Stock Futures Lower as Spain offsets Greek Vote. Stocks to Watch: AAPL, BAC, CLF, FB, MSFT, NBR, RAX, AUY
Published on Monday, 18 June 2012 07:29 Written by Christopher Lynn
New York, June 15th (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing to a lower open as the relief rally in Europe from the Greek election results lost steam amid fresh worries over Spain’s banking system, which propelled yields in the country to new record highs above 7%.
In Asia, stocks closed higher, with the Nikkei ending at a one month high, after Greece’s election provided a slim parliamentary majority to pro-bailout parties. The results eased concerns over a possible Greek exit from the euro zone. In Japan, the Nikkei jumped 1.77% as financials received a strong bid, while the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.4%.
In Europe, markets were climbing amid choppy trading as fresh worries over the debt issues at Italy and Spain were limiting gains from the pro-bailout parties victory In Greece’s election. Additionally, a report that Greek conservative leader Antonis Samaras would try to change the painful terms of a bailout after forming a government, weighed on sentiment. Both Italian and Spanish bond yields climbed, with Spain’s reaching another record high above 7%, and Italy’s moving above 6% after data showed that Spanish banks bad debts rose to 8.72% of their outstanding portfolios in April, a level not seen since April 1994.
The euro was falling against the Dollar, trading above the $1.26 level. Crude oil was climbing 0.01% to $84.04 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was jumping 1.22% to $2.497 per MMBtu. Gold was sliding 0.13% to 1626.00 an ounce, and silver was falling 0.60% to $28.595 an ounce. Meanwhile, copper was advancing 0.56%.
Today’s Stocks to watch: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Nabors Industries (NYSE: NBR), Rackspace (NYSE: RAX), and Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY).
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was sliding 0.16% to $573.21 in pre-market, as the stock continues to be stuck in a range between $560 and $580. Later today, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) will break from tradition and embrace the Apple model, by unveiling its own brand of tablets, adding to its hardware exposure. Last week, the stock lost 1.1% as the company’s WWDC failed to deliver any blockbuster products, leaving participants waiting for the key new product announcements later in the year, including the iPhone 5, the likely iTV, the possible iCamera, and a smaller iPad. The stock has calculated support at $548.50 and resistance at $588.50. Its 50day moving average is at $578.95, a level that will also act as resistance.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) was adding 0.63% to $7.95 in pre-market, amid the choppy European trading following Spanish yields climbing to another record above 7% and the Greek election results that favored the pro-bailout parties. Last Friday, the stock broke above its 50day moving average at $7.86 and logged the best performance in the blue chip index.
Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF), the diversified mining and natural resources Company, will be in focus after it announced, late Friday, that it was cutting thermal coal production and has eliminated some jobs at a mine in West Virginia. Cliffs now expects to produce about 800,000 tons of thermal coal from its Toney Forks No. 2 mine, down from its prior estimate of 1.1 million tons. The company said that thermal coal usage for power generation has declined sharply amid the unseasonably mild winter and historic natural gas prices.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), the social media Company, was losing 1.31% to $29.62 in pre-market, giving back some of its 6% rise from last week. News of the deployment of a new advertising model and the appearance that shares bottomed on June 6th at $25.52, helped propel gains last week.
Nabors Industries (NYSE: NBR), the land driller contractor, will be in focus after a bullish article on Barron’s over the weekend. The financial publication said that shares could hit $30 per share, or 130% from current levels, as asset sales and big debt reductions pay off, and natural gas prices stage a comeback. Nabors is down more than 50% from its 52-week high, hurt by falling natural gas prices and shareholder anger over severance packages for executives.
Rackspace (NYSE: RAX), the IT provider of hosting and cloud computing solutions, will be in focus after The Benchmark Company sees it as a possible takeover target. The firm lowered its target price on the stock to $63 from $66, as investors are concerned about near-term cloud growth. Also, the firm sees any negative impact of the OpenStack transition to be short-lived and modest.
Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY), the Canada based gold producer with exploration properties in South America, will be in focus after the company raised its annual dividend by 550% to $0.26 per share from $0.04.
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