Option Investor
Market Updates

Fourth quarter GDP revised upward to 1.4%

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Stock futures had clawed their way back to unchanged levels after S&P futures had slipped to 834 in overnight trade, but now hold a 3-point gain at 841.20 after fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) was revised upward to 1.4% from the advanced report of 0.7%. The revised 1.4% annual rate was better than the 1.0% growth economists had forecasted.

The upward revision that shows the U.S. economy growing at a 1.4% annual rate in the fourth quarter came largely due to upward revisions in inventory. Final sales (which exclude inventories) was revised down to 1.2% from the advanced report of 1.3%.

As mentioned, S&P futures (sp03h) currently trade higher by 3 points to 841.20. NASDAQ futures (nd03h) are gaining 3.5 points to 1,000.00, while Dow futures (dj03h) are edging up 18 points at 7,910.

Traders are looking for a marginally higher open in stocks as fair value for the S&P 500 today is $-0.20. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at 0.68 and set for program selling at $-1.30. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $0.80.

Treasuries had opened their morning trade relatively flat, but have seen marginal selling after the release of this morning's economic data. The March 10-year Treasury futures (ty03m) 114'275 -0.08% are edging lower, as the benchmark bond's YIELD ($TNX.X) edges up to YIELD 3.759%.

Shares of First Horizon Pharmaceutical Corp. (NASDAQ:FHRX) $5.80 are this morning's most actively traded stock and getting cut in half at $2.13 in pre-market trade after the company reported Q4 earnings of $0.13 per share, which beat estimates by 2-cents. However, the company said it expects Q1 net revenues to be between $20 million and $25 million and sees a loss of between $-0.03 and $0.02 per share, which was well below consensus estimates of $32.8 million and $0.09 respectively.

Other actives has Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) $16.70 gaining 33 cents to $17.03 after Lehman Bros. raised it Q1 revenue estimates for the chipmaker to $6.7-$7.0 billion from $6.5-$7.0 billion based on strength in its overseas markets. Lehman also raised Q1 EPS estimates to $0.13 from $0.12, 2003 EPS to $0.63 from $0.60 and 2004 EPS to $0.82 from $0.80. These upward EPS estimates compare to respective consensus estimates of ($0.12, $0.61 and $0.82).

Jeff Bailey

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