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Pre-Market Primer: Jobless Claims Spike, Nokia Shares Jump on Lumia Sales


Shares are higher with earnings beats in the tech sector.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Futures are pointing toward a positive open after a few earnings beats and despite a seasonal spike in unemployment claims in the US.

Initial jobless claims rose by 34,000 last week to 386,000. The previous week's drop to 350,000 was attributed to a seasonal adjustment issue. Auto plants usually shut down to retool for the new year's car models at this time of year, but most plants stayed open. The less volatile four-week moving average fell by 2,000 to 375,000. At European debt auctions today, Spain's borrowing costs rose and French yields fell.

European and Asian markets both posted gains today and US index futures are pointing toward a higher open. Dow (^DJI) futures rose 0.32% to 12,901, S&P 500 (SPY) futures gained 0.36% to 1,372.20, and Nasdaq (^IXIC) futures are up 0.61% to 2,636.00.

A huge decline in trading revenue drove Morgan Stanley (MS) earnings below analyst estimates. The investment bank booked a profit of $591 million, or $0.29 per share in the second quarter, down from $1.19 billion or $0.38 per share last year. Over the course of the quarter, Morgan Stanley suffered a two-notch downgrade from Moody's, but a steeper cut was expected. Shares of the bank fell 5% in pre-market trading.

Nokia (NOK) shares rose more than 12% despite the company reporting a huge loss. The Finnish handset maker's loss widened to 1.41 billion euros from 368 billion euros in the previous quarter. Revenue also fell to 7.54 billion euros. The silver lining that Nokia investors are siezing on is the 4 million shipments of Lumia smartphones. Earlier this week, AT&T (T) cut the price of the phone in half to just $50, which might accelerate sales. Nokia's long-term debt has been reduced to junk and its market capitalization has fallen by 95 billion euros since the debut of the Apple (AAPL) iPhone in 2007.

IBM (IBM) delivered quarterly results of $3.9 billion in profits on $25.8 billion in revenue. Earnings per share rose 14% to $3.51, partly reflecting the roughly $17 billion in stock repurchases that the cash-rich company has made in the past year.

eBay (EBAY) shares are up more than 7% since the company reported better-than-expected earnings yesterday afternoon.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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