Stock Futures Slightly Higher ahead of Data. Stocks to Watch: AAPL, BAC, DELL, FB, JPM, JNPR, PM, SMG
Published on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 07:08 Written by Christopher Lynn
New York, June 13th (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing to a modestly higher open, as participants await retail sales data in the U.S. Ongoing worries over the euro zone ahead of the Greek vote and higher Spanish and Italian bond yields kept participants on edge.
In Asia, stocks climbed following Wall Street lead, but gains were capped amid European woes, as Spanish bond yields climbed to a record high on worries over the health of its banks. The Nikkei climbed 0.6%, helped by large caps, while the Shanghai Composite jumped 1.3%, boosted by utilities and insurers. State media in China reported that the insurance regulator was planning to reduce limitations on insurer’s investments in infrastructure bonds.
In Europe, markets were trading lower, giving up earlier gains as the euro zone debt woes and an upcoming Greek election kept investors on edge, dampening risk appetite. Participants were cautious ahead of the key vote, which results could spur Greece’s exit from the euro zone. Industrial Production in the euro zone was negative, but beat expectations, while the prior month was revised upward. Germany and France both saw their May CPI readings come in slightly below expectations.. An Italian debt auction resulted in the highest yields since December and lower bid-to-cover ratio.
The euro was gaining against the Dollar, trading above the $1.25 level. Crude oil was climbing 0.11% to $83.41 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was slumping 1.39% to $2.201 per MMBtu. Gold was flat at 1613.80 an ounce, and silver was dropping 0.08% to $28.925 an ounce. Meanwhile, copper was advancing 0.9%.
On economic data, at 8:30 am the Commerce Department will release its May Retail Sales, while the Labor Department will release May’s Producer Price Index. At 10 am, April Business Inventories data will be available and at 10:30 am, the Energy Department will issue its weekly crude oil and distillates inventory report.
Today’s Stocks to watch: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM), Juniper Networks (NASDAQ: JNPR), Phillip Morris (NYSE: PM), and Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG).
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was gaining 0.06% to $576.50 in pre-market, amid news that Dell will join tech companies like Apple with a brand new quarterly dividend. Yesterday, Cannacord Genuity bumped its target price to $800 from $775. Earlier in the week, the stock traded above its 50day moving average briefly to reversed, as some participants were disappointed on the lack of a blockbuster out of the company’s WWDC. Apple did however unveiled key elements in the conference, including its refreshed line up of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro; the new iOS 6 and Mountain Lion OS were also unveiled in the conference, while the company also announced a new map app, aiming to replace Google map app.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) was losing 0.80% to $7.43 in pre-market, giving up some of its nearly 3% rebound in the prior session. The stock continues to trade between its 200 day moving average and its 50day moving average. According to reports, the bank expects to reduce its long-term debt by $40 billion in the second quarter, eliminating an interest expense of about $230 million every quarter. Retail sales data later this morning, will impact trade in the stock that it’s considered a proxy for the U.S. economy.
Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), the third largest PC maker, will be in focus as shares climbed in after hours on news that the company will pay a dividend for the first time. The computer maker said that it would start its quarterly dividend of $0.08 per share on the quarter ending October, which will result in a dividend yield of about 2.7%. The stock has seen sharp weakness in the year, down 23%, after missing earnings expectations and providing revenue guidance for the current quarter that was below consensus.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), the social media Company, was flat in pre-market at $27.40. The stock appears to be settling after the violent volatility following the botched IPO, as shorting the stock appears to have stop working. Facebook logged a record low at $25.52 last week, from which the stock quickly reversed and rebounded. Earlier in the week, Needham defended the stock, reiterating its Buy rating and $40 price target, as it believes that shares have overreacted to the downside.
JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) will be in focus in the session, as its CEO, Jamie Dimon, will testify later this morning before the U.S. Senate Banking committee tomorrow, a month after the bank revealed the massive trading loss of more than $2 billion. According to several reports, Jamie Dimon will apologize for the bank’s trading loss and the failures of internal oversight. Shares gained nearly 2.9% in the prior session.
Juniper Networks (NASDAQ: JNPR), the provider of Internet infrastructure solutions, will be in focus after Needham issued a cautious note about the stock. The firm is concerned about the trajectory of margins and believes that investors will pressure valuation, as risk profile increases. Juniper gained in the prior session amid news of a new $1 billion share buyback program.
Phillip Morris (NYSE: PM), the tobacco company maker of Marlboro cigarettes, was climbing 0.34% in pre-market on news that the company announced a 3-year share buyback program of up to $18 billion.
Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG), the largest marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products in the world, will be in focus in the session after dropping 9% in after hours. The company issued revised guidance that fell short of expectations and prior guidance, reflecting pressures driven by lower-than-expected sales and unfavorable product mix.
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