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IBM could lift stocks
Strong earnings boost futures ahead of other corporate reports due Tuesday.
July 19, 2005: 8:11 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Stocks could get a lift from strong results from IBM, although indexes will also be affected by another rush of earnings Tuesday.

U.S. stock futures were up in early trading, indicating a higher opening for stocks.

Shares of IBM were up 4 percent in morning trading in Europe after Big Blue recovered from its first-quarter earnings miss to post better than expected second-quarter results after the market close Monday.

In other corporate news, computer and peripheral maker Hewlett Packard (Research) said it would announce cut 14,500 jobs and change its pension program in an effort to save $1.9 billion annually. Shares of HP were up in European trading following the anticipated announcement.

Automaker Ford Motor (Research) and broker Merrill Lynch (Research) both reported results that topped forecasts, although Ford's earnings fell while Merrill's profit improved. Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson (Research) was also due to report results before the market open Tuesday.

Earnings are due after the market close from technology bellwethers Intel (Research), Motorola (Research) and Yahoo! (Research)

Oil prices were mixed in early trading Tuesday. The August light crude futures contract for NYMEX lost 9 cents to $57.23 a barrel in electronic trading, while the September contract for Brent crude gained 17 cents to $57.16.

Major markets in Asia closed mixed Tuesday, and major European markets were mostly higher in early trading.

Treasury prices little changed, leaving the yield on the 10-year note at the 4.23 percent level late Monday. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a letter to a member of Congress Monday that relatively low long-term interest rates do not necessarily indicate economic weakness ahead.

Greenspan is set to testify before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.

The dollar gained ground against on the euro and the yen in early trading.

Economic reports due Tuesday include a government report on housing starts and building permits. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com forecast that housing starts edged up to an annual pace of 2.1 million in June from 2 million in May, while permits are expected to have been little changed.

For a more detailed look at the markets before the open, click here.  Top of page

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