Market Happenings for Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pre-market, futures are up as investors contend with worries about Europe, latest U.S. data and corporate earnings results. Gainers this morning include CMA, SHLD, FSLR, NRG anD VLO while losers include HST, EQR, VTR, HCP and TSN.

The Market

Worries about Europe eased slightly after the latest edition of an index based on German investor sentiment came in unexpectedly high. An auction of Spanish 12 and 18 month treasury bills also drew strong demand.

Shares of Apple (AAPL) are under focus after losing nearly 9% over the last 5 days.

Coca-Cola (KO) reported a profit of $2.05 billion ,or 0.89 a share, up from $1.9 billion versus 0.82 a year earlier. The year-earlier quarter included restructuring charges of 4 cents a share. Revenue rose 5.9% to $11.14 billion as worldwide unit case volume grew 5%.

Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) quarterly profit rose to $3.9 billion, or $1.41 per share, from $3.5 billion, or $1.25 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding special items, the company earned $1.37 per share. Its revenue dropped by $34,000 to $16.1 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.35 per share on revenue of $16.26 billion.

Intel (INTC) and IBM (IBM) report earnings today after the close.

European stocks were higher in midday trading while Asian markets ended lower.

Before the opening bell, the Commerce Department reported that March housing starts occurred at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000, below expectations and down from February’s rate of 694,000.

Earnings Reports

Earnings reports (sorted by mkt cap): IBM-International Business Machines (consensus $2.65), JNJ-Johnson & Johnson (1.35), KO-Coca-Cola (0.87), INTC-Intel (0.53), GS-Goldman Sachs Group (3.55), USB-US Bancorp (0.64), CSX-CSX Corp. (0.38), ISRG-Intuitive Surgical (3.12), STT-State Street Corp. (0.87), SYK-Stryker (0.99), YHOO-Yahoo! (0.18), GWW-WW Grainger (2.52), OMC-Omnicon Group (0.69), STX-Seagate Technology PLC (2.12), NTRS-Northern Trust (0.65), AMTD-TD Ameritrade Holding (0.25).

Financial Calendar

0745 ET ICSC (Int’l Council of Shopping Centers) weekly retailer sales.

0830 ET Mar housing starts expected +1.0% to 705,000, Feb -1.1% to 698,000. Mar building permits expected -0.7% to 710,000, Feb +4.8% to 715,000.

0855 ET Redbook weekly retailer sales.

0915 ET Mar industrial production expected +0.3%, Feb unchanged. Mar capacity utilization expected +0.1 to 78.5%, Feb unchanged at 78.4%.

1130 ET Weekly 4-week T-bill auction.

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