Market Overview

#PreMarket Primer: Thursday, December 18: Hackers' Threat Causes Sony To Cancel Movie Release

Share:
#PreMarket Primer: Thursday, December 18: Hackers' Threat Causes Sony To Cancel Movie Release

After several theater chains elected not to show Sony Corp's (NYSE: SNE) latest film “The Interview” due to a threatening statement from the hacking group that carried out a cyber attack on the film company, Sony decided to recall the movie’s December 25 premier. In a statement, Sony said the threat was a “brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company.”

U.S. authorities have linked the hacking group to North Korea, where officials called “The Interview” and its plot line an act of war, but denied any involvement in the cyber attacks.

Top News

In other news around the markets:

  • U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve vowed to keep interest rates low in the near-term and presented an upbeat forecast for the nation’s economy. Following the bank’s two-day meeting, it issued a policy statement which suggested that it would remain cautious about raising interest rates. While the bank sees the U.S. economy continuing to improve, most aren’t expecting a rate hike until mid-2015.
  • Inflation data from the U.S. showed that plunging oil prices have had an impact on the nation’s consumer prices. The nation’s consumer price index dropped to 0.3 percent in November, the largest monthly drop the U.S. has seen since 2008. However, when prices were evaluated excluding oil prices, analysts saw a 0.1 percent monthly rise. The breakdown suggests that core prices are steadily increasing, a comforting sign for the US economy.
  • On Wednesday, Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ: BBRY) introduced a new handset that offers a completely different experience from smartphones currently on the market. The new phone, dubbed “The Classic”, boasts a physical keyboard and trackpad, something the company hopes will persuade its traditional customers to return to the company. The phone’s release date is still unknown, but two major U.S. carriers have already signed up to offer it.
  • Amid falling crude prices, Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) announced that it was putting a drilling project in the Beaufort Sea on hold indefinitely. The company cited “economic uncertainty in the industry” as its reason for suspending the project, noting that projects in the arctic have the highest drilling costs in the world. With crude prices sliding blew $60, the company is unsure that those costs would be covered.

Asian Markets

Asian markets were mixed; the NIKKEI rose 2.32 percent, but the Shanghai composite lost 0.10 percent and the KOSPI fell 0.14 percent. The Hang Seng index was up 1.09 percent, but the Shenzhen composite fell 0.50 percent.

European Markets

European markets were up across the board; the FTSE rose 0.43 percent, the STOXX 600 gained 1.45 percent, the DAX increased 1.73 percent and the CAC 40 was up 0.83 percent.

Commodities

Energy futures were moderately higher; Brent futures rose 0.23 percent and WTI futures gained 0.12 percent. Gold and silver gained 0.44 percent and 0.67 percent respectively, while industrial metals were mixed. Copper fell 0.57 percent and tin lost 2.97 percent, but aluminum gained 0.79 percent and zinc was flat.

Currencies

The euro was down to $1.2306 on Thursday morning, and lost 0.63 against the pound and 0.24 percent against the yen. The dollar was 0.03 percent higher than the yen, but lost 0.40 percent against the pound and 0.69 percent against the Australian dollar.

Earnings

Notable earnings reports released on Wednesday included:

  • FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) reported second quarter EPS of $2.14 on revenue of $11.90 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.57 on revenue of $11.40 billion.
  • Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) reported second quarter EPS of $0.69 on revenue of $9.60 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.69 on revenue of $9.28 billion.
  • General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) reported second quarter EPS of $0.80 on revenue of $4.71 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.83 on revenue of $4.88 billion.
  • Joy Global Inc. (NYSE: JOY) reported fourth quarter EPS of $1.25 on revenue of $1.13 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.11 on revenue of $1.18 billion.

Pre-Market Movers

Stocks moving in the Premarket included:

  • Oracle was up 5.08 percent in premarket trade after choppy trading took the stock up 0.59 percent over the past week.
  • Denbury Resources Inc. (NYSE: DNR) was up 1.26 percent in premarket trade after gaining 9.47 percent over the past five days.
  • Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) gained 1.21 percent in premarket trade after rising 8.52 percent on Wednesday.
  • Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was up 1.15 percent in premarket trade after rising 2.50 percent on Wednesday.

Earnings

Notable releases expected on Thursday include:

  • Accenture plc. (NYSE: ACN) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $1.20 on revenue of $7.7 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.15 on revenue of $7.36 billion.
  • Nike, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.70 on revenue of $7.15 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.59 on revenue of $6.43 billion.
  • Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.05 on revenue of $6.65 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.04 on revenue of $6.36 billion.
  • ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.61 on revenue of $4.20 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.62 on revenue of $4.71 billion.

Economics

Notable economic releases expected on Thursday include British retail sales, U.S. initial and continuing jobless claims, U.S. services PMI, British consumer confidence, Germany’s Ifo business climate survey, and the Chinese trade balance.

Tune into Benzinga’s pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and Joel Elconin here.

Posted-In: Earnings News Emerging Markets Eurozone Futures Commodities Previews Options

 

Related Articles (AAPL + ACN)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Goldman Sachs Downgrades Bruker To Sell

Roth Capital Downgrades Volcano To Neutral