Stock Futures Lower Ahead of Jobs Report. Stocks to Watch: AMZN, AAPL, BAC, FB, INFA, STX, XRTX
Published on Friday, 06 July 2012 08:01 Written by Christopher Lynn
New York, July 6th (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing to a lower open amid a largely negative performance in overseas markets as participants wait for the release of the key employment data in the U.S. The report will offer clues on the health of the world’s largest economy and will be crucial to set the market narrative for the next couple of weeks.
In Asia, stocks closed mixed, despite the interest rate cut announced by the Chinese central bank and the ECB. Participants were cautious amid growth fears, as focus turned to the key U.S. jobs data due later in the day. The Nikkei fell 065%, while the Shanghai Composite jumped 1% amid strength in property shares.
In Europe, markets were trading lower amid concern the new round of stimulus measures will not be enough to boost economic growth in the region, amid a slowdown in the global economy and the debt crisis in the euro zone. France's Trade Balance came in roughly in-line, while the UK's PPI data came in slightly lower than expectations. Participants waited for the U.S. employment report to provide direction for the rest of the session, with some expecting perhaps a slight beat following the better than expected ADP report on private employment.
The euro was falling against the Dollar, trading above the $1.23 level. Crude oil was slumping 1.75% to $85.69 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was jumping 1.09% to $2.977 per MMBtu. Gold was losing 1.09% to $1591.90 an ounce, and silver was dropping 1.24% to $27.33 an ounce. Meanwhile, copper was retreating 0.79%.
On economic news, at 8:30 am, the Labor Department will release its June non-farm payroll report and unemployment rate.
Today’s Stocks to watch: Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Facebook, (NASDAQ: FB), Informatica (NASDAQ: INFA), and Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX), and Xyratex (NASDAQ: XRTX).
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), the largest online retailer, was climbing 0.41% to $228 in pre-market after Bloomberg reports that the company is considering to develop a smartphone that would run Google’s Android operating system. The move from the discount retailer might be motivated as rival Apple, according to several reports, was planning to introduce a mini iPad that could more directly compete with Amazon’s Kindle fire.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was losing 0.07% to $609.50 in pre-market after closing above $600 per share in the prior session, the first time since April. The stock gained after reports indicated the company was planning to launch an iPad mini with a 7-inch screen, in a bid to keep an edged in a tablet market that continues to receive new entrants. Yesterday, Topeka Capital reiterated its target price of $1001, saying that the introduction of a cheaper and smaller iPad coupled with the unveiling of the iPhone 5 later this year should propel the stock to the upside. News of Amazon considering an entrance to the super competitive smartphone market might weigh on the stock today.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) was climbing 0.26% to $7.84 in pre-market after tumbling nearly 3% in the prior session as participants viewed the recent interest rate cuts in Europe and China as a negative environment for banks. The stock, which is considered a proxy for the U.S. economy will likely see a reaction after the key employment data later this morning. Despite the slump in the prior session, the stock closed above its 20day moving average at $7.77 and its 50day moving average at $7.62.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), the social media Company, was climbing 0.25% to $31.55 in pre-market. The stock had surged from its record low of $25.52 to close above $33 per share, but mixed ratings following the expiration of its IPO quiet period, coupled with ongoing concerns over its revenue growth rate and the effectiveness of its ads, spurred a pullback. The stock lost 5.5% last week, and this shortened week the stock is poised to post a modest gain.
Informatica (NASDAQ: INFA) was plunging 28.8% to $30.88 in pre-market after the company issued downside guidance for the second quarter. Informatica sees earnings and revenues well below consensus. Also, the company announced an increase of $100 million to its share repurchase program. Oppenheimer slashed its target price on the stock to $46 from $57, while Bank of America Merrill downgraded it to Underperform and Jefferies to a Hold.
Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX) was tumbling 3.11% to $24.30 after the company pre-announced some results from its fiscal fourth quarter. The company said that it expects about $4.5 billion on revenues with a gross margin of 33.6% versus consensus of $4.87 billion with a gross margin of 34.9%. Robert W, Baird downgraded the stock to a Neutral from Outperform, while it cut its target price to $27 from $33. Meanwhile, Needham reiterated its Strong Buy rating, saying overhang on the stock has been removed.
Xyratex (NASDAQ: XRTX), the provider of enterprise class data storage subsystems and network technology, jumped 2.8% to $12.05 in pre-market after the company reported earnings that beat expectations on revenues that missed consensus. Also, Xyratex provided third quarter inline guidance. The company earned $0.32 per share, $0.03 better than consensus, on revenues that fell 4.8% from a year ago to $322.1 million.
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