Stock Futures Mixed amid Earnings. Stocks to Watch: APC, AAPL, BAC, BIIB, BP, EMR, F, MAS, PFE
Published on Tuesday, 01 May 2012 07:40 Written by Christopher Lynn
New York, May 1st (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were struggling amid a thinly traded overseas session, with many European and Asian markets closed due to the May Day Holiday. Participants were digesting Chinese and U.K. PMI data, while receiving another healthy dose of earnings reports.
In Asia, stocks ended mixed in thinly traded session, as China remained closed for a Holiday. Australian shares received support from the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to cut interest rates, while the Nikkei tumbled 1.8%, as a strong yen weighed on exporters and economic jitters weighed on sentiment. In China, the government reported that the official purchasing managers' index climbed to a 13-month high of 53.3 in April, signaling expansion and improving from 53.1 in March, although the figure was below expectations.
In Europe, only the UK was open today. In London, the FTSE was climbing, as it was receiving support from better than expected results from Lloyds, which was offsetting weaker than expected results from oil giant BP. Stocks in the U.K. were moving to the upside, rebounding from yesterday’s sharp losses, despite the country’s PMI missed expectations in April and the prior month was revised downward.
The euro was climbing against the Dollar, trading above the $1.32 level. Crude oil was losing 0.21% to $104.65 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was jumping 2.28% to $2.337 per MMBtu. Gold was sliding 0.22% to $1660.50 an ounce, and silver was dropping 0.58% to $30.835 an ounce. Meanwhile, copper was retreating 0.26%.
On economic news, at 10 am, the April ISM Index will be released, along with data for March Construction Spending. Meanwhile, automakers will report vehicle sales through out the day.
Today’s Stocks to watch: Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB), BP (NYSE: BP), Emerson (NYSE: EMR), Ford (NYSE: F), Masco (NYSE: MAS), and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE).
Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC), the independent oil and natural gas producer, will be in focus after reporting quarterly results that beat consensus. The company said it earned $0.92 per share on revenues that climbed 6% from a year ago to $3.45 billion versus consensus of $3.35 billion.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was climbing 0.33% to $585.89 in pre-market. The stock resumed its sharp slide in the prior session, tumbling more than 3% amid news that Microsoft will invest $300 million in a new company that will incorporate Barnes & Nobles digital eBook business, which will include the Nook hardware. The stock has a level of support at its 50day moving average, currently at $579.95, while its 20day moving average is at the $606 area. Several brokerage houses raised their target price last week following the stellar earnings beat, but after the sharp rise on Wednesday, the stock has been weakening. Hillard Lyons raised its target price on the stock to $740 from $660; Barclays bumped its target price to $750 from $730; RBC Capital raised its target price to $700 from $675; and Goldman Sachs bumped its target price to $850 from $750.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) will be in focus amid a report from the Wall Street Journal, which states that the Charlotte, NC based bank was planning to cut up to 400 jobs in its investment banking unit. The financial publication also reported that the bank's non-U.S. wealth-management operations in Asia, Latin America and Europe would eliminate up to 2,000 jobs as the expected sale of the unit gets completed. The stock declining 200day moving average is currently at $7.35, while its ascending 50day moving average is at $8.74.
Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB), the Cambridge, Massachusetts based biotechnology company focusing on neurology, oncology, and immunology, will be in focus after the company missed earnings expectations on revenues that fell short of estimates. Biogen provided 2012 downside earnings guidance and inline revenue guidance. The company said it earned $1.40 per share, $0.09 worse than consensus, on revenues that climbed 7.4% from a year ago to $1.29 billion.
BP (NYSE: BP), the energy giant, was tumbling 3.59% to $41.85 in pre-market on news that Europe’s second largest oil company reported a first quarter profit that fell 18% as its downstream business struggled and as production output was down by 6% from a year ago period. The company said it earned $1.56 per share and stated that it is selling its non-strategic Gulf of Mexico fields and sees refining margins to improve in line with season trends.
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), the electric motor maker, will be in focus after the company reported earnings that missed expectations on revenues that fell short of estimates. Emerson said it earned $0.74 per share, $0.06 worse than consensus, on revenues that climbed 1.1% from a year ago period to $5.92 billion versus consensus of $6.01 billion. Also, the company lowered its fiscal 2012 EPS guidance, while reaffirming its 2012 revenue guidance.
Ford (NYSE: F), the maker of the Fusion, and F150 vehicles, will be in focus along with other automakers as auto sales in April are expected to held steady from the prior month, continuing the momentum that results in the highest first quarter sales figures in four years. On average analysts expect April sales to reached an annualized pace of 14.4 million vehicles, well above the 13.2 million pace from a year ago. Car sales have been benefiting from the unseasonably warm weather, but also from consumer energized by the improving availability and lower rates for auto loans and the need to replace older and less gasoline efficient vehicles. Last week, Ford beat earnings expectations on revenues that were inline with consensus. Ford said it earned $0.39 per share, $0.03 better than consensus, on revenues of $31 billion.
Masco (NYSE: MAS), the maker of faucets and bath cabinets, will be in focus after its quarterly results beat expectations. The company said it earned $0.05 per share, excluding items, $0.05 better than consensus, on revenues that climbed 7% from a year ago period to $1.88 billion. Masco’s results improved compared with last year, and the company said that it remains cautiously optimistic for the balance of 2012.
Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, was falling 0.65% to $22.75 in pre-market on initial reaction to its quarterly results. Pfizer said it earned $0.58 per share, $0.01 better than consensus, on revenues that fell 6.6% from a year ago period to $15.4 billion, which is inline with consensus. The company issued 2012 earnings guidance of $2.14 to $2.24 per share in order to reflect the decision to sell the Nutrition business.
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