Wall Street Brief: Facebook’s IPO, Amazon’s Earnings

According to official figures, China’s manufacturing activity rose in January from a PMI increase to 50.5 from December’s 50.3. This exceeded expectations for a contraction. HSBC PMI’s data painted a different picture: January activity declined with a 48.8 reading. Both sources offered different explanations. By looking at China’s official number, it endorsed the country’s hopes that it will elude a hard landing; HSBC noted that its survey “confirmed the still weak growth momentum of manufacturing.”

Facebook
 is expected to file a $5 billion preliminary IPO prospectus today, according to IFR, which will come in less than expected. The company may increase this figure at a later time to meet investor demand. The IPO process may be finalized by May, depending on the Securities and Exchange Commission process. The company’s valuation hasn’t been determined yet but based on private exchange trading, it could see an $80 billion figure.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported its fourth quarter earnings report on Tuesday with an earning per share dive of 54 percent to $0.38. This exceeded estimates but its 35 percent rise in revenue to $17.43 billion missed forecasts.

Amazon gave a weak first quarter outlook with a forecast between a $200 million loss to a $100 million profit, coming in below analysts’ expectations. The company plans to continue spending on growth. Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said regarding the broad outlook, it “reflects the investments that we’re making. We have a lot of opportunities to invest in …. You’re seeing more of that in Q1.”

In the case of the missing customer money from MF Global (MFGLQ), investigators have figured out what happened to most of it, which has been missing since its October 31 bankruptcy, according to the New York Times. They have traced a lot of it to banks, MF Global’s trading partners and also customers. Investigators are not sure the money can be retrieved since some recipients are already entitled to it.

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