9:45AM Market opened higher, boosted by Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s robust earnings.
U.S. stocks rallied at opening on Friday, reflecting end-of-quarter purchases, tame inflation data, as well as strength in the tech sector as Research in Motion posted robust quarterly earnings and Apple launched the iPhone. RIM (RIMM
) jumped 17% after the Blackberry maker announced a 76% gain in revenue and a 73% rise in profit in Q1. Apple (APPL
) added 1.2% in early trading.
Among other stocks in focus, Commerce Bancorp (CBH
) climbed 10% after the company said it had settled two federal regulatory probes. On the side of the losers, shares of Palm (PALM
) declined 4.3% after the maker of the Treo smart phone reported a 43% drop in quarterly profit.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 49.83 points, or 0.37%, at 13,477.56. The blue-chip average was led higher by Alcoa (AA
), up 2.8%, DuPont (DD
), rising 1.6%, Exxon Mobil (XOM
), up 1.5%, and AT&T (T
), higher by 1.3%. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 7.20 points, or 0.48%, at 1,513.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 17.20 points, or 0.66%, at 2,622.55.
Personal income and spending increased in May.
Friday morning, the Department of Commerce released its report on personal income and spending in the month of May. While income and spending both increased, the growth came in below economist estimates. The report showed that personal income
rose 0.4 percent in May following a downwardly revised 0.2 percent decrease in April. Economists had been expecting income to increase by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.1 percent decrease originally reported for the previous month. The rebound in personal income came as private wage and salary disbursements increased by $24.9 billion in May compared to a decrease of $36.4 billion in April.
The Commerce Department also said that personal spending
rose 0.5 percent in May, matching the increase that was seen in the previous month. The increase in spending came in below economist estimates of 0.7 percent growth. With the spending growth outpacing income growth, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was a negative 1.4 percent in May compared with a negative 1.2 percent in April. The report also showed that core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, edged up 0.1 percent in May after rising 0.1 percent in April. On an annual basis, the pace of core consumer price growth slowed to 1.9 percent from 2.0 percent.
9:30AM The UK benchmark index is slightly down in spite of a strong opening.
The UK benchmark index is lower in mid-morning trading on Friday. The FTSE 100
was down 20.5 points at 6,551.0.
BT Group was the leading advancer in the FTSE 100 stocks. The telecommunications group gained 1.3% as its chief executive said that analysts were too pessimistic about the prospects for revenue growth of the telecom provider. Falling sharply this week after a profit warning, lender Northern Rock, rallied 1.3% while oil stocks were also stronger. Royal Dutch Shell gained 1.2% and BP added 0.8%.
Down in the market, mid-cap Berkeley Group surged 1.1 per cen as the housebilder posted a 14% increase in annual profits. Another mid-cap, Sports Direct International, gained 1.6% after the retailer announced the $135 million purchase of Everlast, most famous for making boxing equipment.
Real estate stocks kept their losing streak on worries about increasing interest rates and the US subprime mortgage market. Segro declined 4.2%, Hammerson shed 4% and Liberty International declined 2.8%.
9:00AM Wall Street to open higher on tame inflation data
U.S. stock futures indicated a positive market opening on Friday following a report which showed the lowest inflation reading since March 2004. The Commerce Department said that core consumer prices rose 0.1% in May, coming in line with expectations. Among pre-market highlights, Research In Motion (RIMM
) surged 20% after posting 73% earnings jump on strong BlackBerry sales.
Apple Inc. (APPL
) added 1.2% on news that it is set to begin sales of its widely anticipated iPhone device. Commerce Bancorp (CBH
) jumped 7% in electronic trade after the company said it had settled two federal regulatory probes. S&P 500 futures were up 2.3 points, above fair value. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 5 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 6.25 points.
8:30AM Research in Motion topped earnings and revenue forecast.