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 Post subject: May 7th Thursday 2009
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:06 pm
Posts: 3571
Location: Canada
Today's trades that were posted in real-time in #FuturesTrades chat room via my IRC user name NihabaAshi. You can review each trade from entry to exit along with commentary and an occasional trading tip because its all archived @

My Trading Performance: +28.00 Emini ES points

"Today's strong trend was expected with the ECB rate announcements, yesterday's leak of some earlier information about the banks stress tests, today's expected public announcement about the banks stress tests after the close and the 0830am est Employment Situation economic report.

Yet, as always, let the trade signals (long or short) determine what direction we think the trend will go.

I did just that via seeing several short signals via the Volatility Trading Report (VTR) although I was initially confused by my WRB Analysis in the first trade of the day."


Wall Street Slips Ahead Of Stress Tests
Stocks retreat as investors take a breather from a two-month rally and get ready for bank report cards.
By Alexandra Twin, senior writer
Last Updated: May 7, 2009: 4:57 PM ET

NEW YORK ( -- Stocks tumbled Tuesday afternoon, as investors took a step back ahead of the release of the results of the government's stress tests of the nation's banks.

Wall Street was also backpedaling after a more than two-month rally that boosted the S&P 500 by 36%.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 102 points, or 1.2%. The S&P 500 (SPX) index lost 12 points, or 1.3%. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) fell 43 points, or 2.4%.

The recent advance has been fueled by the "fast money, day trader guys" and that will probably continue to boost stocks in the short run, said Joseph Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading. But longer term, he said he doesn't think the rally has anything fundamental to stand on.

The explanation for the rally has been that the pace of the slowdown is easing. But Saluzzi doesn't believe there have really been a lot of signs of that, besides hints of housing bottoming in some of the hardest-hit areas.

"If you are in a basement, you can't dig much lower," he said. "I think people jumped the gun here."

Saluzzi said Friday's April jobs report is bound to be a bad number and that the stress test findings out Thursday may show the banking sector is in worse shape than the leaked, early results have indicated -- all of which could lead to a bigger pull back.

Banks: The government was due to release the results of the tests of the nation's banks around 5 p.m. ET. Regulators have been testing to see that the 19 biggest banks have enough money on hand to withstand a potential bigger downturn in the economy.

At least half the banks will reportedly have to raise more money. Reports Wednesday said Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) may need to raise an extra $34 billion.

Sources told CNN Thursday that Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) and GMAC will also need to raise more money.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), American Express (AXP, Fortune 500), Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) and Bank of New York Mellon (BK, Fortune 500) were reportedly among the banks that won't need to raise more money.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said late Wednesday in a TV interview that none of the 19 banks are in danger of going under.

Speaking Thursday morning, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talked about ways to improve oversight of the banking system so as to avoid future crises. He said a "holistic approach" was necessary and that regulators have to track individual banks and the system as a whole to manage risk.

Bernanke also said that the stress tests would boost regulation.

After the close Thursday, AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) reported a quarterly loss of 97 cents per share versus a loss of $1.41 a year ago. Analysts thought AIG would report a loss of 6 cents per share. Shares fell nearly 7% in extended-hours trading.

Economy: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment fell to 601,000 last week from a revised 635,000 the prior week, the Labor Department reported. The figure marked a 3-month low. Economists surveyed by expected 635,000 claims.

Continuing claims, the number of people receiving benefits for a week or more, rose to 6.35 million, the 14th straight record high.

Another government report showed first-quarter productivity rose 0.8% after falling 0.6% in the previous month. Economists thought it would rise 0.6%. Unit labor costs rose 3.3% in the first quarter after rising 5.7% in the previous quarter. Economists thought costs would rise 2.7%.

Consumer credit plunged $11.1 billion in March after rising $8.1 billion in the previous month. Economists expected it to fall $4 billion.

Retailers: No. 1 retailer Wal-Mart Stores (WMT, Fortune 500) posted better-than-expected sales in April, but the overall retail picture remained mixed as consumer spending was tepid in a recessionary period.

Wal-Mart said same-store sales rose 5% in April, versus forecasts for a rise of 2.8%. Same-store sales is a retail metric referring to sales at stores open a year or more.

Children's Place (PLCE) reported a 5% rise versus forecasts for no change. Shares rose 10.6%.

Teen clothing retailer Hot Topic (HOTT) reported sales rose 3.1% versus a forecast for a rise of 7%. Shares plunged 19.6%.

Company news: General Motors (GM, Fortune 500), struggling to stay afloat, said it lost $6 billion in the first quarter or $9.66 per share. However, analysts were expecting an even bigger loss.

Late Wednesday, Cisco Systems (CSCO, Fortune 500) reported quarterly sales and earnings that fell from a year ago but still topped estimates. The company also said it sees signs of a turnaround.

Dow telecoms AT&T (T, Fortune 500) and Verizon Communications (VZ, Fortune 500) both slipped after JPMorgan Chase downgraded them.

Chipmakers led the tech decliners, with Intel (INTC, Fortune 500), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD, Fortune 500) and Broadcom (BRCM, Fortune 500) all slumping.

Market breadth was negative. On the New York Stock Exchange, losers topped winners by almost two to one on volume of 1.97 billion shares. On the Nasdaq, decliners topped advancers two to one on volume of 3.27 billion shares.

Bonds: Treasury prices fell, raising the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to 3.32% from 3.14% Wednesday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Other markets: In global trading, Asian markets ended higher. European markets ended mixed.

In currency trading, the dollar fell versus the euro and gained against the yen.

U.S. light crude oil for June delivery rose 36 cents to settle at $56.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

COMEX gold for June delivery rose $4.50 to settle at $915.50 an ounce.


Yahoo! Finance

4:30 pm : Inspired by a downturn in initial jobless claims and strength in financials, stocks started the session with strong gains, but profit takers stomped out the early advance to send the major indices lower. The selling effort snowballed as disappointing Treasury auction results hit news wires.

Though its stay in positive territory was short-lived, the stock market climbed to an early gain of 1%. The upbeat tone was supported by news that initial jobless claims for the week ending May 2 totaled 601,000, which is less than expected and down from the preceding week. That helped fit the argument that economic conditions are bottoming, even though it doesn't appear that it has become any easier to find a job -- continuing claims climbed to a new record of 6.35 million, which was in-line with expectations.

In other economic news, a preliminary reading of nonfarm productivity showed a 0.8% increase for the first quarter, but that was mostly due to reduced work hours.

Financials lent their support to the stock market's early advance by climbing more than 3.5% higher. However, participants quickly moved against the sector and caused it to close with a 3.5% loss. The swing came as participants prepare for the government's bank stress tests, which are scheduled to be released at 5:00 PM ET. Most of the government's findings have already been leaked, so the announcement shouldn't cause too much of a shock. However, officially announcing the results should help remove an element of uncertainty from the market.

Tech stocks (-3.2%), which represent the largest sector in the S&P 500 by market weight, also traded with material weakness. Despite better-than-expected earnings and an upside revenue outlook from Cisco (CSCO 18.95, -0.66), the company was a primary laggard. It and other large-cap tech holdings dragged the Nasdaq 100 to a 2.4% loss. Meanwhile, semiconductors fell 5.9%.

Without the support of tech stocks and financial stocks, the stock market was unable to resist sellers' efforts. Those efforts intensified as Treasuries fell out of favor following a $14 billion 30-year Bond auction, which failed to offer investors the yield that was desired. The results suggested that investors are less willing to invest in the government's debt at its offered rate. The 30-year Bond shed 89 ticks, which lifted its yield to 4.27%. The benchmark 10-year Note lost 36 ticks, which pushed its yield to 3.31%, a high for this year.

The broad-based selling effort sent shares of retailers 1.3% lower, even though many retailers reported monthly same-store sales results that were generally better than expected. Wal-Mart (WMT 49.89, +0.38) reported that same-store sales increased 5.0% for April, but indicated it will no longer provide monthly sales results going forward. Wal-Mart also issued downside revenue guidance for the first quarter.

There were some areas of strength, however. Consumer staples stocks (+0.4%), utilities (+0.6%), and health care stocks (+2.5%) managed to advance. The outsized gains by health care stocks came with help from managed health care providers (+8.1%).

Trading volume reached its highest level in more than one month with nearly 2 billion shares exchanging hands on the big board.DJ30 -102.43 NASDAQ -42.86 NQ100 -2.4% R2K -2.4% SP400 -2.5% SP500 -12.14 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 847/2.78 bln/1839 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1063/1.97 bln/2010

3:35 pm : Natural gas prices came under a bout of selling pressure after the latest batch of weekly inventory data showed a larger-than-expected build. However, prices were able to recover and finish with a gain of 5.1% at $4.09 per contract.

Crude oil temporarily surrendered its early gains by falling into the red. Crude was able to rally into the close of pit trading and finish the session with a 0.5% gain at $58.57 per barrel.

Precious metals continue to attract interest. Gold settled at $915.50 per ounce, up 0.5%. Silver finished at $14.03 per ounce, up 2.3%. DJ30 -147.19 NASDAQ -55.89 SP500 -17.68 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 770/2.46 bln/1918 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 936/1.53 bln/2123

3:00 pm : Losses continue to snowball, giving the stock market its worst single-session loss by percent since dropping 4.3% on April 20.

Action among the major sectors of the S&P 500 remains disparate. Health care (+2.4%), utilities (+0.8%), and consumer staples (+0.6%) are trading with healthy gains, and are the only sectors in the green. Meanwhile, every other sector is in negative territory and trading with losses in excess of 1%; four sectors are down by 3% or more.

Crude oil prices managed to rebound heading into the close of pit trading. It settled $0.30 higher at $56.64 per barrel. That hasn't helped energy stocks, however. Energy stocks are down 1.8%.DJ30 -111.90 NASDAQ -48.55 SP500 -13.53 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 791/2.50 bln/1881 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1008/1.37 bln/2024

2:30 pm : The major indices continue to trade in negative territory, near or at session lows.

The CEO of Walgreens (WAG 30.46, -0.75) made comments that the worst of the consumer downturn may be over, according to The Wall Street Journal.DJ30 -112.54 NASDAQ -50.20 SP500 -13.82 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 874/2.29 bln/1862 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1024/1.25 bln/1993

2:00 pm : The major indices continue to drift lower. Despite the downward move, utilities (+0.8%), consumer staples (+0.6%), and health care (+2.7%) are holding up rather well.

Crude prices have also reversed course amid the recent selling effort. Crude prices are currently down 0.7% to trade at $55.95 per barrel. Crude prices had been sporting solid gains earlier in the session, registering a session high at $58.57 per barrel.DJ30 -112.62 NASDAQ -47.24 SP500 -12.81 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 840/2.18 bln/1807 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1064/1.16 bln/1935

1:30 pm : Stocks have retreated to a fresh session low in the wake of a messy bond auction, which had plenty of subscribers (offering covered more than 2-to-1 by bidders), but it failed to offer the yield that was desired. That has prompted many traders to dump Treasuries.

In turn, the 30-year Bond has shed 46 ticks, which has pushed its yield up to 4.25%. Meanwhile, the benchmark 10-year Note is down 26 ticks, which has lifted its yield to 3.27%.DJ30 -102.98 NASDAQ -39.26 SP500 -10.95 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 953/1.98 bln/1680 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1183/1.05 bln/1805

1:05 pm : Signs that job losses may be slowing and strength in financial stocks helped give the broader market a strong start, but profit takers have stated their presence by selling the initial advance yet again.

Initial jobless claims for the week ending May 2 totaled 601,000, which is less than expected and down from the preceding week. While the direction of the claims is encouraging, finding a job doesn't appear to be getting any easier. As such, continuing claims climbed to 6.35 million, which marks a new record high. However, continuing claims were in-line with expectations.

In other economic news, a preliminary reading of nonfarm productivity showed a 0.8% increase for the first quarter, but that was mostly due to reduced work hours.

Despite fewer work hours and tough labor conditions, retailers reported monthly same-store sales results this morning that were generally better than expected. Shares of retailers are down 0.5% as they pull back from the prior session's advance.

Financials had been providing leadership to the broader market in the early going, but participants turned against the sector and sent it lower. The broader market followed.

Financials were up more than 3.5% early on as investors showed confidence in bank stocks ahead of the government's bank stress tests, which are scheduled to be officially announced after the closing bell. Results of the tests have been leaked during the past few sessions, but the announcement should help remove a degree of uncertainty from trading. Though the overall financial sector is now trading with a 1.3% loss, select names are showing strength. For instance, Bank of America (BAC 13.86, +1.17) and Citigroup (C 3.92, +0.06) are putting together healthy gains.

Tech is currently logging a disappointing performance of its own. Despite upbeat earnings and an upside revenue outlook from Cisco (CSCO 18.92, -0.69), tech stocks are down 3.0% and semiconductors are off by 5%, weighing on the tech rich Nasdaq.DJ30 -55.51 NASDAQ -29.63 SP500 -5.26 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1063/1.83 bln/1541 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1339/962 mln/1638

12:30 pm : Weakness among stocks remains persistent. Meanwhile, commodities continue to show strength as the CRB Commodity Index rises 1.2%.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar is flat when compared to a basket of major foreign currencies. The dollar had been down earlier this morning.

Despite a strong start, European stock markets closed in lackluster fashion. The FTSE finished with a gain of just 0.1%, while the CAC and DAX lost 1.0% and 1.6%, respectively.DJ30 -80.36 NASDAQ -34.39 SP500 -7.22 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 999/1.72 bln/1584 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1241/906 mln/1731

12:00 pm : The major indices have pulled up from their session lows, but losses persist. Only utilities stocks (+0.6%), consumer staples stocks (+0.8%), and health care stocks (+2.6%) are in the green.

Tech is currently the worst performing sector, weighed down by large-cap tech. Cisco (CSCO 19.01, -0.60) is causing the most drag on the tech sector. Despite upbeat earnings and an upside revenue outlook, the stock is logging its worst single-session performance by percent in more than two weeks. Heading into the prior session's close, the stock had climbed almost 15% from its April low.DJ30 -61.73 NASDAQ -30.50 SP500 -5.34 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1028/1.56 bln/1533 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1275/828 mln/1652

11:30 am : The major indices are now trading at fresh session lows with sizable, broad-based losses. Declining issues in the S&P 500 outnumber advancers by 2-to-1.

Financials have also fallen to a loss; the sector is now down 1.5%. It was trading with a gain in excess of 3.5% in the early going.

Health care stocks are holding up rather well against the broader market's downturn. Health care stocks are up 2.5%, thanks to strength in UnitedHealth (UNH 27.77, +1.84), Pfizer (PFE 14.36, +0.45), and Abbott Labs (ABT 44.36, +1.43).DJ30 -84.03 NASDAQ -37.30 SP500 -8.44 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 922/1.39 bln/1599 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1145/748 mln/1782

11:00 am : Financials (+0.6%) have managed to remain in positive teritory, while the broader market continues to trade with a loss. Telecom (-3.2%), technology (-2.6%), and materials (-2.0%) are among the weakest performers.

Shares of semiconductors are also grappling with an aggressive selling effort. The Semiconductor Index is down 5% as all 18 of its components trade with a loss. Broadcom (BRCM 23.14, -1.46) is among the primary laggards in the index.DJ30 -53.04 NASDAQ -27.11 SP500 -3.70 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1047/1.18 bln/1435 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1305/613 mln/1587

10:30 am : Stocks have surrendered early gains, but commodities have made a strong advance amid a weaker dollar and what has been dubbed the reflation trade.

The notion that demand for oil will pick up with economic conditions later this year has crude prices building on the prior session's advance by trading 1.6% higher this session. Crude was recently quoted at $57.25 per barrel, which is actually a bit below earlier levels, but still near its best levels since last November.

However, natural gas prices are actually moving lower in the wake of the latest natural gas inventory data, which showed a larger build than expected. Natural gas contracts were recently quoted 0.7% lower at $3.86 each.

Precious metals are also garnering interest. Gold prices are currently up 0.6% to $916.60 per ounce, while silver is up 0.4% to $13.76 per ounce.

The Baltic Dry Index closed 6.3% higher amid strength in each of its subindices. The Panamax Index gained 10% and is now up more than 35% from last week. The Capesize Index rallied 6.2%, while the Supramax Index gained 3.4%. Meanwhile, the Handysize Index closed 2.7% higher.DJ30 -82.27 NASDAQ -31.46 SP500 -5.87 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1015/913 mln/1382 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1305/485 mln/1559

10:00 am : Stocks have pared early gains amid a pullback in financial stocks. Financials were up more than 3.5% in the first few minutes of trading, but they recently retreated to trade with a more modest gain of 1.1%. Financials have since recovered a bit, and now trade with a 2.4% gain.

Tech stocks have come under considerable pressure in the last few minutes. That has taken the tech sector to a 1.8% loss. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq 100, which is full of large-cap tech holdings, has fallen to a 1.2% loss, despite better-than-expected quarterly earnings from Cisco (CSCO 19.19, -0.42).

Early movers: Trading up -- NSHA +140.9%, BONT +28.4%, VICL +26.7%, TEN +26.4%, HBAN +21.5%, HNSN +21.1%, COF +19.4%, GCA +19.3%, FITB +18.8%, BAC +18.5%, GNW +18.1%, THQI +16.6%, TDC +15.5%, ECLP +15.2%, LHCG +15.2%, AIG +14.1%, ATPG +14%, GPOR +13.4%, AEL +13.3%, IRE +13%, CTCM +13%, ULTR +12.7%, C +12.2%, YRCW +11.9%, SGY +11.8% Trading down -- HOTT -20.8%, PACR -16.6%, HT -16.4%, EZCH -15.7%, DGIT -14.7%, CECO -14.3%, FOE -14.2%, WG -13.4%, BBBB -13.1%, FTK -13%, LYG -11.8%, ENER -11.4%, NICE -11.4%, FAZ -11.1%DJ30 +9.32 NASDAQ -9.09 SP500 +4.84 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1385/513 mln/900 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1836/313 mln/926

09:45 am : Financials are currently up 2.8%, which extends the sector's week-to-date advance above 20%. This session's advance by financial stocks is helping lift the broader market to a strong gain of its own.

Telecom stocks are noticably absent from the stock market's early advance. Telecom is down 2.4% amid weakness in integrated telecom stocks (-2.3%).

Treasuries are under considerable pressure this morning. The benchmark 10-year Note is down 20 ticks, which has lifted its yield up to 3.25%, its highest level this year.DJ30 +42.06 NASDAQ +7.79 SP500 +9.63 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1584/301 mln/634 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2114/222 mln/620

09:15 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +8.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +6.50. Stocks have logged gains in three of the last four sessions, gaining more than 5% during that time. Stock futures presently suggest that the upbeat tone will continue. The extension of the positive bias follows what have generally been better-than-expected monthly same-store sales results from retailers, despite evidence of a persistently difficult job market. Continuing jobless claims climbed to a new record high of 6.35 million, but that wasn't any worse than analysts had expected. Meanwhile, initial jobless claims for the week ending May 2 were actually down from the prior week and below the consensus forecast. On a related note, nonfarm productivity climbed 0.8% in the first quarter, but mostly because workers' hours were cut more drastically than output. Still, the notion that economic conditions are bottoming has oil prices trading 3.5% higher ahead of pit trading, that's helping shares of oil companies in premarket action. Financial stocks are also catching a bid ahead of the opening bell. Buyers have been focused on financial stocks in recent sessions; their confidence has been bolstered by press releases indicating that several banks have sufficient capital levels to satisfy the government's bank stress tests. Stress test results are scheduled to be officially announced after the closing bell.

09:05 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +6.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.50. European stocks are trading with solid gains following the European Central Bank's decision to cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.00%, as expected. According to ECB President Trichet, inflation is expected to remain contained in coming months, and there are signs of economic stabilization in the Euro zone. Meanwhile, the Bank of England kept its target interest rate at 0.50%, as expected. However, it did increase its asset purchase program by 50 billion British pounds. The FTSE is currently up 2.6% with help from HSBC (HSB) and BP PLC (BP). Lloyds Banking Group (LYG) is trading with weakness, though. According to Dow Jones, Lloydes indicated that it still expects to make a pretax loss this year, despite a good revenue performance in the first quarter. France's CAC is up 1.9%. Total (TOT) is a primary leader, while BNP Paribas continues adding to its recent streak of gains. Societe Generale is a laggard, however. In Germany, Deutsche Bank (DB) and Commerzbank are helping provide a 1.5% lift to the DAX. In Asia, the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index advanced 3.0%, while Japan's Nikkei gained 4.6% after reopening from an extended holiday observance. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MTU) soared even after it that it expects to slid to its first annual net loss since it was formed in 2005. Mizuho Financial (MFG) also advanced; it was upgraded by analysts at JPMorgan. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed 2.3% higher, gaining ground for a sixth consecutive session. China Construction Bank soared. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite closed 0.2% higher.

08:35 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +8.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +8.30. First quarter nonfarm productivity increased 0.8%, which is more than the 0.6% increase that was expected, and up from the 0.6% decrease in the prior reading. Unit labor costs for the first quarter increased 3.3%, which is more than the 2.7% increase that was expected. Unit labor costs increased 5.7% in the prior reading. Separately, initial jobless claims for the week ending May 2 totaled 601,000, which is less than the 635,000 initial claims that were widely expected. Meanwhile, the prior week's claims data was revised modestly upward to 635,000. Continuing claims climbed to 6.35 million, which is in-line with what was expected. Despite challenging job conditions, retailers are reporting April same-store sales results that have generally been better than expected. Nordstrom (JWN) saw a 10.8% decline in same-store sales, but a 12.1% decline was expected by's analyst team. TJX (TJX) reported same-store sales increased 3%, which helped the company raise its first quarter earnings outlook, according to Dow Jones. Aeropostale (ARO) posted a same-store sales increase of 20%, topping the 9% increase that expected. Wal-Mart (WMT) announced a 5% increase in same-store sales, which topped the 2.7% increase that was expected. However, Wal-Mart also issued downside revenue guidance and indicated that it will no longer report monthly sales results. Stock futures now point to an even stronger start.

08:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +7.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +6.80. Despite lagging in the prior session, large-cap tech is getting a lift this morning, thanks to better-than-expected earnings from Cisco (CSCO). Cisco announced last evening adjusted earnings of $0.30 per share for its third fiscal quarter. The consensus estimate had been pinned at $0.25 per share. During its conference call, Cisco guided fourth quarter revenue above the $8.26 billion consensus revenue forecast. Shares of CSCO are up 1.7% to $19.95 per share in premarket trading. Prudential Financial (PRU) posted last evening adjusted earnings of $1.05 per share for its latest quarter. Analysts, on average, had expected $0.83 per share. Prudential also offered in-line earnings guidance for the current fiscal year. PRU is up 4.7% to $37.25 per share ahead of the opening bell. This morning, General Motors (GM) unveiled an adjusted loss of $9.66 per share, which isn't as bad as the loss of $11.05 per share that had been widely expected. GM shares are up 3.6% to $1.72 per share. Participants await the latest dose of initial jobless claims data, which is due at 8:30 AM ET. First quarter productivity is due at the same time. Investors also await the government's bank stress tests results, which are expected to be released after this session's close. However, some findings have already been leaked. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Federal Reserve directed at least seven of the nation's biggest banks to bolster their capital levels. JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS), MetLife (MET), American Express (AXP), Bank of New York Mellon (BK) and Capital One Financial (COF) were essentially indicated to have adequate capital levels, though. Their shares are trading with strength in premarket action. Meanwhile, broader market futures also point upward.

06:20 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +4.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +7.00.

06:20 am : Nikkei...9385.70...+408.30...+4.60%. Hang Seng...17217.89...+383.30...+2.30%.

06:20 am : FTSE...4498.14...+101.70...+2.30%. DAX...4957.35...+76.50...+1.60%.

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