Ultimate Market Recap: Greece, MasterCard Earnings, and Greece

Wednesday Morning’s Top Stories

Greece’s prime minister George Papandreou will meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German chancellorAngela Merkel today to discuss his referendum plan. The three will meet in Cannes for the G20 summit meeting, which will include discussions of how to quickly fight the euro zone debt crisis.

In addition to angering his euro zone peers, Papandreou’s referendum decision has not been fully supported by some of his party members and the media. On Friday, Greek parliament will vote on his actions.

Super Hot Feature: VIRAL VIDEO: The Secret Truth Behind Who Will Really Bail Out Europe.

After China’s (NYSE:FXI) disappointing manufacturing activity numbers on Tuesday, the euro zone delivered its own weak manufacturing figures today.  The 17-nation region reported greater contracting than expected for October, with a Markit purchasing managers index declining to 47.1 , from 48.5 in September. The preliminary estimate had been 47.3. A number of less than 50 indicates a contraction. The one positive note was Ireland, who showed a slight growth at 50.1.

MF Global’s (NYSE:MF) attorney has told a U.S. Bankruptcy judge that the alleged $700 million in missing customer funds has been accounted for; however, the firm did admit to using them for its recent troubles.  The FBI will most likely investigate this for possible criminal activity.

Investing Insights: Here Are The Biggest Winners & Losers From MF Global’s Bankruptcy.

Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) reported third quarter earnings jumped 57 percent from increasing revenue after its previous year $295 million debt-related charge. The company reported a $822 million profit ($0.78 per share), up from $522 million ($0.46) from the previous year. Without investment gains and other items, earnings rose to $0.79 from $0.62. Revenue rose 11 percent to $7.07 billion. Analysts estimates had earnings at $0.76 per share from $6.98 billion in revenues. Contributing to the strong third quarter was the Harry Potter film’s $1.3 billion global box office sales.

Wednesday Morning Hot Stocks

Shares of Mastercard (NYSE:MA) are charging ahead more than 8% in early trading.  The company reported third quarter earnings Wednesday morning.  Net income increased to $717 million ($5.63 per share), compared to $518 million ($3.94 per share) last year.  Analysts were only expecting about $4.81 earnings per share.  Visa (NYSE:V) and Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF) are also trading higher.

Investing Insights: MasterCard Incorporated Earnings Cheat Sheet: Beats Analysts’ Estimates.

Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE:TAP) is attracting attention this morning after reporting third quarter earnings.  Net income fell to $197.4 million ($1.06 per share), compared to $256.1 million ($1.37 per share) last year.  Shares are edging down nearly 1%.

IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (NYSE:ICE) is climbing higher after reporting a 38% surge in third quarter earnings.  The company posted a profit of $132.6 million based on a jump in the operator’s daily trading volume.

Investing Insights: IntercontinentalExchange Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Fifth Consecutive Quarter of Double-Digit Growth.

After reporting a 29% fall in third quarter income, Foster Wheeler (NASDAQ:FWLT) is down more than 6% at the open.  The company reported earnings of $36.9 million (31 cents per share), compared to $51.7 million (41 cents per share) last year.

AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) is jumping 5% despite reporting a third quarter loss of $2.6 million (2 cents per share).  The quarter included a $7.1 million restructuring charge.  Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) are also trading higher. Dig Deeper: AOL Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Fifth Straight Quarter of Shrinking Margins.

Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) is down nearly 1% after reporting a 57% gain in profits for the most recent quarter.  Revenue also increased by 11%, due to higher revenues at the filmed division and networks segment. Don’t Miss: Time Warner Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Revenue Growth Drives Margin, Profit Increases.

Wednesday Afternoon’s Trending Stocks

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is rallying 129 points higher today and the S&P 500 Index is up over 1%. Here are the top stocks buzzing on Wall Street today:

  1. Career Education Corp. (NASDAQ:CECO): Shares of Career Education Corp. are trading lower over 42% today. Career Education Corporation provides private, for-profit postsecondary education in the United States and Canada. The Company’s schools offer a variety of bachelor’s degree, associate degree, and non-degree programs, with a core curricula of information technologies, visual communication and design technologies, business studies, and culinary arts. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  2. MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE:MA): Shares of MasterCard Incorporated are trading higher over 6% today. MasterCard, Inc. is a global payment solutions company that provides a variety of services in support of the credit, debit and related payment programs of financial institutions. The Company offers transaction processing services for credit and debit cards, electronic cash, automated teller machines, and travelers checks. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  3. Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN): Shares of Garmin Ltd. are trading higher over 4% today. Garmin Ltd. provides navigation, communications, and information devices, most of which are enabled by Global Positioning System (NYSE:GPS) technology. The Company designs, develops, manufactures, and markets hand-held, portable, and fixed mount GPS-enabled products and other navigation, communications, and information products under the GARMIN brand name. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  4. OpenTable Inc (NASDAQ:OPEN): Shares of OpenTable Inc are trading lower over 14% today. OpenTable, Inc. provides free, real-time online restaurant reservations for diners through an online booking service. The Company also offers reservation and guest management solutions for restaurants. OpenTable allows users to search for tables based on desired criteria for cuisine, price, and location. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  5. hhgregg, Inc. (NYSE:HGG): Shares of hhgregg, Inc. are trading higher over 18% today. hhgregg, Inc. retails video products, brand name appliances, audio products and accessories. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  6. BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BBX): Shares of BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc. are trading lower over 7% today. BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc. is a savings bank holding company. The Company’s BankAtlantic subsidiary provides a variety of commercial banking products and services through a network of offices in Florida. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  7. Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:DMND): Shares of Diamond Foods, Inc. are trading lower over 21% today. Diamond Foods, Inc. is a branded food company specializing in processing, marketing and distributing culinary, snack, in-shell and ingredient nuts. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  8. Syms Corp. (NASDAQ:SYMS): Shares of Syms Corp. are trading higher over 20% today. Syms Corp operates a chain of off-price retail apparel stores. The Company’s stores are located in the United States throughout the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions and the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest. Syms offers a broad range of off-price merchandise consisting primarily of men’s tailored clothing, women’s clothing, children’s apparel, and shoes. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  9. Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA): Shares of Comcast Corporation are trading flat today. Comcast Corporation is a provider of video, high-speed Internet and phone services. The Company offers a variety of entertainment, information and communications services to residential and commercial customers. Comcast is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  10. Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX): Shares of Time Warner Inc. are trading lower over 2% today. Time Warner Inc. is a media and entertainment company. The Company’s businesses include cable television networks that provide programming, feature films, television and home video production and distribution, and magazine publishing. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Market Recap

Markets closed up on Wall Street today: Dow +1.53%, S&P +1.61%, Nasdaq +1.27%, Oil +0.17%, Gold +1.45%.On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed slightly to $92.35 a barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing to $1,736.60 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbed 4.37% to settle at $34.16.

Hot Feature: Banks Expand Lending, Consumer Debt Reaches $11.2 Trillion

Today’s markets were up because:

1) Greece. Though Greece’s referendum on austerity measures still has the potential to seriously screw up the euro-zone’s plan to combat the region’s ongoing debt crisis, an integral part of which is a 50% writedown on Greek debt meant to help the nation avoid default, the picture isn’t so grim as it seemed yesterday. Several high profile meetings are taking place in Cannes today, where global leaders are gathered for a G-20 summit scheduled to begin tomorrow. Though all eyes are still on Greece, the appearance of a united front tackling the issue before there even is an issue has investors skittish, but not yet running for the hills. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, though it was his call for the referendum that created the mess, feels assured that his people will ultimately see the necessity of the austerity measures and the bailout, allowing everything to go forward as planned. 

2) Fed. Late in the day, Federal Reserve officials announced their lowered outlook for U.S. economic growth in 2012, forecasting that unemployment will average between 8.5% and 8.7% by the final three months of next year. While Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke announced no new policies, he left the door open for more easing down the line, saying that the Fed is “prepared to take further action” to sustain the economic recovery. 

3) Banks. After two days of sharp declines, markets were in the mood to rally today, with banks reaping the rewards. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) started the day higher and held onto a 5% gain throughout, while JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) all tacked on about 3%. It’s fair to say Bank of America gained an extra boost from an announcement yesterday that it would not be charging debit-card users $5 per month afterall. Of course, that means the bank will have to make up the billions of dollars in revenue it will lose because of new debit-card regulations some other way, but that wasn’t enough to spoil it for investors.

After Hours Radar Stocks

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) is surging nearly 10% higher in late trading after reporting a 22% increase in earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter.  The company reported net income of $1.06 billion (62 cents per share), compared to $865 million (53 cents per share) last year.  Qualcomm also raised guidance due to the popularity of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new iPhone 4S.

News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) is jumping 2.25% in extended trading after telling analysts Wednesday that home entertainment revenues are starting to stabilize, after slowing down in previous years.  Competitors include Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) and Disney (NYSE:DIS).

Investing Insights: News Corp Earnings Cheat Sheet: Profit Slides Again.

Prudential (NYSE:PRU) is trading down almost 3%, despite reporting a 29% rise in third quarter profits.  Investors were concerned over operating earnings, which dropped more than expected.

Kraft (NYSE:KFT) is edging .40% higher in late trading.  Net income for Kraft increased to $922 million (52 cents per share), compared to $754 million (43 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 22.3% from the year earlier quarter.  Competitors include include General Mills (NYSE:GIS) and Ralcorp (NYSE:RAH).

Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) is sinking 4% as investors digest the company’s earnings release.  The company posted a 31% increase in fiscal fourth quarter profit.  The company also increased its dividend by 40%.  Whole Foods typically beats estimates, but analysts were expecting better guidance from the company.

Investing Insights: Whole Foods Market Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Profit Rises by Double-Figures for Fifth Consecutive Quarter.

Shares of American Eagle (NYSE:AEO) are screaming 9% higher after raising the low end of its third quarter earnings outlook.  Our third quarter results reflect stronger merchandise assortments and targeted promotions supported by strategic inventory investments,” Chief Executive Jim O’Donnell said.