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Pre-Market: Twitter Hikes IPO Price; Futures Rise on GDP, European Rate Cut


A positive GDP report strengthened the rally.

Stock futures jumped this morning after the European Central Bank announced it will cut its key interest rate to fight deflation.

The ECB surprised investors today when it cut its benchmark refinance rate to a record low of 0.25% from 0.5%. The move is intended to fight deflation. The eurozone's consumer price inflation has been consistently below the target of 2%. The Bank of England opted to leave its policy rate unchanged at 0.5%.

The euro fell by more than 1% in dollar terms today to $1.3371. Wall Street also rallied. After hitting a record high yesterday, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.53% at 15,766.00 while futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.42% to 1,773.00. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures climbed 0.28% to 3,385.50.

US economic data also lifted stocks. Gross domestic product in the third quarter rose to 2.8% annual growth, according to the government's initial message. Economists expected 2% growth following the second quarter's 2.5%. Initial claims for unemployment insurance were just slightly higher than forecast last week. The level of new claims fell by 9,000 to 336,000.

On the corporate front, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) will go public today on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:NYX). Yesterday, the company and its underwriters priced the IPO higher than expected at $26 per share, giving the Web service a value of $18 billion. Only 70 million shares will be up for grabs on the public market.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) shares fell 4.2% after its earnings announcement. The chipmaker said that profit rose to $0.86 per share from $0.73 per share a year ago, thanks to royalties from its CDMA technology and supplying components for smartphones including the iPhone (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) Galaxy S4. However, the company expects slower growth for the 2014 fiscal year.

Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) shares dropped 9.1% despite reporting that earnings were up 7.1% in the quarter that ended in September. The supermarket chain had a record profit of $121 million or $0.32 per share. Revenue rose 2.2% to $2.98 billion and comparable store sales rose 5.5%. Its outlook for the full fiscal year, however was cut to $1.65-$1.69 per share, lower than analyst expectations.

After the closing bell today, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) will both report earnings.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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