Wednesday, August 1, 2012

U.S. Stocks Gain in Early Trades Ahead of U.S. Fed Statement – USO, GLD, MA, RDN, FB, SIRI

U.S. markets rose on early trades on Wednesday ahead of an expected statement from the Federal Reserve that many hope may contain some indications of a fresh stimulus to the economy. The policy statement will be released at 2:15 p.m. EDT.

Last week the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve had promised to act jointly to stem the slide in the global economy.

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Benchmark indices showed early gains led by materials and telecommunications stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48 points, or 0.4 percent, to 13056, while the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose two points, or 0.2 percent, to 1382 and the Nasdaq Composite futures added four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2944.

Data on the U.S. labour market, which showed that the world's largest economy had added 163,000 new jobs in July, added a spark to recovery hopes.

Investors are exhibiting cautious optimism about any stimulus measures, many expecting that it will be effective only in September or later, with the Fed giving in to political opposition.

July was a volatile moth for the markets and going into August, there are a host of news and events to look forward to - the European Central Bank is expected to announce new measures to address the euro-zone's debt crisis on Thursday, and on Friday, investors will have their look at the latest monthly government data on hiring.

European markets were marginally higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.3 percent while Asian markets closed mostly lower barring the Shanghai Composite which bucked the trend by rising 0.9 percent.

The euro-zone Purchasing Manager Index for July slipped to 44 from a preliminary forecast of 44.1, and down from 45.1 in June.

Crude-oil futures gained 0.86 percent to about $88.82 a barrel, while gold futures lost 0.8% at about $1600 an ounce. The U.S. dollar slipped against the euro but rose against the yen. United States Oil Fund LP (ETF)(NYSEARCA:USO) soared 1.65% to $33.22 and SPDR Gold Trust (ETF)(NYSEARCA:GLD) down 0.55% to $155.68.

Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) stock declined 2.97% to $423.62 after the company earned $700 million, or $5.55 per share in the second quarter, up from $608 million, or $4.76 per share, a year earlier. Adjusted profit was $713 million, or $5.65, beating analysts' estimates. Net revenue increased 9.2% to $1.82 billion. Analysts were expecting the company to earn $5.58 per share on revenue of $1.88 billion.

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Radian Group Inc. (NYSE:RDN) shares declined 3.57% to $2.70 in pre-market hour after the company reported a second quarter of $119.3 million or $0.90 a share, versus a year-earlier profit of $137.1 million, or $1.03 a share. Net premiums earned were slightly down by 1.1% to $186.8 million, while total revenue plunged 66%. Analysts expected a per-share loss of $0.55, excluding combined gains and losses, on $179 million in premiums earned.

Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB) shares continued to slump to new low and was recently down 1.43% to $21.40. The stock has lost about 26% in the past one week as analysts are concern about the company’s future prospectus due to slow user growth. The company has failed to monetize its about 1 billion users in a proper way, which has been putting further pressure on the stock.

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Sirius XM Radio Inc(NASDAQ:SIRI) shares are falling this morning after recent gain and was recently trading lower by 1.85% to $2.12. The stock has been consolidating over the past couple of weeks after recovering almost 15% from its recent lows.

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