Morgan Stanley (MS), Verizon (VZ) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) are among the companies already out with earnings on busy day for earnings; both Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) will be reporting after the closing bell. Yahoo! Finance's Jeff Macke has more on the morning's biggest earnings reports in the video above.
Breaking news: weekly jobless claims which were released right as we started streaming live to you at 8:30. The Labor Department says there were 334,000 new claims. The consensus had been for about 344,000 claims. Keep in mind there was a sharp jump to 360-thousand claims last week, but that may have been due to the closing of some auto plants for the summer.
It's D-Day for Dell (DELL). Shareholders are supposed to vote this morning on a plan by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management to take the company private again. Success of the proposal seems more precarious than ever, with a new group of large investors voicing objection just last night. There's even been talk of delaying the vote. But the great disruptor Carl Icahn is pushing for the tally to take place today. Of course it's Icahn who has placed the entire proposal in jeopardy with his own counteroffers. To recap: Dell and Silverlake are offering $13.65 a share. Icahn's latest plan is to buy back shares at 14-dollars apiece and offer a warrant for every four shares held. Those warrants would entitle purchase of additional shares for 20-dollars within seven years. Today's vote is simply whether to accept or reject Dell's offer. Dell shares are down 4% over the last week and now sit below that $13.65 offer.
From one billionaire to another, Nelson Peltz has issued a Pepsi (PEP) challenge. Peltz is calling on the company to buy Kraft (KRFT) spinoff Mondelez (MDLZ) and then separate its own businesses into separate beverage and snackfood companies. Pepsi, for its part, doesn't like the plan, and wants to keep both businesses under one roof. Peltz has acuired more than a billion dollars in Pepsi and Mondelez since the start of the year. Pepsi stock moved up about a 1.5% yesterday on discussion of the plan. Shares of Mondelez climbed more than 2%.
STOCKS TO WATCH
Microsoft (MSFT) reports after the closing bell. The company is expected to post earnings of 75-cents a share up from 67 a year ago. Consensus is that revenue has also climbed more than $2 billion to $20.73 billion. But the picture isn't as rosy when you look at Microsoft's challenges. It has been experiencing weakness in both the business and Windows divisions. In addition, Microsoft's push further into hardware with the Surface tablet has been lackluster at best. Microsoft is up almost 30% year-to-date and hit a new 52-week high above $36 a share on Tuesday.
Google (GOOG) also reports earnings after the bell. The web giant is expected to post earnings of $10.78 a share up from $10.12 a year ago. The bigger difference is expected to be in revenue which has likely climbed 50% to almost $14.5 billion. Google not only continues to dominate in both search and online display ads. It is also increasingly a hardware company. Think Google Glass. Google shares are up 27% year-to-date. They've climbed 58% over the past year. Some analysts give it a price target above $1,000.
Intel (INTC) is down more than 3% following its earnings release after yesterday's closing bell. The numbers were pretty much in line with expectations: 39-cents a share on $12.8 billion in sales. But last year profits were 54-cents a share. Intel says it's suffering from declining computer sales and weakness in China. Moving forward, the company is now cutting its full-year revenue forecast and is scaling back capital spending. Shares of Intel are down 8% over the last year, though they have climbed 13% since the start of 2013.
eBay (EBAY) has been down more than 6% on its earnings. Here again, numbers were right on target with earnings per share of 63-cents on revenue of $3.88 billion. The problem is the company is warning of quote "headwinds" in the second half of the year, coming from Europe and Korea. eBay has been focusing on mobile shoppers, international expansion and partnerships with local physical stores. Shares of eBay are up 41% over the past year, but have underperformed the market in 2013, up 7%.
- Information Technology