The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) gained 60 points in premarket trading, suggesting a positive start to the stock market today. World markets rose toward all-time highs overnight: Europe's Stoxx index was up 1.5% as of 8:50 a.m. EDT, which points to early gains in the Dow.
Time Warner shares were up 15% in premarket trading on reports that the entertainment giant has become a takeover target. According to The New York Times, Twenty-First Century Fox recently offered to pay $80 billion for the company in a deal that would shake up the media industry. Time Warner's business has been firing on all cylinders lately, with its HBO, TV broadcast, and Warner Bros. divisions all kicking in profit and revenue growth thanks to a diverse group of hit content such as Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory, and The LEGO Movie. However, Fox will likely have to pay up if it wants control of those growing businesses: Time Warner reportedly rejected its initial bid of $85 per share in cash and stock. We'll have to wait to see whether more bids will follow.
Bank of America today posted second-quarter results that saw its profit fall harder than expected to $0.19 per share from $0.32 in the prior-year period. However, revenue came in surprisingly high, sliding just 4% year over year to $22 billion. Wall Street had been bracing for a 7% revenue dip. CEO Brian Moynihan joined all the major bank executives in noting significant improvements in the economy in the second quarter. Moynihan said in a press release that "consumers are spending more, brokerage assets are up by double digits," and there has been an encouraging rise in financing demand for "business expansion and merger activity." Despite those promising macro trends, B of A's interest and noninterest income results both fell slightly, held back by lower debt yields and a decline in mortgage demand. Still, shareholders should find a lot to like about today's results, including a huge drop in loan charge-offs and continued cost-cutting at the bank. Bank of America stock was down modestly in premarket trading.