Stock Futures Mixed; All Eyes on the Fed. Stocks to Watch: ADBE, AAPL, BAC, BBBY, FB, JBL, MU, PG
Published on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 06:40 Written by Christopher Lynn
New York, June 20th (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing to a mixed open, amid a lackluster session in overseas markets and after Procter & Gamble provided weak guidance. Participants were shifting their full attention to the Fed, hoping that the central bank will provide further stimulus to the sluggish U.S. economy.
In Asia, most stocks gained as participants hoped that the string of disappointing data in the U.S. and around the world, coupled with the impacts of a worsening debt crisis in the euro zone will prompt additional central bank action. The focus was the Fed, which concludes its two-day meeting today and might announced additional stimulus, by extending operation twist. The Nikkei jumped 1.1%, closing at its highest level since mid-May, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.3%, weighed down amid caution ahead of the release of June’s HSBC Flash PMI.
In Europe, most markets were sliding on choppy trade, as participants were unwilling to commit ahead of the conclusion of the two-day FOMC meeting in the U.S. Meanwhile, concerns over the debt crisis in the euro zone periphery continued. In Germany, May’s PPI was 2.1%, while in the U.K., the ILO Unemployment rate was 8.2%, inline with the prior reading.
The euro was gaining against the Dollar, trading above the $1.26 level. Crude oil was losing 0.37% to $83.72 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was jumping 1.85% to $2.592 per MMBtu. Gold was sliding 0.33% to 1617.80 an ounce, and silver was falling 0.24% to $28.30 an ounce. Meanwhile, copper was retreating 0.50%.
On economic news, at 10:30 am, the Energy Department will release its weekly crude oil and distillates inventory report. At 12:30 pm, the key interest rate decision by the Fed is expected and at 2 PM the FOMC projections will be released. At 2:15 PM, the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will host a press conference.
Today’s Stocks to watch: Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Bed Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Jabil Circuit (NYSE: JBL), Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU), and Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG).
Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE), the document and media software publisher will be in focus after tumbling more than 4% in after hours. The company beat earnings and revenue expectations, but issued mixed guidance for the current quarter, with revenues below consensus. Adobe blamed softness in Europe for the new outlook, as European sales represent 30% of the company’s revenue. For fiscal 2012, Adobe issued inline guidance. The company earned $0.60 per share, $0.01 better than consensus, on revenues that climbed 9.9% from a year ago to $1.12 billion.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was sliding 0.03% to $587.25 in pre-market, as the stock struggles as it gets closer to its calculated resistance of $588.50. Earlier in the week, the stock closed above its 50day moving average at the $578 level. Yesterday, Apple underperformed as Microsoft unveiled its new Surface tablets to compete with Apple’s iPad juggernaut.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) was adding 0.49% to $8.15 in pre-market, extending its sharp rally from the prior session. Yesterday, news that the company was looking to sell its international wealth management business to Julius Baer for about $2 billion, coupled with the Federal Housing Finance Agency saying it plans to help banks avoid being forced to buy back mortgages amid concern lenders are tightening standards even for the most creditworthy buyers, helped propelled the rally in the stock and other big money-center banks. BofA closed above its calculated resistance at $7.90.
Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY), the home furnishings retailer, will be in focus as the company is scheduled to report its quarterly results after the closing bell. On average analysts expect a profit of $0.85 per share on revenues of $2.25 billion. Last quarter, the company posted an 11% upside earnings surprise as it earned $1.48 per share.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), the social media Company, will be in focus as it tries to break above the $32 per share level. Yesterday, Facebook announced changes to improve its payment systems, launching an option of subscription payments for apps. The new overhaul to its payment systems is designed to drive more spending and will allow developers to price items in local currencies, or games virtual currencies, instead of using its company credits. The stock has seen a sharp move to the upside since it become apparent that the stock bottomed on June 6th at $25.52 and after the company announced a new advertising model.
Jabil Circuit (NYSE: JBL), the provider of electronic manufacturing services for international electronics companies, will be in focus after climbing in after hours on initial reaction to its inline quarterly results. The company also issued downside guidance for its fiscal fourth quarter, with both EPS and revenues below consensus. Jabil said it earned $0.64 per share on revenues that climbed 0.5% from a year ago to $4.25 billion.
Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU), the dynamic random access memory chips maker, will be in focus as the company is scheduled to report its quarterly results after the closing bell. On average analysts expect a loss of $0.20 per share on revenues of $2 billion. Last quarter, the company posted a 52.6% downside earnings surprise as it lost $0.29 per share. Earlier in the week, Sterne Agee said that it believes Micron saw weaker NAND demand driven by softer handsets and Ultrabooks weaker pricing. The firm expects revenue for the quarter at $1.88 billion with a loss per share of $0.17.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), the global consumer products company, was falling 1.94% to $61 in pre-market after it lowered fiscal fourth quarter guidance and issued preliminary fiscal 2013 guidance. In the fourth quarter, P&G sees EPS in a range of $0.75 to $0.79 versus $0.82 consensus, primarily driven by slower than anticipated top-line growth from slower than expected market growth rates and market share softness in developed regions and negative impacts from foreign exchange rate changes. For fiscal 2013, organic sales are expected to increase in the range of 2-4%; and core earnings per share are expected to be in-line to up mid-single digits percentage versus fiscal 2012 results.
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