NYSE:T) and Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) ahead of earning season's busiest day yet. Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures fell 0.04% to 16,452. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were down 0.13% to 1,871.50. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved lower, falling 0.18% to 3,578.50.

Stocks

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) saw $2.61 billion in profits in its third quarter, a rise of 1.7%. This is compared to the $2.57 billion Procter & Gamble made a year earlier. However P&G's $1.04 EPS beat analyst estimates of $1.02 EPS. The Cincinnati-based company, which is the world's largest consumer-products maker, struggled to grow sales in the US, however emerging markets helped boost revenue. Shares of Procter & Gamble fell 0.55% in pre-market trading.

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) saw sales of its new hepatitis C drug Sovaldi grow to $2.27 billion in the first quarter, beating analysts expectations by roughly $1 billion. Gilead's overall earnings also widely beat estimates; the company reported a profit of $1.48 per share over a $0.56 estimate. In a note to clients, analyst Mark Schoenebaum called the introduction of Gilead's Sovaldi the best drug introduction in history, reports Reuters. Gilead rose 3.66% ahead of today's open.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) produced 161 new airplanes in the first three months of the year, helping the company post a $965 million profit. However, net income sunk 12.7% from last year's $1.1 billion profit. In other airplane manufacturing news, Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) won a $12 billion contract from Australia to build 58 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets. Shares of Boeing were up 2.74% in pre-market trading. Lockheed rose 0.81%.  

Investors are anticipating a number of tech company earnings set to arrive after today's closing bell, including those from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).

The Economy

Markit's US Purchaser's Manufacturing Index, which arrives at 9:00 a.m., and US new home sales, due at 10:00 a.m., are today's big economic indicators. MBA mortgage applications were reported earlier this morning; they fell back 3% last week. The refinancing index fell 4% last week. Later today, the results of the $35 billion 5-year note auction will be released at 1:00 p.m.

Global Markets

While Japanese stocks rose overnight, the remaining Asian markets saw sell-offs. In China, stocks declined after the HSBC/Markit Chinese PMI showed China's manufacturing activity contracted for a fourth month, and the yuan touched 16-month low. European stocks moved lower, too, despite the eurozone PMI showing that business activity grew last month, heading toward a three-year high. The UK government reported its deficit fell to its lowest level since the start of the financial crisis. Portugal sold roughly $1 billion in 10-year government bonds at a yield of 3.575%, marking a significant turnaround for the once economically depressed European country.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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