Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, and with markets near their all-time highs, we should see another positive start for the stock market today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is set to rise by 12 points at the opening bell, according to index futures.
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) shares are on the move after the company last night reported earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter. Investors couldn't exactly call the news good: HP's sales fell, led by a 10% decline in consumer revenue as prices on desktops and notebooks slumped. Still, the report was better than Wall Street expected, with overall sales of $29.1 billion, ahead of the $27.9 billion that analysts were targeting. HP even managed to boost sales slightly in its enterprise group division, which saw better networking and server demand. The company forecast a profit turnaround over the next year, where earnings should climb to $3.65 from the $3.56 it managed in the fiscal year that just closed. HP stock is up 4% in premarket trading.
The nation's biggest banks could collectively owe an additional $100 billion to settle lawsuits and investigations into their marketing of mortgage-backed securities ahead of the financial crisis, according to a report by the Standard & Poor's ratings agency. The largest banks in the S&P report, including JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Bank of America, should have ample reserves to pay the potential expenses, though, as they have bulked up their savings to more than $155 billion. Still, the takeaway is that investors can expect to see more litigation charges in the banking industry, comparable to the $9 billion hit that swamped JP Morgan's quarterly results last month.
Finally, Crocs' (NASDAQ:CROX) management is eager to buy back more of the company's stock, and may be willing to give up some control to get the cash to do it. Bloomberg reported last night that the shoemaker is in talks with buyout firms about a potential investment. The report cited a source as saying that proceeds from the deal could be "used for a stock buyback." Despite falling sales and profits, Crocs recently announced a boost to its share repurchasing plans, to as much as 20% of the outstanding share base. A deal with a private equity firm could accelerate those plans. Crocs' stock is up 7% in premarket trading.