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Stock futures lifted by Intel
November payrolls data looms
By Steve Goldstein, CBS
Last Update: 8:01 AM ET Dec. 3, 2004  
E-mail it | Print | Discuss | Alert | Reprint | RSS

LONDON (CBS.MW) -- U.S. stock market futures were trending higher Friday after Intel overnight upped its sales guidance, but caution ahead of payrolls data later in the morning capped gains.

Intel surges on new, higher targets
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S&P futures rose 5.2 points while Nasdaq futures added 13.5 points.

The dollar was fairly stable vs. rival currencies, with the euro up 0.4 percent at $1.3314. January-dated crude futures eased slightly to $43.14 per barrel in electronic trade after a two-day tumble.

Intel (INTC: news, chart, profile) upped its sales forecast, saying sales in the fourth quarter would rise between $9.3 billion and $9.5 billion. See Intel story.

Intel shares rose 8.5 percent to $24.63 in pre-open trade.

The news boosted chipmakers in Asia and Europe in Friday trade, with STMicroelectronics (STM: news, chart, profile) and Taiwan Semi (TSM: news, chart, profile) both rising around 2 percent in local trade.

Merrill Lynch in a note said it doubted that Intel would post its third straight year of double digit revenue growth in 2005, saying that hadn't happened since 1996. The broker said it was surprised by Intel's $9.3 to $9.5 billion revenue outlook for the fourth quarter, well above the $8.9 billion the broker had forecast, but still underlined that "Intel has a problem that isn't going to go away in a single quarter," saying the company still has more capacity than it can fill.

IBM (IBM: news, chart, profile) rose 2 percent in the pre-open on a report in the New York Times it was looking to sell its PC making unit for up to $2 billion to China's leading computer maker. See IBM story.

Continuing the tech theme, Wachovia Securities downgraded application software makers Oracle (ORCL: news, chart, profile) and SAP (SAP: news, chart, profile) to market perform from outperform. Oracle has outperformed over the past three months due to the increasing likelihood that the company will acquire rival PeopleSoft Inc.(PSFT: news, chart, profile), while most near-term upside on SAP was already built in the stock price, even though the fundamentals of the company remain strong, the broker said.

SAP's German-listed shares weakened 0.4 percent, and Oracle shares lost 8 cents.

And mobile handset maker Nokia (NOK: news, chart, profile) ADRs were off two cents after announcing the departure of two senior executives.

Outside of techs, the BBC reported -- falsely -- that Dow Chemical (DOW: news, chart, profile) has taken full responsibility for the Bhopal disaster in India and set up a $12 billion compensation plan. The BBC said it was an elaborate deception, and a Dow spokesman told Reuters the story was false.

Mining stocks led decliners in London amid recent commodity price falls. See London markets.

Payrolls at 8:30 a.m.

Economists are expecting a second straight month of above-trend growth for November non-farm payrolls at about 204,000, just a smidgen faster than the 198,000 average for the year, according to a survey conducted by CBS MarketWatch. The unemployment rate is expected to fall a tenth to 5.4 percent. See story.

Biomira shares (BIOM: news, chart, profile) rocketed 41 percent after it and partner Merck KGAA said data from a Phase II trial of lung cancer drug was encouraging. Over half the patients are alive after 23 months, it said.

In a small deal, Selectica (SLTC: news, chart, profile) said it will pay $1.55 per share in cash for all outstanding I-many (IMNY: news, chart, profile) shares, giving the transaction a total value of $70 million. The merger has been approved by both boards and is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2005.

I-many shares closed Thursday at $1.45 per share.

Steve Goldstein is a reporter for CBS in London.

U.S. stocks set to extend rally as crude fall continues 8:44am ET 12/02/04
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U.S. stock futures drift, Red Hat upgrade 8:54am ET 11/30/04
Stock futures set hopes for strong U.S. start 8:53am ET 11/29/04
U.S. stock futures lean to the upside 9:03am ET 11/26/04

Latest Industry News   Get Alerted on News in this Industry
Biomira pushes higher after hours on cancer drug trial 6:02pm ET 12/03/04
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