Dish Bids for Clearwire Spectrum and Apple’s Low-End iPhone: Morning Buzzers

Stock futures trekked upward on Wednesday morning, following two consecutive down days for the U.S. markets. Earnings season has arrived and investors are turning up their collars against economic headwinds and political gamesmanship in Washington to focus on the performance of the companies that drive the American economic machine.

At 8:55 a.m.: S&P: +0.14% to 1,45.25, Dow: +0.20% to 13,293.00, NASDAQ: +0.04% to 2,715.

Here’s what’s buzzing in the pre-market:Stock Exchange

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) showed some strength in its fourth-quarter earnings, which were released after the bell on Tuesday. Net income of $0.21 per share beat expectations of just $0.06 per share, and revenue of $5.9 billion beat expectations for $5.6 billion. Shares were up as much as 1.6 percent ahead of the regular session… (Read more.)

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Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ:CLWR) attracted a lot of attention after announcing that DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) issued an unsolicited, non-binding bid for spectrum. Shares of Clearwire were up as much as 6.8 percent in the pre-market, while Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), which previously entered an agreement with Clearwire to obtain the 50 percent stake it doesn’t currently own, dropped about 2.3 percent.

Word on the street is that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is working on a lower-end iPhone aimed at taking a chunk out of a demographic traditionally dominated by phones running Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS. The Wall Street Journal reports that people briefed on the matter suggest a shift in corporate strategy could bring the Apple brand to those with thin wallets.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) are reportedly signing on to a multi-billion-dollar deal to settle claims related to illegal foreclosures. Over a dozen banks have now struck a joint deal with the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to pay up for damages. Most of the money will go to people whose homes were illegally foreclosed on or those who are currently struggling with improperly structured mortgages.

Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL) is worse for the wear on Wednesday morning after reporting its results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Net income dropped 10.6 percent to $1.18 per diluted share, and revenue fell 6.7 percent to $1.1 billion. Shares were off as much as 8.8 percent in pre-market trading.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 0.67 percent, the Hang Seng closed up 0.46 percent, and the S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.38 percent. European markets are also heading toward gains ahead of the bell in New York, with the FTSE 100 up over half a percent.

Don’t Miss:  Analyst: Apple’s Still the Top Pick.