Stocks Headed Higher As Companies Raise Their Outlook

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It looks like Friday’s rally is set to resume, as pre-market futures are pointing up.

There are a couple of notable comments on earningscoming out this morning that are helping to provide the lift.

Home improvement mega-store Lowe’s (LOW) posted better-than-expected earnings of $.32 per share; analysts had been looking for $.25. And the company’s earnings outlook for the year of $1.13 – $1.25 is ahead of current estimates of $1.11.

Meanwhile, State Street (STT), one of the TARP banks that took some gulp-inducing swings during the panic, said that it planned to sell common shares and float non-FDIC guaranteed debt, as part of its plan to untangle itself from TARP. On the downside, the company is taking a $3.7 billion charge to move certain conduits (the vehicles through which it got caught in the subprime mess) back onto the balance sheet. And though the share sale will be dilutive (obviously) and the charge is a negative, the bank is also raising estimates for the year to $4.25 – $4.50, which is well ahead of the $3.83 that analysts had been looking for.

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