Wal-Mart Reports Earnings: Market Happenings For Thursday, February 21, 2013

Premarket, futures are down with the Dow showing -11 at the open. Dow stocks at 52 week highs include CSCO and GE. A lot less than the eight (8) Dow stocks at 52 week highs yesterday morning.

The Market

Walmart (WMT) reported earnings that beat forecasts but then said sales softened during the quarter. The retailer also hiked its annual dividend by 18%.

A survey of purchasing managers showed Europe’s downturn worsened in February. European markets are down of course.

Initial jobless claims rose to 362,000 last week, coming in higher than economists were expecting.

The Consumer Price Index was unchanged month-over-month in January, and up 1.6% from a year ago. Core CPI, which strips the price of food and energy, increased 0.3% month-over-month in January, and 1.9% from a year earlier.

Asian markets all closed down. The Shanghai Composite lost 3.0%, the Nikkei fell 1.4% and the Hang Seng declined 1.7%.

Earnings Reports

Wal-Mart (WMT) reported Q4 EPS of $1.67, above the consensus of $1.57. Net sales rose 3.9 percent to $127.1 billion. Wal-Mart also sees Q1 EPS of $1.11-$1.16, below the consensus of $1.18.

Hewlett-Packaard reports earnings after the close today.

Financial Calendar

0800 ET USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum with preliminary estimates for U.S. 2013-14 crops.

0830 ET Weekly initial unemployment claims expected +14,000 to 355,000, previous -27,000 to 341,000. Weekly continuing claims expected +36,000 to 3.150 million, previous -130,000 to 3.114 mln.

0830 ET Jan CPI expected +0.1% m/m and +1.6% y/y, Dec unch m/m and +1.7% y/y. Jan core CPI expected +0.2% m/m and +1.8% y/y, Dec +0.1% m/m and +1.9% y/y.

1000 ET Feb Philadelphia manufacturing index expected +7.2 to 1.4, Jan -10.4 to -5.8.

1000 ET Jan existing home sales expected -0.8% m/m to 4.90 mln, Dec -1.0% to 4.94 mln. Existing home sales revisions.

1000 ET Jan leading indicators expected +0.2% m/m, Dec +0.5% m/m.

1030 ET DOE Weekly Petroleum Status Report.

1100 ET Treasury announces 2, 5 and 7-year T-note auctions for Feb 25-27.

1230 ET St. Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks on monetary policy and the U.S. economic outlook at NYUÂ’s Center for Global Economy and Business.

1300 ET Treasury sells $9 billion in 30-year TIPS.

1300 ET San Francisco Fed President John Williams speaks on monetary policy and the economy to the New York Forecasters Club.

2115 ET Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher speaks on the economy at the Insurance Industry Chartable Foundation Benefit Dinner.

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