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Pre-Market: Sprint Shares Climb on Subscriber Growth; Stocks Set to Rise Ahead of Yellen Testimony


Rackspace profits fall 30% on costs.

After posting modest gains on Monday, stocks are poised to rise again today ahead of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's first testimony before Congress.

Before the opening bell, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.34% to 15,795. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures rose 0.34% to 1,800.80 and futures on the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) gained 0.37% to 3,590.75.

Sprint (NYSE:S) shares rose 5.75% in early trading after the mobile carrier posted better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter. Sprint netted 682,000 customers, bringing its total subscriber base to 53.9 million, its highest level yet. It ended the quarter with a per-share loss of $0.26, which was $0.07 better than anticipated. Sales rose to $9.14 billion, also beating analyst estimates.

Shares of the General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) rose 0.6% in pre-market trading after the company reported that sales in China rose 12% to 348,000 in January. It's rival Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM) reported that its business in China is beginning to recover from the damage wrought by political tensions in the region. Toyota sales in the country rose 18% to 85,600.

Shares of Rackspace Hosting, Inc (NYSE:RAX) plummeted 11.5% this morning after it announced yesterday that its CEO will quit, and profits dropped 30% on costs in the third quarter. Earnings per share fell to $0.14 from $0.21 a year earlier, though revenue was up 16% at $408 million. CEO Lanham Napier will be succeeded by Chairman Graham Weston, who led the company from 1999 to 2006.

CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS) reported that profit rose more than 12% in the fourth quarter. The second largest drugstore chain saw earnings per share rise to $1.12 per share, beating estimates by a penny. Revenue rose 5% to $32.83 billion. Shares rose 1% after the earnings announcement.

The biggest market-moving news today is likely to come from Janet Yellen's testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. In her first report as Chairwoman, she is likely to reaffirm the central bank's plans for paring its asset purchasing program. However, any hint that the Fed might choose to wind down quantitative easing at a slower pace after the recent disappointing jobs reports could rattle the markets.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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