U.S. Market:
AIG - 55.12 +0.14 0.255% Apple - 115.67 +1.04 0.907% Bank of America - 17.20 +0.10 0.585% Cisco - 27.69 -0.13 -0.467% Citigroup - 54.64 +0.28 0.515% Coca-Cola - 43.905 -0.635 -1.426% Facebook - 75.141 -0.319 -0.423% Ford - 16.11 +0.21 1.321% GE - 26.375 +0.325 1.248% Hewlett-Packard - 38.89 -0.06 -0.154% Intel - 37.69 +0.09 0.239% JPMorgan - 61.1206 +0.0406 0.066% McDonald's - 95.22 +0.11 0.116% Microsoft - 48.17 -0.29 -0.598% Pfizer - 31.38 -0.19 -0.602% Starbucks - 80.32 -0.05 -0.062%

Wall St. to dip at open after rally, soft earnings

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were set for a slightly lower open on Thursday, after the S&P 500 notched its biggest gain in over a month, as strong economic data was offset by some disappointing corporate earnings. Bed, Bath & Beyond shares slumped 6 percent to $63.85 before the opening bell after the domestic merchandise retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings. Family Dollar Stores Inc lost 1.8 percent to $58 in premarket after it reported second-quarter results and gave an outlook that fell short of expectations. The S&P 500 scored its biggest gain since March 4 after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting showed a more supportive central bank than investors had previously expected.


Cash America looking to spin off online lending business

(Reuters) – Payday lender Cash America International Inc is revisiting a plan to spin off of its online lending business as the company looks to focus more on its pawn lending operations. Shares of the company, which also raised its first-quarter earnings forecast, rose 12.3 percent in premarket trading. Cash America said that while a final decision is yet to be made, the separation of Enova International Inc would create a publicly traded company with about $766 million in revenue as of December 31. In the event of a spinoff, Cash America said it would operate the storefront pawn lending businesses, while Enova would run the online lending business with operations in the United States, UK, Australia and Canada.

Futures flat with initial claims data on tap

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday, after the S&P 500 notched its biggest gain in over a month, as investors digested the opening round of earnings season and looked to data on the labor market. Bed, Bath & Beyond shares slumped 6.8 percent to $63.30 before the opening bell after the domestic merchandise retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings. Investors will eye weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT) for signs of health in the labor market. The S&P 500 scored its biggest gain since March 4 after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting showed a more supportive central bank than investors had previously expected.


GT Bank sees 10 pct of profit from outside Nigeria by 2016

Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank expects to generate one tenth of group profit outside the country by 2016, after it digests recent acquisitions in East Africa, its chief executive said on Wednesday. ‘We think East Africa will do well for us, we think Ghana will continue to do well … and we will go into one more country before 2016 and that will push us,’ CEO Segun Agbaje told a media briefing. Banks in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, have been expanding across the continent in recent years to diversify their earnings base. Rival lender UBA, with 19 African subsidiaries has said it expected half of its profit to come from outside Nigeria by 2015, up from 23 percent.

Republican Rubio offers bill on new education financing vehicles

Sen Marco Rubio attends Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon HillBy Caren Bohan and Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a possible 2016 White House contender, unveiled legislation on Wednesday to broaden the use of financial vehicles known as "income share agreements" that students can use to fund their higher education costs. Under the agreements, which are marketed as an alternative to traditional student loans, private investors or organizations provide students with financing for their education costs in exchange for a percentage of their future earnings. "The same way that private investors invest in a business idea, they could invest in a person who basically says: ‘This is who I am. This is what my career goals are.


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