#PreMarket Primer: Friday, December 19: U.S. Debates A Response To Sony Hackers
U.S. officials are finding it difficult to come up with an appropriate response to the hacking group that broke into Sony Corp’s (NYSE: SNE) computer system and later issued a threat to those attending the company’s latest movie premiere for, “The Interview.” Sony has since canceled its December 25 premier of the move as most major movie chains declined to show the film in light of the violent threats. U.S. officials have said they found a link between North Korea and the hacking group, but the U.S. has yet to officially place blame on Pyongyang.Top News In other news around the markets: On Thursday, U.S. officials confirmed that several important military leaders from the Islamic State have been killed since the U.S. and its allies began fighting back against the radical group in the Middle East. The Wall Street Journal reported that General Martin Dempsey said that three key leaders have been confirmed dead, something the U.S. hopes will cause the group to become disorganized with its attacks and therefore less effective. Reuters reported that Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) is looking to roll out a new Android system that would be built directly into cars. The company recently developed a mobile system that integrates Android phones with comparable cars, set to be on the market in 2015. However the new system would make apps and Internet use available to users without having a phone plugged in. While the company hasn’t released a timeline for its latest venture, most are expecting to see the new system revealed in 2016. On Friday, China revised up its 2013 GDP to 58.8 trillion yuan, 3.4 percent than originally reported. Though the new figures reflects gains the size of Malaysia’s entire economy, most analysts say it will have little impact on this year’s slowdown. The People’s Bank of China is still expected to implement further stimulus in order to help kick start the nation’s stalling economy in 2015. After a brief rally, oil prices continued on their downward trajectory on Thursday as producers around the globe looked likely to maintain their current outputs. Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed that the nation would continue producing for at least two years even if prices fell as low as $40 per barrel, saying that he plans to restructure the economy in order to accommodate lower prices. Prices also fell under pressure after Nigerian dockworkers ended their strike, reopening the nation’s ports. Growing supply without any significant increases in demand have many worried about the global supply glut, which caused prices to plummet lower.Asian Markets Asian markets were mostly higher with the exception of the Shenzhen composite, which fell 0.88 percent. The NIKKEI was up 2.39 percent, the Shanghai composite and the KOSPI both rose 1.71 percent, and the Hang Seng index increased 1.30 percent.European Markets European markets began the day on a high note; the FTSE rose 0.58 percent, the STOXX 600 was up 0.55 percent, the DAX gained 0.48 percent and the CAC 40 increased 0.60 percent.Commodities Energy futures were higher; Brent futures rose 0.56 percent and WTI futures were up 1.09 percent. Gold and silver gained 0.53 percent and 0.26 percent, respectively, and industrial metals were lower with the exception of copper, which gained 0.39 percent. Aluminum was down 0.55 percent, zinc lost 0.65 percent and tin was down 1.80 percent.Currencies Currency markets were relatively quiet on Friday morning. The euro was steady at $1.229 and lost 0.03 percent against the pound, but gained 0.34 percent against the yen. The dollar also gained against the yen, up 0.31 percent. The greenback was also higher against the pound, up 0.05 percent, but lost 0.05 percent to the Australian dollar.Earnings Notable earnings reports released on Thursday included:Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN) reported first quarter EPS of $1.29 on revenue of $7.90 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.15 on revenue of $7.36 billion.Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) reported second quarter EPS of $0.74 on revenue of $7.40 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.59 on revenue of $6.43 billion.Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) reported third quarter EPS of $0.10 on revenue of $6.69 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.04 on revenue of $6.36 billion.ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) reported second quarter EPS of $0.61 on revenue of $4.15 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.62 on revenue of $4.71 billion.Pre-Market Movers Stocks moving in the Premarket included:Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) was up 0.38 percent in premarket trade after rising 2.15 percent on Thursday.Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) was up 0.38 percent in premarket trade after seeing a 3.89 percent increase on Thursday.Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) gained 0.31 percent in premarket trade after rising 2.96 percent on Thursday.Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) was down 0.37 percent in premarket trade after gaining 3.41 percent on Thursday.Earnings Notable releases expected on Friday include:Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.20 on revenue of $3.81 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.04 on revenue of $3.61 billion.CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.54 on revenue of $3.26 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.47 on revenue of $2.94 billion.BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ: BBRY) reported a third quarter gain of $0.01 on revenue of $793 million, compared to last year’s loss of $0.67 on revenue of $1.19 billion.Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.46 on revenue of $673.9 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.43 on revenue of $610.50 million.Economics Notable economic releases expected on Friday include German PPI, Italian industrial sales, the eurozone’s current account and Canadian CPI. Tune into ’s pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and Joel Elconin here.