Stock Futures Lower amid Spanish Jitters. Stocks to Watch: AMD, AAPL, CLWR, DOLE, FDX, F, HNI, TM
Published on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 07:14 Written by Christopher Lynn
New York, September 18th (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing to a lower open amid weak overseas performance. Global participants were concern over Chinese economic growth and worried over Spain’s uncertainty as to whether the country will ask for help from the ECB.
In Asia, stocks fell, as participants shifted focus from the Fed’s stimulus to concerns over Chinese economic growth. The Nikkei fell 0.39%, dragged down by companies with large exposure to China, as they were caught up in the escalating tensions between China and Japan over disputed islands. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.9%, falling for the second straight day, dragged down by weakness in commodities-related stocks following steep declines in the physical markets.
In Europe, markets were trading lower amid concern over China’s growth rate and uncertainty over Spain asking for assistance from the new ECB’s bond-buying program. Spanish bond yields hovered around the 6%, but eased following a well-received 12 and 18-month bond auction. German ZEW data was mixed, as the Economic Sentiment component exceeded expectations, while its Current Conditions counter-part missed.
The euro was losing against the Dollar, trading above the $1.30 level. Crude oil was falling 0.38% to $96.25 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was climbing 0.77% to $2.887 per MMBtu. Gold was sliding 0.67% to $1756.20 an ounce, and silver was dropping 0.56% to $34.175 an ounce; meanwhile copper was retreating 1.13%.
On economic news, at 8:30 am, the government will release the second quarter current account balance. At 9: am, July Net Long-Term TIC Flows data will be available and at 10 am, September’s NAHB Housing Market Index will be released.
Today’s Stocks to watch: Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR), Dole Food (NYSE: DOLE), FedEx (NYSE: FDX), Ford (NYSE: F), HNI Corp. (NYSE: HNI), and Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM).
Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), the second largest chipmaker in the world, was tumbling 6.5% to $3.75 in pre-market after the announcement that Thomas Seifert will resign as senior VP and CFO to pursue other opportunities. The company said that Devinder Kumar, senior vice president and corporate controller, would serve as interim CFO while a search commences for Seifert's replacement. Yesterday, Advanced Micro Devices was downgraded to a Neutral at Longbow Research. Last week, Citigroup cut the stock to a Neutral rating.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was climbing 0.24% to $701.46 in pre-market, after breaching the $700 mark for the first time ever in after hours. The stock gained 1.2% in the prior session after Apple said that it set a new record for the iPhone, with 2 million units of the iPhone 5 selling on the first 24 hours of the device being available for pre-order. AT&T also commented that the iPhone 5 has been the best selling iPhone ever for the first weekend of being available for pre-order. Yesterday, FBR Capital said that the sales reports suggest upside for its iPhone estimates for third and fourth quarters, while Barclays commented that the iPhone 5 could represent 1/3 of China’s export growth in the fourth quarter of this year. Meanwhile, BMO Capital boosted its target price on the stock to $750 from $680.
Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR), the wireless provider of 4G broadband services, will be in focus after dropping 2.6% in after hours following a report from the Wall Street Journal stating that Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) would sell its 7.8% stake in Clearwire.
Dole Food (NYSE: DOLE), the producer, marketer and distributor of fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, was surging 9.5% to $15 in pre-market, trading near its 52-week high, on news the company sold two businesses to Japan’s trading house Itochu for $1.7 billion in cash. The transaction will allow Dole to pay down debt, while Itochu will increase its food presence in new markets. Under the deal, Dole will sell its world-wide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses and allow Itochu exclusive rights to the DOLE trademark on packaged food products worldwide and on fresh produce in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
FedEx (NYSE: FDX), the worldwide express package delivery company, will be in focus as it reports its quarterly results later this morning. On average analysts expect a profit of $1.40 per share on revenue of $10.70 billion. The highest earnings estimate is $1.43 per share, while the lowest is $1.37.
Ford (NYSE: F), the Dearborn, MI based automaker, will be in focus as the company reached a deal with the Canadian Auto Workers Union. The tentative deal is a four-year agreement with Ford Canada during which time about 600 new jobs will be created at Ford's Canadian operations. The new agreement also includes CPI-linked lump sums of $2000 in each of 2013, 2014 and 2015, as well as a $3000 bonus on ratification. There are no base wage increases. There are no changes in pensions for current workers and those who retire during this agreement. The deal provides a template for negotiations between the union and General Motors and Chrysler before contracts expire at midnight.
HNI Corp. (NYSE: HNI), the provider of provider of office furniture and hearth products, will be in focus after plunging more than 12% in after hours following weak sales and earnings guidance for the current quarter. The company announced that third quarter revenue and operating profit are expected to be below its previous outlook due to softer than expected demand in its office furniture segment. Order patterns in both the supplies-driven and contract businesses have recently slowed as a result of macroeconomic concerns. HNI expects third quarter non-GAAP earnings per diluted share to be similar to the prior year period when it was $0.55, compared to its previous guidance of $0.65 to $0.70 and consensus of $0.67.
Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM) will be in focus amid reports that the automaker has suspended some of its operations in China following increased tensions and Chinese street anti-Japan protests spread across China in response to the territorial dispute over a group of islands known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.
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