U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street Thursday as investors focus on corporate earnings and the deal between Express Scripts and MedcoHealth, and put aside the data from China and Europe, which pointed to a slowdown in manufacturing activity.
On the economic front, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that initial claims for the week ended July 16 was 418,000, an increase of 10,000 claims from previous week's revised figure of 408,000 claims. On the other hand, continuing claims declined by 50,000 claims to 3.7 million for the week ended July 9.
Ahead of the opening bell, Dow industrial average futures were trading up 65 points, or 0.52 percent, to 12,572. Nasdaq 100 futures stood at 2,389, up 7 points, or 0.29 percent. Standard and Poor's 500 futures were trading higher by 7.50 points, or 0.57 percent, to 1,328.75, today.
Hot Stocks of the Day: NOK, MHS, ESRX, INTC, MS, NYT, TRV
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) on Thursday reported a loss of $523 million, as sales slumped in the second quarter amid challenges. However the company said that it is making higher than expected progress towards its strategic goals. NOK is up 3.11 percent to $5.97 in pre-market trading today.
MedcoHealth Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MHS) has agreed to be acquired by Express Scripts Inc. (Nasdaq: ESRX) for $29.1 billion in a cash and stock deal. Shares of MedcoHealth jumped 23.70 percent to $69, and Express Scripts gained 6.57 percent to $55.99 after the announcement.
Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) reported late Wednesday second quarter FY 2011 revenue of $13.1 billion, and net income of $320 million, or $0.59 per share. Earnings and sales beat Wall Street expectations. INTC is currently trading lower by 1.91 percent to $22.55 in pre-market trading today.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) today reported a second quarter net loss of $0.38 per share compared with a profit of $1.09 a year earlier. Analysts had forecasted a loss of $0.61 per share. MS is up 6.68 percent to $23.17 in pre-market trading.
The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) is scheduled to report second quarter results at 11:00 am EST. Analysts at Wall Street expect the company to post earnings of $0.09 per share.