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Pre-Market Primer: Jobless Claims Dive; Google Inc, Microsoft Corporation Earnings on Deck


Ben Bernanke meets the Senate Banking Committee today.

Futures are higher this morning as earnings season continues and Ben Bernanke gives his second congressional testimony.

Stock indices rose yesterday as the Fed Chairman told representatives that tapering off asset purchases is not a "present" plan for the central bank. Bernanke will testify again, this time before the Senate Banking Committee.

Weekly jobless claims in the US fell more than expected last week. A total of 334,000 people filed for unemployment, after 358,000 the week before. Economists expected 344,000 claims.

US stock futures are mixed ahead of the opening bell. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are up 0.01% to 15,441 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.08% to 1,677.00 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures fell 0.11% to 3,075.50.

A rash of prominent companies report second-quarter results today. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) booked a 66% rise in earnings that beat estimates. Adjusted earnings were $0.45 per share as its trading and wealth management arms improved. Revenue also beat estimates at $8.32 billion. Shares rose 4.9% this morning.

A bevy of tech companies report earnings today. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) plunged 3% after reporting that revenue fell 24% to 5.7 billion euros in the last quarter.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) could see heavy trading today before they report profits at the end of the trading session. Google is likely to report EPS of $10.78 on $14.45 billion in revenue, up from $10.12 and $9.61 billion a year ago. Over the quarter, the company acquired Waze, a mapping startup, for $1.1 billion and started a music-streaming service.

Wall Street expects Microsoft to earn $0.75 per share on $20.73 billion. In the earnings call, expect questions about the recent corporate reorganization and news of a pickup in Windows 8 shipments.

After reporting yesterday, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) shares are down 3.3%. The chipmaker missed revenue estimates and reduced its full-year outlook based on declining PC sales and slowing growth in China.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) reported that net profit fell 17%, but it has promised better days ahead. The tech company earned an adjusted earnings of $3.91 per share on $24.92 billion, missing forecasts, but the company rose full-year earnings guidance to $16.90 per share. IBM's stock price rose 1.5%.

Global shares are also a mixed bag today. European stocks are up only slightly.

Despite protests, the Greek government narrowly voted in favor of austerity measures that would lay off 15,000 public sector workers by the end of the year, including teachers.

Eurozone current account surplus narrowed to 19.6 billion in May from 23.8 billion in April. Retail sales in the UK rose 2.2% year-over year in June, beating expectations.

Japanese stocks fell as the yen weakened.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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