Stock Futures Lower on Japanese Exports Data. Stocks to Watch: AAPL, BHP, DELL, FB, FITB, HPQ, INTU, MCP, TOL
Published on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 06:30 Written by Christopher Lynn
New York, August 22nd (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing to a lower open amid weak overseas action after weak Japanese export data spurred renewed concerns over the slowdown in the global economy. Hopes for bond buying from the ECB were still on investors’ radar screens, but have eased somewhat.
In Asia, stocks fell after weak Japanese exports data added to the concerns over the slowdown in the global economy. The Nikkei dropped 0.27%, as Japanese exports slumped the most in six months, as exports to China and Europe dropped in July. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.50%, as property related stocks dragged down the index amid renewed fears of more curbs on the sector amid reports that cities might introduce property taxes.
In Europe, markets were trading to the downside, with cyclical stocks leading the leg down following the weak trade data from Japan. The underlying support from hopes of ECB action to lower the borrowing costs in the euro zone periphery was limiting the move somewhat. Miners were under pressure following the data that showed lower exports from Japan to China in July and after results and outlook from the world’s largest miner BHP Billiton.
The euro was gaining against the Dollar, trading above the $1.24 level. Crude oil was climbing 0.04% to $96.88 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was jumping 1.23% to $2.809 per MMBtu. Gold was adding 0.19% to $1643.90 an ounce, and silver was gaining 0.40% to $29.545 an ounce, meanwhile copper was advancing 0.01%.
On economic data, at 10 am, July Existing Home Sales will be released. At 10:30 am the Energy Department will release its weekly inventory report on crude oil and distillates and at 2 PM the FOMC will release its minutes from the last meeting.
Today’s Stocks to watch: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP), Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB), Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ), Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU), Molycorp (NYSE: MCP), and Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL).
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was climbing 0.16% to $657.11 in pre-market, after it fell 1.37% in the prior session following a downgrade to Hold from Buy at Investment Research. The stock logged a new all-time high of $674.88 amid the heightened expectations from its product refresh cycle. A Bloomberg report suggested that Apple has still a low valuation and room to grow despite becoming the most valuable U.S. Company in history. According to the report, the stock trades at a discount to the NASDAQ Composite Index, as the company prepares for the launch of its redesigned iPhone. Apple would need to trade at $703 per share just to be on par with the rest of the NASDAQ. Additionally, Needham bumped its target price to $750 from $620.
BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP), the world’s largest natural resource company, was falling 0.66% to $69.03 after reporting fiscal 2012 results that slightly beat earnings estimates on revenues that were largely inline with consensus. With regard to its outlook, it cited concerns surrounding the stability of the euro zone and the decline in economic activity that accompanied the managed slowdown of growth in China. In the short term, BHP expects volatility in commodity markets to persist as temporary weakness in the manufacturing and construction sectors across all key markets is expected to weigh on market sentiment. However, in the medium term it expects supportive economic policy and a broad growth bias, particularly in China. The company’s positive long-term view remains unchanged as urbanization and industrialization across the developing world is expected to remain the primary driver of global economic growth.
Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), the third largest PC maker, will be in focus after the stock tumbled 4.5% to $11.78 in after hours following negative reaction to its quarterly results. The technology company beat earnings expectations on revenue that was short of consensus, while providing a weak outlook amid a sharp drop in revenue in its consumer business. Dell said it earned $0.50 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 better than consensus, on revenue that fell 7.5% from a year ago to $14.48 billion versus consensus of 14.66 billion. The PC maker issued downside revenue guidance for the current quarter and downside earnings guidance for fiscal 2013.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), the social media Company, was climbing 0.21% to $19.20 in pre-market, after it slumped 4.3% in the prior session on news that early investor and board member Peter Thiel sold most of its shares on the social media company. Thiel sold about 22 million shares on Thursday, a sale that was planned right before the IPO, and will retain about 5 million shares to remain on Facebook’s board. Last week, Facebook slumped 12.6% amid the expiration of the first lockup period from its IPO.
Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB), the regional bank with presence in the Midwest and Southeast of the U.S., will be in focus after jumping 3.5% to $14.89 in after hours. The stock traded above its 52-week high of $14.73 after the lender announced a 100 million common share buyback program and the potential for a dividend increase next month.
Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ), the world’s largest PC maker, 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 $0.98 per share on revenue of $30.10 billion. The highest earnings estimate is $1.02 per share, while the lowest is $0.94 per share. Last quarter, the company earned $0.98 per share, beating expectations by 7.7%.
Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU), the financial management and tax preparation software provider, will be in focus after falling 2.7% to $57.37 in after hours following news that its quarterly results meet expectations on the top line, but missed on the bottom line. Additionally, the company issued mixed guidance and announced an increase of 13% to its quarterly cash dividend. Intuit earned $0.03 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 worse than consensus, on revenue that climbed 13.6% from a year ago to $651 million. Intuit issued earnings guidance for the current quarter that was above consensus, while its revenue guidance was below it. For fiscal 2013, guidance was inline with expectations.
Molycorp (NYSE: MCP), the owner of the biggest rare earth reserves in North America, will be in focus after reports that the China has increased its rare earth export quota for 2012 to 30,996 tons.
Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL), the luxury homebuilder, will be in focus in the session, as participants react to its quarterly results, which beat expectations on both top and bottom lines, while providing inline revenue guidance for 2012. Toll Brothers reported a profit of $0.36 per share, $0.19 better than consensus, on revenues that surged 40.6% from a year ago to $554.3 million. The company delivered 963 units in fiscal third quarter, a 39% jump from the same quarter a year ago.
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