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Pre-Market Primer: Stocks Rebound Ahead of Tech Earnings; Jobless Claims Rise


Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and others report today.

After yesterday's sell-off, stocks are set to rise as investors process corporate earnings and an uptick in jobless claims.

Before the opening bell, futures pointed toward a modest rise on the major equities indices. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are up 0.30% at 14,597 and S&P (INDEXSP:.INX) futures rose 0.35% to 1,552.00. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures advanced 0.41% to 2,786.75.

Jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week. Initial claims totaled 352,000. This is 4,000 more than the previous week's upwardly revised number. Economists expected a reading of 347,000 claims.

Earnings season kicks into high gear today. Before the market open, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) reported earnings per share of $0.61, beating earnings expectations by a nickel. Shares of the investment bank fell however, as core businesses such as fixed income trading declined.

PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) also beat expectations by $0.06 with EPS of $0.77 as gross margins improved.

Today will be a big one for the high-tech sector as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) all report earnings. Google is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $10.69 as the search market grew and the cost per click increased. Analysts expect Microsoft to grow profits by $0.08 per share to $0.68 as companies trade in older computers.

Verizon's earnings call will provide investors with clues on Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone sales in the quarter. Expecting an ugly quarter, shareholders sold off Apple yesterday, sending the share price down 5.5%. Verizon is expected to report $0.66 per share of profit.

Despite the government's efforts to cool the housing market, Chinese home prices heated up in March, rising 3.6% year-over-year, up from a 2.1% rise in February. Of the 70 cities in the index, 68 reported price increases.

The German Bundestag approved the bailout of Cyprus and extended loans to Ireland and Portugal.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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