The U.S. equity markets looked eager to put last week’s pessimism behind them, and echoed worldwide gains on Monday morning. Japan’s Nikkei closed up 2.43 percent, while Europe’s STOXX 50 was up 2.13 percent as New York headed into its opening bell.
U.S. futures at 8:55 a.m.: DJIA: +0.39%, S&P 500: +0.45%, NASDAQ: +0.67%.
Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) edged about half a percent higher in pre-market trading after reporting fourth-quarter sales and earnings results. The world’s second-largest home improvement retailer reported fourth quarter diluted earnings per share of $0.26, flat year over year, and full-year earnings of $1.69 per share, compared to $1.43 the previous year. Comparable store sales increased 1.4 percent for the year. Looking ahead, Lowe’s is expecting comparable-store sales to increase 3.5 percent for fiscal 2013, and full-year earnings of approximately $2.05 per share.
Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) surged on Monday morning following news that founder and chairman Leonard Riggio is planning an offer to buy the company. Riggio still owns about 30 percent of the company, and would bring his proposal to the company’s board of directors. As it stands, there is no time table for the review of any possible deal. Shares climbed as much as 13.5 percent in pre-market trading.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) announced “a broad global strategy to deliver a new generation of connected cars and trucks with embedded 4G LTE mobile broadband, the largest deployment in the automotive industry to date.” A strong move for America’s largest car company, and one that investors seem to agree with. Shares climbed as much as 1 percent in pre-market trading. AT&T (NYSE:T) was up fractionally, as GM also announced that it would be partnering with the telecom company for the roll out instead of Verizon (NYSE:VZ).