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Pre-Market Primer: Carl Icahn Is Bullish on Apple; Eurozone Emerges From Recession

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Housing indicators and Macy's earnings are on tap for today.

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Stocks are mixed this morning after key European countries announced that they have returned to growth.

France and Germany, the two biggest engines of the eurozone, returned to growth from contraction in the second quarter, according to preliminary flash estimates. France recorded 0.3% year-over-year growth, beating expectations of a 0.1% decline. In the first three months of the year, the economy shrank 0.4% from 2012. On a quarterly basis, France grew 0.5%. After shrinking 0.2% in the first three months of 2013, Germany grew 0.5% in the June quarter over the year before, also beating estimates.

Taken as a whole, the eurozone still shrank 0.7% from the year before, but grew 0.3% on the quarter. This better-than-expected news is raising hope that the the 18-month Euro recession is behind us. Spain still declined 1.7% year-over-year, and Italy shrank 2%, but Major European indices rallied, with Germany's DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) rising 0.12% and France's CAC (INDEXEURO:PX1) up 0.33%.

US stock index futures are slightly lower this morning. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were off 0.12% to 15,393 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) slipped 0.12% to 1,688.70. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures rose 0.04% to 3,138.25.

This morning, the US reported that producer prices neither increased nor decreased over the month of July. Economists expected prices to increase by 0.3%. The price of goods at the factory gates rose just 0.1%, excluding food and energy.

The US gets some more economic data later in the morning. At 10:00 a.m., the National Association of Homebuilders' Housing Market Index is expected to print at 56 for August, one point below July's level.

Macy's (NYSE:M) will report second quarter profits after the bell, kicking off a week of consumer retail earnings reports. Analysts expect the company to earn $0.79 per share, up $0.12 from the year earlier. Revenue is likely to rise to $628 billion from $612 billion.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares continued to rise 1.3% in the pre-market after gaining 4.75% yesterday. Activist investor Carl Icahn revealed yesterday that he owns $1.5 billion in Apple shares. He said that even without earnings growth, the company is worth $685 per share since it can borrow so cheaply to repurchase shares.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) shares are down slightly. Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways said that it found yet another fault in the Dreamliner 787. ANA is investigating whether bad wiring may have caused a fire extinguisher malfunction.

Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) shares advanced 0.82% this morning after the agricultural equipment company raised its full-year projection for 2013 profits thanks to better tractor sales in Brazil. For the third fiscal quarter, Deere earned $2.56 per share, beating estimates by $0.39.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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