Apple Crashes and Nokia Kills its Dividend: Morning Buzzers

Stock futures were mixed on Thursday morning. The Dow was heading for green pastures but the NASDAQ was crushed by a major tech earnings fiasco.

At 8:50 a.m.: Dow: +0.11%, S&P: -0.22%, NASDAQ: -1.35%.

Here’s what’s buzzing in the pre-market:apple-logo

The Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims for the week ended January 19 fell 1.5 percent to 330,000, while the four-week moving average declined 2.2 percent to 360,000.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be weighing like an anchor on the NASDAQ today after losing as much as 10 percent overnight. The world’s largest tech company may as well have released its first-quarter fiscal-2013 earnings to a pack of wolves. Apple grew revenues 18 percent to $54.5 billion, while earnings of $13.81 per share came in ahead most expectations.

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Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is taking flak for a $654 million write off related to accounting misconduct at a mining-equipment company it purchased last year. Caterpillar found evidence of fraud only after buying the unit, and observers have raised questions about Caterpillar’s M&A screening process.

Nokia-MapsNokia (NYSE:NOK) fell as much as 4 percent after releasing its fourth-quarter and full-year interim report. Net sales fell 20 percent year over year for the last quarter and 22 percent annually, but the company has managed to bring costs under control and eek out a positive margin. However, mixed with the performance review was an announcement that the company would axe its dividend.

3M Company (NYSE:MMM) was off slightly in the pre-market after reporting earnings that pretty much fell in line with expectations. Fourth-quarter revenue grew 4.2 percent, while profit grew 3.9 percent to $1.41 per share. 3M is forecasting full-year 2013 EPS between $6.70 and $6.95.

More good news out of China generally means more good news for the global economy. HSBC reports that China’s flash manufacturing PMI hit 51.9, its highest level in two years. The country’s manufacturing output index climbed to 52.2, its highest level in 22 months.

Don’t Miss: Live Blog: Apple Earnings Call Cheat Sheet.