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Pre-Market Primer: Jobless Claims Fall Again, Greece Passes Critical Reforms

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Greece will not run out of money next week.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Following a sharp sell-off yesterday, stock futures are set to rebound today after jobless claims beat expectations.

Before the opening bell, the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) was up 0.38% to 12,912.00. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.IND) futures rose 0.37% to 1,394.20 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures climbed 0.34% to 2,619.00.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 355,000 from 363,000 last week. There were no revisions in the previous week's figures. Last week, Hurricane Sandy shut down most of the East coast, so would-be claimants will probably be filing for unemployment this week. We will see next Thursday if claims spike this week .

A separate report showed that the US trade deficit narrowed in September. The trade deficit fell 5% to $41.5 billion from $44.2 billion. Economists expected the trade deficit to have widened to $45.4 billion.

Siemans (NYSE:SI) shares rose after it reported better-than-expected earnings, though profits fell 2%. Management expects the bellwether company to earn 4.5-5 billion euros this year, down from 5.18 billion euros. The company plans to slash costs by 6 billion euros over the next fiscal year.

JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) rose 1.68% after the company reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the bank's use of mortgage-backed securities. The SEC's investigation concerned some of Bear Stearns' actions during the housing bubble. JP Morgan Chase bought Bear Stearns in 2008.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) shares rose 7.53% after it forecasted revenue and profits for the current quarter above analyst estimates. The mobile phone chip company will earn $0.90-$0.98 per share.

Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) shares rose 2.88% after showing a 53% rise in profit for the third quarter. Adjusting earnings per share was $0.15. Analysts expected $0.08 per share.

European stocks rose today after Greece's Parliament narrowly passed labor reforms, thus clinching its next round of aid. The bill that passed, which was approved by 150 of the chamber's 300 members, cuts pensions, wages, and benefits for public workers. If this vote failed, the country would have run out of money completely next Friday. It also came out today that Greece's unemployment rate rose to 25.4% in August from 24.8%, placing it right behind Spain.

In a third economic upset this week, Germany's exports tumbled in September. The country's trade surplus fell 1.3 billion euros to 17 billion euros. Imports fell by 1.6% and exports fell 2.5%. France's trade deficit narrowed to 5 billion euros from 5.3 billion euros.

The ECB left rates unchanged today, as did the Bank of England. The British central bank said that it will stop its quantitative easing program. The central bank does not plan on buying bonds beyond the 375 billion pounds that it has already bought.

China's leadership-changing pageantry has begun in Beijing. President Hu Jintao named Xi Jinpeng as his successor and announced a goal of doubling per-capita income over the next ten years. China's leadership changes once every ten years. The People's Bank of China said that China will meet or surpass the 7.5% GDP growth target for this year.


Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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