Good morning from the business news desk of the Star Tribune.
Fastenal, the maker of screws and bolts and other things used in construction and manufacturing that kicks off Minnesota's earnings season every three months, said this morning that its profit amounted to 33 cents a share in the fourth quarter. Analysts had forecast 34 cents and investors and day traders had a whisper number of 40 cents. Revenue was $813.8 million, 7.5% higher than a year ago. The company sets very high performance expectations and warned last month that it felt some weakening in its margins. Today, it said, "This weakening was worse than we expected and this created additional drain on our ability to grow earnings."
U.S. stock futures are higher and appear set to build on yesterday's rebound that followed Monday's sell-off. They're buoyed by gains in stocks overnight in Asia and in Europe as it heads into the afternoon. As well, Bank of America's strong earnings report, which showed a profit jump that beat expectations, is lifting pre-market sentiment.
by Evan Ramstad, Digital...1/15/2014 2:16:47 PM
Mixed calls. Volume could drop now that USDA report is behind us & Index fund rebalance is done. US stocks, US dollar & Crude are higher.
by ADM InvestorServicesvia twitter1/15/2014 2:19:34 PM
U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller and Claire McCaskill want answers from Target Corp. CEO Greg Steinhafel about the recent data breach that put so many customers at risk. In a Jan. 10 letter Rockefeller and McCaskill asked Steinhafel for a briefing to explain what happened to allow information from 40 million customer accounts to be stolen. As members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Rockefeller and McCaskill have backed legislation to better protect data and to improve disclosure of security breaches.
by jim.spencer1/15/2014 4:06:43 PM
The lawyers will get paid. A lot. Judge in record-setting $7.25 billion antitrust class action settlement with Visa/MasterCard has approved plaintiffs' attorney fees of $545 million. Minneapolis-based Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, which quarter-backed the case for retailers, scores their share. More later.
by Jennifer Bjorhus1/15/2014 4:13:22 PM
Further signs that the US payrolls miss was an anomaly today, get our take on what this means for markets: on.forex.com/1hXzn9U ^KB
The Wall Street Journal wrote today about the safety issues surrounding the movement of North Dakota crude oil by rail. It's a topic we covered last week by focusing on the discussion about safer oil tank rail cars. The Journal takes a look at the preparations fire departments in places as far from North Dakota as Albany, N.Y., have taken in case of an explosive train derailment.