April 24 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know
Updated from 6:38 a.m. EDT
Here are 10 things you should know for Thursday, April 24:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were rising and European shares gained as two U.S. technology giants posted strong earnings.
Stocks in Tokyo slipped after talks between Japan's prime minister and visiting President Obama failed to finalize a trade agreement. The Nikkei 225 fell 1%.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and durable-goods orders for March at 8:30 a.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Wednesday slipped amid tepid Chinese economic data and a 14.5% month-over-month drop in U.S. new-home sales.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.08% to close at 16,501.65, while the S&P 500 closed off 0.22% to 1,875.39. The Nasdaq declined 0.83% to 4,126.97.
4. -- Apple
Apple reported earnings of $11.62 a share on revenue of $45.6 billion. The company shipped 43.7 million iPhones, 16.4 million iPads, and 4.1 million Macs during the quarter.
Gross margin, a highly watched level for Apple, came in at 39.3%.
For the fiscal third quarter, Apple said it expects revenue of between $36 billion and $38 billion, with gross margins between 37% and 38%.
Apple also announced that it was raising its capital allocation program to more than $130 billion by the end of calendar year 2015. As part of the program, Apple's board increased its share repurchase authorization to $90 billion from $60 billion, and boosted its quarterly dividend by 8% to $3.29 a share.
The stock was up 8.7% in premarket trading to $570.15.
5. -- Social media giant Facebook
"Facebook's business is strong and growing, and this quarter was a great start to 2014," said founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the earnings statement. "We've made some long-term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business. We're in great position to continue making progress towards our mission."
Revenue for the first quarter was $2.5 billion, an increase of 72% from the first quarter of 2013. First-quarter revenue of $2.36 billion was expected by analysts.
Non-GAAP earnings in the quarter were 34 cents a share; analysts expected 24 cents.
Facebook shares rose 4.9% in premarket trading to $64.36.
6. -- Shares in French train and equipment manufacturer Alstom spiked on reports that General Electric
Alstom said in a statement Thursday that it has not been "informed of any potential public tender offer for shares of the company."