There may be an end in sight to the Cyprus crisis. The European Central Bank is now imposing a deal deadline on the tiny island nation. As of this morning, the E.C.B. says it will cut off emergency funding to Cyprus on Monday unless there's a bailout plan in place. Meanwhile, Cyprus is taking a two-pronged approach. Its President is presenting a new plan to international lenders. At the same time, the country's finance minister is in Russia, hoping to find money there.
Eleventh-hour developments to report in the play to take Dell (DELL) private. Reuters reports the Blackstone Group has been talking to Oracle (ORCL) President Mark Hurd, to see if he'd have interest in running the company. Dell suitors have until tomorrow to initiate counter-offers to a current buyout plan.
Speaking of Oracle, its shares are down 8% in premarket trading. The company reported earnings yesterday afternoon which missed estimates. Oracle is blaming its sales staff for declines in both its hardware and software businesses.
Google (GOOG) announced this morning that YouTube now has 1-billion users every month. Google bought YouTube for $1.7 billion dollars six years ago. At the time the site had between 30 and 40 million monthly users. The company claims YouTube could in fact become a bigger social network than Facebook.
STOCKS TO WATCH
KB Home (KBH) is reporting earnings this morning. This company hit its 52-week high yesterday. The climb came as competitor Lennar (LEN) released its quarterly report and said earnings tripled from the same period a year ago. Lennar's shares were up nearly 5% yesterday. KB's rose about half that much. By the way we get numbers on existing homes sales today at 10-am.
As if we haven't already seen enough from Lululemon (LULU) these past few days, the company is out this morning with quarterly earnings. Shares are up on news that Lulu made 75-cents a share. That's a one-cent beat. But keep in mind, this report does not cover Lulu's recent troubles. Earlier this week the store removed many of its stretchy pants from store shelves, because they were too transparent. The stock has been down about 10% in the past five days.
Investors have lots to question about Guess (GES). Shares have been down more than 6% in premarket trading. Guess came out with its earnings after yesterday's closing bell. The company made 85-cents a share missing estimates by 3-cents. Guess says it has been forced to offer more discounts because of weakness in Europe and a drop in store traffic here.
Williams-Sonoma (WSM) is really cooking. Shares hit an all-time high yesterday, climbing more than 10%. The jump occurred after the company reported its earnings after the bell on Tuesday. Net income jumped 9% to $1.34 a share. That beat estimates by 5-cents. The stock price has been on a steady climb since last July. Williams-Sonoma operates five different chains including Pottery Barn and West Elm.