10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Hitching a ride truckReuters/Mike HutchingsCyclists hang on to the back of a truck outside Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura.

Here is what you need to know.

IBM posted a mixed quarter. The IT product and services provider announced earnings of $US3.84 per share, topping the $US3.78 that Wall Street was expecting. Revenue slumped 13.4% to $US20.8 billion, which was shy of the $US20.95 billion that analysts were anticipating. According to the Wall Street Journal, IBM has seen declining revenue for 13 straight quarters. “Our results for the first half of 2015 demonstrate that we continue to transform our business to higher value and return value to shareholders. We expanded margins, continued to innovate across our portfolio and delivered strong growth in our strategic imperatives of cloud, analytics and engagement, which are becoming a significant part of our business,” IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer Ginni Rometty said.

Infosys beats and ups its full-year sales forecast. The IT service provider reported earnings of $US13.26 per share, topping analyst estimates by $US0.12. Revenue jumped 12.4% to $US14.35 billion, easily beating the $US14.09 billion that was expected. The company upped its dollar revenue guidance to 7.2% to 9.2% as a result of contract wins. “I am very pleased with our performance in the first quarter. Our efforts in redesigning our clients’ experience and our widespread adoption of innovation, both in grassroots and breakthroughs, are starting to bear fruit in large deal wins and in the growth of large clients,” said CEO Vishal Sikka.

Apple hired an auto executive. Apple has hired Doug Betts, an auto manufacturing executive from Fiat Chrysler, increasing speculation it’s looking to enter the auto industry. According to Betts’ LinkedIn page, he has 30 years of experience in the auto industry. Betts’ hiring follows reports from earlier this year suggesting Apple has hired hundreds of employees to work on a secret project called ‘Titan,’ which is said to have the goal of giving Tesla “a run for its money.”

Qualcomm is laying off workers and may break up. The chipmaker is expected to announce it’s laying off more than 10% of its 30,000 employees, according to the Information website. The expected layoffs are part of what is likely to be a strategic review of the company, which could lead to the eventual spin-off of its chip business from the highly profitable patent-licensing business. According to Reuters, Qualcomm has been under pressure from hedge fund Jana Partners to spin-off its patent-licensing business.

Toshiba’s CEO is out after an accounting scandal. Toshiba’s president and CEO, Hisao Tanaka, has resigned after an internal investigation found the company has been cooking its books for several year. The company overstated its profit by 151.8 billion yen ($US1.22 billion), almost triple its initial profit. According to the investigation, the scandal dates back to the post-2009 period when Atsutoshi Nishida was at the helm. Bloomberg reports, Chairman Atsutoshi Nishida will serve as interim president until a replacement is found.


The latest issue of EY’s Capital Insights magazine includes an interview with Deutsche Telekom’s CFO and a look at M&A in the US. Read it now.

A Grexit is possible next year. A Bloomberg survey of 34 economists found that 71% of respondents believe it’s possible Greece exits the euro next year. The economists believe there are still issues that remain unresolved. Specifically, the unwillingness to provide Greece with any debt relief, questions as to the viability of the 50 billion euros Greece must raise through asset sales and the impact of further austerity on the Greek economy. Greece’s 2-year yield is higher by 87 basis points at 21.49%.

Goldman Sachs likes European stocks over US stocks. Goldman Sachs says it’s time to increase exposure to Europe and cut back on US holdings now that Greece and its creditors are making progress. The investment bank upgraded European stocks to ‘overweight’ for the next three months while lowering US stocks to ‘underweight.’ “While performance potential might be limited in the near-term after the strong rebound, several supportive fundamental factors should help outperformance of European vs. U.S. equities until year-end,” Goldman said.

Stock markets around the globe are higher. Japan’s Nikkei (+0.9%) paced the gains overnight as it played catch up following Monday’s holiday. In Europe, France’s CAC (+0.2%) leads a muted session higher. S&P 500 futures are up 0.50 points at 2122.50.

There is no economic data. This week’s data begins to flow tomorrow with FHFA Housing Price Index, existing home sales and crude oil inventories due out. The US 10-year yield is unchanged at 2.38%.

Earnings season kicks into high gear. Apple, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Microsoft and Yahoo highlight the names set to report following today’s closing bell.

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