U.S. stock futures suggest North American markets will edge higher at the open, with volatile trading in Research In Motion Ltd. keeping investors on edge in Canada.
RIM, also known as BlackBerry, posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings this morning. Adjusted earnings were 22 cents a share; analysts were looking for a loss of around 30 cents. But sales of $2.68-billion missed the average analyst estimate of $2.83-billion. BlackBerry shipments largely came in as analysts had forecast.
Rim shares were up nearly 10 per cent after a trading halt came off after the earnings report, but later reversed direction and dipped into negative territory. As of 919 a.m. (ET), shares were up 3.8 per cent.
U.S. jobless claims data and a revision to U.S. fourth-quarter GDP this morning came in a little weaker than forecast, and U.S. stock futures pared some gains.
But Europe continues to be a major focus in markets. Banks in Cyprus today began to reopen after a nearly two-week closure amid the country's bailout efforts. Reports this morning suggest there haven't been panic withdrawals, which are subject to new rules curbing access to cash.
And there was some good news on the European economic data front this morning, with German retail sales unexpectedly rising to a seasonally adjusted 0.4 per cent last month from January. Economists were looking for a 0.6 per cent fall.
Asian markets were mixed overnight, with Shanghai taking a big tumble after financial regulators tightened rules on banks' wealth-management products and the cabinet called for new measures to deregulate interest rates. Chinese financial stocks were particularly hard hit.
Now, here's a closer look at what else is going on this morning and what's to come.
U.S. futures: S&P 500 +0.1 per cent; Dow +0.1 per cent; Nasdaq +0.2 per cent
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index +0.73 per cent
Shanghai composite index -2.84 per cent
Japan's Nikkei -1.26 per cent
London’s FTSE 100 +0.57 per cent
Germany’s DAX +0.42 per cent
France's CAC 40 +0.41 per cent
Italy's FTSE MIB +0.66 per cent
WTI (Nymex May) +0.23 per cent at $96.80 (U.S.) a barrel
Gold (Comex Jun) -0.24 per cent at $1,603.40 (U.S.) an ounce
Copper (Comex May) -0.07 per cent at $3.44 (U.S.) a pound
Canadian dollar up 0.0006, or 0.06 per cent, at $0.9846 (U.S.)
ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:
The latest revision to U.S. fourth-quarter GDP showed growth of 0.04 per cent, up from the previous revision of 0.1 per cent, but less than the 0.6 per cent that economists were looking for.
U.S. jobless claims rose 16,000 last week to 357,000, which was higher than the 340,000 economists were looking for.
Statistics Canada said gross domestic product in January rose 0.2 per cent, matching December's gain. Year-over-year, GDP expanded 1 per cent during the month, up from 0.7 per cent in December, and beating expectations of 0.9 per cent.
STOCKS TO WATCH:
Earnings today include: Accenture PLC, Mosaic Co.. Research In Motion Ltd. and Sprott Inc.
THIS MORNING'S TOP INVESTING READS ON THE WEB:
Toronto-based analyst Edward Zabitsky, notorious for being the ultra Apple bear, on what he sees next for the iPhone maker.
How Canadians can build a fully diversified ETF portfolio using only U.S. dollars.
Fewer stocks are participating in the S&P 500 rally to near record highs.
A comprehensive explanation on why gold stocks have lagged the price of bullion.
Why the U.S. municipal bond rally is over for good this time.
Three sector rotation strategies ETF investors should know.
Why the French stock market may be heading into a period of underperformance.
The premarket report is constantly updated to reflect the latest news developments and market moves. For instant headlines on breaking economic and corporate news in the premarket, follow Darcy Keith on Twitter at @eyeonequities