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Pre-Market Primer: Jobless Claims, Durable Goods Beat Estimates; UK Recession Ends

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Apple and Amazon earnings are on tap this afternoon.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Stocks are set to open higher today after initial jobless claims and durable goods orders came in better than expected, and the UK pulled itself out of recession.
Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures rose 0.47% to 13,082.00, S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures rose 0.56% to 1,413.10. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) gained 0.65% to 2,667.75. Yesterday, a round of lackluster earnings sent the indices downward and the Federal Reserve said that it will stay the course for its quantitative easing stimulus program. European and Asian stocks rallied today. Speculation of increased monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan drove Japanese stocks higher.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 369,000 last week after hitting 388,000 in the week earlier. Economists predicted 372,000 claims.
A separate report showed that orders for durable goods rose 9.9% in September after falling 13.1% in August, beating estimates of a 7% increase. Data on pending home sales in September, expected to rise 2.5%, will be released at 10:00 a.m.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will report third quarter earnings results this afternoon after trading hours end. The company is expected to report earnings of $8.85 per share, up from $7.05 a year ago. Ahead of the company's results, analysts have revised down their forecasts in light of CEO Tim Cook's comments about weaker-than-expected iPad sales and supply holdups that forced customers to defer purchasing iPhones.
Apple just unveiled a smaller iPad that can cannibalize sales of Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire. Amazon is expected to swing to another loss as it invests in long-term growth and market share. The online bookseller is expected to report a loss of $0.08 on $13.93 billion in sales.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) met Wall Street's expectations, earning $1.06 per share in its fiscal third quarter, a 5% improvement over the year-earlier period. Revenue, however, fell 4% to $20.7 billion. Foreign exchange movements negatively impacted the company's sales by 6%.
Britain's third quarter GDP was an upside surprise, but one that Prime Minister David Cameron almost gave away. The UK economy just climbed out of its double-digit recession, officially. The economy grew by 1%, the fastest growth since 2007, but temporary factors such as bounceback following the Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee celebration contributed about 0.7%. Industrial output and services both grew by more than 1%, offsetting a decline in construction spending. Economists say that this factor should have resulted in 0.7% growth, so this indicates some real growth for the country. Industrial output and services both grew by more than 1%, offsetting a decline in construction spending.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister almost spoiled it when he said, "The good news is going to keep coming." Those who read into that were not wrong.

Bloomberg reported today that major companies are firing workers at the fastest pace in two years.The news organization said that firings totaled 158,100 this year. Since Sept. 1, North American companies got rid of 62,000 positions at home and abroad, the worst two-month drop since early 2010.
Former Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) director Rajat Gupta received a sentence of two years in prison and a $5 million fine for colluding with Galleon Group's Raj Rajaratnam. Gupta fed Rajaratnam insider information which the latter traded on.
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