What’s the Story?

by CC April 26, 2012 9:32 am • Commentary


U.S. stock futures fell, following a two-day rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid higher- than-forecast jobless claims data and as earnings from United Parcel Service Inc. to Exxon Mobil Corp. missed estimates.

UPS (UPS), the largest package-delivery company that is considered a proxy for economic growth, slumped 2.4 percent. Exxon lost 1.2 percent. Dow Chemical Co. (DOW), the largest U.S. chemical company by revenue, dropped 5.3 percent as it reported sales that fell short of forecasts. Aetna Inc. (AET) tumbled 7.6 percent on weaker-than-estimated earnings at the health insurer.


More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the labor market is taking time to improve.

Jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 388,000 in the week ended April 21 from a revised 389,000 the prior period that was the highest since early January, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a drop to 375,000.


Deutsche Bank’s net income fell by a third in the first quarter after Europe’s largest bank by assets suffered a slowdown in trading and lower profits from its increasingly important retail banking operations.

Litigation charges and costs related to this week’s announced sale of Actavis, the pharmaceuticals company, also pushed the German bank’s profits below analysts’ consensus estimates. Activity remained subdued in April, Deutsche said, reflecting the return of investor nervousness over the eurozone debt crisis.

In the last quarterly results that will be announced under Josef Ackermann, chief executive, Deutsche’s net income fell from €2.1bn a year ago to €1.4bn. Revenues fell 12 per cent to €9.2bn compared with the same quarter last year.


ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, posted a lower first-quarter profit on Thursday as its oil and natural gas production slumped more than 5 percent, pushing its shares down 1.1 percent prior to the opening bell.

The company said in March its oil and gas output would be down about 3 percent this year from 2011, but several large projects due on line would put in on pace to increase production 1 percent to 2 percent on average each year through 2016.

Net profit slipped to $9.5 billion, or $2.00 per share, from $10.65 billion, or $2.14 per share, in the year-ago quarter.