10 Things You Need To Know Before Thursday’s Opening Bell

Another big day of earnings includes Exxon

   

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Asian markets closed lower, with Japan’s Nikkei down 1.20%; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, 0.42%; and Korea’s KOSPI, 1.43%. European markets were all down, with U.S. futures also pointing south.
  • The busy week of economic data continues today with initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect jobless claims dropped to 338,000. “As the partial federal government shutdown ended in the third week of October, we anticipate few if any additional claims from non-federal workers and contractors,” Citi’s Peter D’Antonio wrote clients. “Claims may still be at the mercy of the California backlogs, which have plagued the data since early September – inflating the four-week moving average.”
  • Then we’ll get Chicago PMI — the monthly measure of business activity — at 9:45 a.m. Economists estimate the index fell to 55.0 in October from last month’s 55.7 print. “We look for the Chicago purchasing managers’ index to remain roughly unchanged in October, in a relatively solid range,” Citi’s D’Antonio wrote. “However, we are well aware that the Chicago index tends to jump around a lot. This year the swings have been enormous (and seemingly unrelated to actual changes in activity).”
  • Exxon Mobil (XOM) and ConocoPhillips (COP) will both report earnings this morning. Analysts are expecting EPS to come in at $1.77 and $1.45, respectively. But analysts also say Exxon could post a 15% profit drop from a year ago as the price of oil squeezes margins. AIG (AIG)and Time Warner (TWX) will also report before the bell.
  • Europe saw a round of brutal unemployment stats this morning. Euro zone unemployment hit a record high 12.2% in September, with Spain’s rate staying at a dismal 26.6% and Italy’s rising to 12.5%. Youth unemployment edged up to 24.1% from 24.0% and inflation was at only 0.7% year over year, missing economist expectations of 1.1%
  • Facebook (FB) beat on Q3 EPS and revenue when it reported earnings yesterday afternoon, launching the stock up 15% in after hours trading. That was until the earnings call, when CFO David Ebersman said the company saw a dip in teenage usage. “This seemed to spook the market and the stock fell back to Earth,” wrote our Jay Yarow.
  • The U.S. budget deficit fell to a 5-year low, according to data released from the Treasury Department yesterday. The September budget surplus was $75.1 billion, higher than the $69 billion expected by economists. The 2013 fiscal-year deficit was $680.3 billion and revenues from tax receipts reached $2.77 trillion, a record high.
  • Japan’s manufacturing industry is growing at the fastest pace in 3 years. The country’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) climbed to 54.2 in October, up from September’s 52.5 reading. It’s a 41-month high. “The data signaled that the latest expansion was largely demand-driven and apparently unimpeded by the Prime Minister’s recent confirmation of a sales tax hike next April,” wrote Markit economist Claudia Tillbrooke. “However, whilst new order growth hit a four-year high and production grew at a similarly sharp pace, employment failed to follow suit in October.”
  • Australian monetary policy got a pat on the back after the release of September’s housing data. Building approvals were up 14.4%.
  • Sony (SNY) has slashed its profit outlook after reporting a net loss this quarter. “With a quarterly net loss of 19.3 billion yen ($197 million), Sony’s bad-news Thursday came in stark contrast to an upbeat showing by Japanese peer Panasonic Corp,” Reuters reported. “It also stirred doubts about how the best-known Japanese technology company can anchor a turnaround as rivals like Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co have gained dominance through heavy investment in new mobile devices.”

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2013/10/thursdays-opening-bell-xom-cop-fb-aig-twx/.

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