The Before the Bell report is constantly updated to reflect the latest news developments and market moves in the premarket. Check back later for updates.
Stock futures have extended gains in the premarket after the U.S. reported a stronger-than-expected first reading of second-quarter gross domestic product.
U.S. GDP grew at 4 per cent in the quarter, according to the report, stronger than the 3 per cent expected, on average, by the Street.
S&P 500 futures, which were up as much as 0.3 per cent earlier this morning, are now trading up around 0.5 per cent - pointing to a strong opening of trade today in North American markets. Bond yields rose sharply after the data, with the yield on the U.S. three-year Treasury hitting 1 per cent for the first time since 2011.
The Street consensus had expected the growth rate to snap back sharply from a surprising contraction in the first three months of the year because of the brutal winter. But the 4 per cent represented even better growth than most were expecting.
This afternoon, the U.S. Federal Reserve will reveal what was agreed to in this week's policy meeting. The bank is widely expected to reduce its monthly bond purchases by a further $10-billion (U.S.), to $25-billion, and signal it will get out of the quantitative easing business altogether by October. More interesting may be what clues it sends about the strength of the economy and when it may pull the trigger on the first interest rate hike in many years. The current bet is that will come in the middle of 2015, although recent improvement in jobs numbers -- not to mention today's GDP report -- have some thinking it could come as early as the first quarter of next year.
The TSX ended with a slight gain Tuesday, but U.S. indexes were in the red, amid jitters over tougher European Union and U.S. sanctions against Russia. But those concerns seem to be subsiding this morning, with Russia's MICEX index of blue-chip stocks actually rising more than 2 per cent today. There is some relief that the sanctions won't have a major impact on Russia's key gas sector, nor will they affect the country's biggest lender, OAO Sherbank.
Twitter shares are grabbing considerable attention this morning after releasing blow-out second-quarter results after the bell on Tuesday. It's trading up more than 20 per cent in the premarket, with the market particularly impressed by the growth in its users. Analysts are racing this morning to hike their price targets on the stock.
Several big Canadian corporations are out with earnings today in addition to a number of S&P 500 firms. So far we've seen earnings misses from TorStar and CGI Group, while Cenovus and Thomson Reuters beat Street estimates.
More on how earnings are coming in below and what else is going on this morning and what is still to come.
Futures: S&P 500 +0.43 per cent; Dow +0.45 per cent; Nasdaq +0.55 per cent; S&P/TSX +0.23 per cent
Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.37 per cent
Shanghai composite index -0.10 per cent
Japan's Nikkei +0.18 per cent
London's FTSE 100 -0.06 per cent
Germany's DAX -0.02 per cent
France's CAC 40 -0.24 per cent
Stoxx 600 -0.08 per cent
WTI crude oil (Nymex Sep) +0.34 per cent at $101.31 (U.S.) a barrel
Gold (Comex Dec) -0.31 per cent at $1,296.50 (U.S.) an ounce
Copper (Comex Sep) +0.79 per cent at $3.24 (U.S.) a pound
Canadian dollar at 91.85 (U.S.), down 0.0031
U.S. dollar index up 0.19 at 81.40
U.S. 10-year Treasury yield 2.51 per cent, up 0.03
U.S. ADP National Employment Report showed 218,000 private job gains last month, below the 233,000 that was expected.
U.S. second-quarter GDP rose 4 per cent in the second quarter, ahead of expectations for 3 per cent growth. GDP had contracted 2.9 per cent in the first quarter, which was blamed on bad weather.
Canadian industrial product prices in June fell 0.1 per cent from a month earlier. Consensus was for a rise of 0.2 per cent.
(2 p.m. ET) Federal Reserve makes its monetary policy announcement following two-day meeting.
STOCKS TO WATCH:
Penn West Petroleum unveiled details of accounting irregularities late Tuesday and launched a review of its financial statements dating back 4 1/2 years. The company said the voluntary accounting review could force it to reduce its budget and royalty expense expectations for 2014 and increase its operating cost predictions. Shares are down 10 per cent in the U.S. premarket.
Oil and natural gas producer Hess said it plans to form a publicly-traded master limited partnership comprising its pipeline and storage assets in North Dakota's Bakken oil shale field. Hess also reported adjusted Q2 EPS of $1.38 (U.S.) versus the Street estimate of $1.18.
Baytex Energy late Tuesday said it has agreed to sell its assets in North Dakota to SM Energy Co. for $357-million.
Cenovus reported net income of 81 cents (Canadian) a share, easily beating Street estimates, as its oil sands production shot up.
Torstar Corp. reported second-quarter net income of 25 cents per share, up from 23 cents per share a year earlier. That missed the Street's EPS estimates.
CGI Group reported earnings per share of 71 cents in its latest quarter, up from 56 cents a year earlier, which missed Street forecasts by a penny.
Thomson Reuters reported adjusted Q2 EPS of 51 cents, beating the Street view of 46 cents. Revenue of $3.15-billion also beat Street forecasts of $3.13-billion.
Intact Financial reported Q2 operating EPS of $1.53 vs. the Street estimate of $1.56.
Twitter shares are up more than 20 per cent in heavy premarket trading after releasing blow-out second-quarter results after the bell on Tuesday.
Other earnings today include: Agnico-Eagle, Barrick Gold, Easyhome, First Quantum, Home Capital, HudBay Minerals, Kinross Gold, Lundin Mining, MacDonald Dettwiler, Open Text, Sherritt, Suncor Energy, TransAlta, Unti-Selectr, Western Forest, Wi-LAN, Yamana Gold, Fidelity National Financial, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Intrepid Potash, Kraft Foods Group, Methanex, MetLife, Murphy Oil, Noble, Phillips 66, Pitney Bowes, Questar, Shutterfly, SodaStream, Sprint, Taser International, Superior Energy Services, Valero, Whole Foods Market, Williams Companies, Yelp.
At least four brokerages raised their ratings on Twitter, while at least 17 raised price targets, by as much as $18 to a high of $65, after the company reported results on Tuesday.
Industrial Alliance downgraded Major Drilling Group to "hold" from "buy" on recent price appreciation and kept a $9 (Canadian) price target.
RBC Dominion Securities raised its price target on Enbridge to $30 (Canadian) from $25 and maintained a "sector perform" rating.
RBC Dominion Securities upgraded Romarco Minerals to "outperform" from "sector perform" and raised its price target to $1.25 (Canadian) from $1.
Several analysts raised their price targets on WestJet Airlines, including Canaccord Genuity hiking its target to $33 (Canadian) and Raymond James raising its target to $37.50.
For instant headlines on breaking economic and corporate news in the premarket, follow Darcy Keith on Twitter at @eyeonequities.