Stock Futures Higher ahead Jobs Data. Stocks to Watch: AGU, AIG, AAPL, FB, KFT, LNKD, PG, TM, ZIP
Published on Friday, 03 August 2012 07:19 Written by Christopher Lynn
New York, August 3rd (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing to a higher open ahead of the July’s non-farm payroll report. Participants seem to be anticipating that a poor jobs report will force the Fed to announce further stimulus measures. Earlier in the week, the Fed disappointed investors as it held policy steady, while yesterday the ECB also was short of expectations by not offering new measures to tackle the debt crisis in the region.
In Asia, most stocks fell after the ECB disappointed by not offering concrete actions to tackle the debt crisis in the euro zone. Both the Fed and ECB spurred risk aversion by their inaction, particularly as markets had rally on anticipation for further stimulus. The Nikkei lost more than 1%, Sharp plunged 28%, hitting its lowest level since 1976, after the company slashed its outlook from a profit to a loss, while Sony tumbled 6.7% on reaction to its quarterly results and poor guidance. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite gained 1%, outperforming other Asian markets, with property related stocks rebounding sharply after a report denying rumors over additional regulations in the space.
In Europe, markets were rebounding sharply, erasing the prior pullback, which came after the ECB inaction disappointment. Participants judged that central banks remained committed to save the euro and tackle the debt crisis and that despite the lack of concrete actions yesterday, the ECB seems committed to fight the debt crisis. The rally in European shares was also coming ahead of the key employment data in the U.S.
The euro was climbing against the Dollar, trading above the $1.22 level. Crude oil was jumping 1.2% to $88.18 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was losing 0.92% to $2.893 per MMBtu. Gold was adding 0.45% to $1594.6 an ounce, and silver was gaining 0.83% to $27.22 an ounce, meanwhile copper was advancing 0.85%.
On economic news, at 8:30 am the Labor Department will release July’s non-farm payroll report, with economists expecting an unemployment rate reading of 8.2%, with the economy adding 100,000 jobs in the month. At 10 am, the July ISM Services Index will be available.
Today’s Stocks to watch: Agrium (NYSE: AGU), American International Group (NYSE: AIG), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Kraft Foods (NASDAQ: KFT), LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM), and Zipcar (NASDAQ: ZIP).
Agrium (NYSE: AGU), the producer of major agricultural nutrients, will be in focus after the company reported earnings that beat on both the top line and the bottom line and after it agreed for Glencore International to sell Viterra's minority position in a nitrogen facility located in Medicine Hat, Alberta to CF Industries for $915 million. Agrium said it earned $5.47 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.13 better than consensus, on revenues that climbed 10.3% from a year ago to $6.83 billion versus consensus of $6.62 billion. The company said that the impact of the severe drought in the U.S. has resulted in very strong grain and oilseed prices. It believes crop yields are likely to be revised downward again and expects high crop prices and tight grain inventories to create significant support for international nutrient demand in the coming year, as growers globally are expected to expand acreage and optimize application rates.
American International Group (NYSE: AIG), the insurer, was jumping 1.49% to $31.30 in pre-market on reaction to its quarterly results. The company reported quarterly earnings of $1.06 per share, $0.46 better than consensus. AIG book value increased 5% during the second quarter to $60.58. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the insurer was looking to buy back a large chunk of its shares from the U.S. government. The purchase according to the report will reduce the government’s stake from 61% to below 50%.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was climbing 0.69% to $612 in pre-market after the company asked a U.S. judge to punish Samsung for a Samsung attorney's conduct by ordering that the South Korean company has infringed Apple's phone design patents. The trial began this week in a high stakes legal face off, which is scheduled to continue today. Apple sued Samsung last year in San Jose, California federal court, accusing Samsung of copying the iPhone and iPad. The stock is now trading in anticipation of the iPhone launch sometime in early fall, while rival Samsung announced that it will release its new Galaxy note on August 29th, trying to get a head start on the iPhone maker.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), the social media Company, was jumping 2% to $20.44 in pre-market after tumbling 4% to $20.04 and logging a new all-time low of $19.82 in the prior session. The stock was seeing upside on the back the quarterly results from peer LinkedIn. Yesterday, the stock was punished after regulatory fillings revealed that Facebook has 83 million, or more fake users registered worldwide, 8.7% of its 955 million active users.
Kraft Foods (NASDAQ: KFT), the maker of Velveeta cheese and Oreo cookies, will be in focus after the company beat earnings expectations on revenues that were below consensus. Kraft reported adjusted earnings of $0.68 per share, $0.02 better than consensus, on revenues that fell 4.3% from a year ago to $13.29 billion versus consensus of $14.09 billion. The revenue miss came amid a 5-percentage point headwind from currency exchange. Also, the Dow component reaffirmed its outlook for full year results.
LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), the social network site for Professionals, was rallying 8% to $101 in pre-market after the company posted inline earnings on better than expected revenues, while providing roughly an inline guidance for third quarter and the full year. LinkedIn said it earned $0.16 per share, excluding non-recurring items. Revenues surged 88.6% from a year ago to $228.2 million versus consensus of $215.97 million.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), the global consumer products company, will be in focus after reporting a profit of $0.82, $0.05 better than consensus, on revenues of $20.21 billion versus consensus of $20.27 billion. Revenue came just shy of consensus, mainly to currency impacts. The company sees fiscal first quarter EPS in a range of $0.91 to $0.97 versus consensus of $1.03, while reaffirming its fiscal 2013 EPS.
Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM) will be in focus after reporting earnings that beat expectations on revenues that were inline with consensus. Yesterday, the automakers said that its sales for July surged 26.2% from last year.
Zipcar (NASDAQ: ZIP), the car sharing service, would be in focus after plunging more than 16% to $8.88, trading near its all-time low of $8.87, on reaction to its quarterly results. Zipcar missed expectations on the bottom and top lines, while offering downside revenue guidance. The company reported a loss of $0.01 per share, $0.01 worse than consensus, on revenues that climbed 14.9% from a year ago to $70.8 million versus consensus of $73.02 million.
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