Stock Futures Flat Ahead of Jobs Data. Stocks to Watch: AAPL, CVX, FSLR, HUN, LVS, LNKD, PCLN, RL, SBUX, TRIP
Published on Friday, 02 November 2012 06:42 Written by Christopher Lynn
New York, November 2nd (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing to a flat open amid mixed overseas action as focus shifted to the key non-farm payroll report due out later this morning.
In Asia, stocks jumped to nearly their highest level in 2-weeks amid improved sentiment following encouraging data in both the U.S. and China that show signs of a recovery from the sluggishness both economies have been experiencing. Improved sentiment help boost appetite for risk, particularly ahead of the key jobs report in the U.S. The Nikkei gained 1.2%, helped by global cyclical stocks, while the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.6%, capping the best weekly performance in a month.
In Europe, markets were struggling as participants were trading cautiously ahead of the U.S. data and after uncertainty over Spain and Greece returned. In Greece there are growing signs of rifts in the government coalition, adding risk to the austerity measures already implemented and the pension reform needed, meanwhile in Spain data showed that manufacturing activity declined in October to 43.5 from 44.5, spurring fears of a deteriorating economy. On the flip side, German and France October manufacturing PMI data were revised higher, but market response was muted.
The euro was sliding against the Dollar, trading below the $1.29 level. Crude oil was dropping 0.92% to $86.29 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was falling 0.68% to $3.674 per MMBtu. Gold was losing 0.47% $1707.40 an ounce, and silver was slumping 0.9% to $31.96 an ounce; meanwhile copper was retreating 0.82%.
On economic data, at 8:30 am the Labor Department will release October’s Jobs report and at 10 am the government will also release factory orders data.
Today’s Stocks to watch: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), Huntsman (NYSE: HUN), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN), Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL), Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), and TripAdvisor (NASDAQ: TRIP).
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was climbing 0.2% to $597.71 in pre-market as the iPad mini is set to officially hit stores today. Apple sold out of the initial allotment of the device for pre-order in the first 2-days it was available and it now shows 2-week delivery in its website. The smaller iPad was introduced, as Apple aims to consolidate its dominance in the tablet market, particularly with new competitors entering the market, like Microsoft’s Surface tablet. Reports from Asia, showed that Apple saw smaller lines at its stores for the iPad mini compared to other products rollouts, with the reports speculating that the reason in that the price of the device is significantly higher than other Android tablets. The stock dropped below the $600 levelin the past sessions and it know trading very close to its major support line of the 200day moving average, which is currently at the $587 - $588 area.
Chevron (NYSE: CVX), the U.S. second largest energy producer, will be reporting its earnings results later this morning. In its interim report earlier in the quarter, the company said that its earnings in the third quarter would be substantially lower than in the prior quarter. On average analysts expect a profit of $2.83 per share on revenue of $64.09 billion. The highest earnings estimate is $3.10, while the lowest is $2.65. Last quarter, the company earned $3.56 per share, 9.9% above consensus.
First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), the largest maker of thin film solar modules in the world, was an earnings mover, jumping 8% in after hours. The company earned $1.27 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.20 better than consensus, on revenue that fell 16.6% from a year ago to $839 million versus consensus of $976.14 million. Net sales decreased sequentially primarily due to project-specific decreases including Silver State North, which was completed in the second quarter, and reduced construction activity at Agua Caliente. The company issued inline full year 2012 earnings guidance, while reducing its revenue outlook.
Huntsman (NYSE: HUN), the global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals, reported quarterly results that beat on the bottom line but missed on the top line. The chemical maker said it earned $0.70 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.19 better than consensus, on revenue that fell 7.9% from a year ago to $2.74 billion versus consensus of $2.9 billion. The company said that compared to the prior year and quarter, improved earnings in the polyurethanes businesses more than offset the decline in the pigments business.
Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), the owner and operator of casino resorts and convention centers in the U.S., Macau, and Singapore, climbed 1% to $46.91 in after hours following the release of its quarterly results. The stock experienced a sharp sell off on early reaction to results that missed consensus, but recovered as the company raised its quarterly dividend by 40% to $0.35 per share. Las Vegas Sands said that it earned $0.46 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.15 worse than consensus, on revenue that added 12.5% from a year ago to $2.71 billion versus consensus of $2.89 billion. After the results Compass Point bumped its target price on the stock to $37 from $32.
LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), the social network site for Professionals, was rallying 9% to $116.49 in pre-market after its earnings report blew past expectations. The social media company earned $0.22 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.10 better than consensus, on revenue that surged 80.6% from a year ago to $252 million versus consensus of $244.18 million. LinkedIn issued inline revenue guidance and upside EBITDA guidance for the current quarter, while raising its full year revenue guidance.
Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN), the name your price online travel company, was jumping 8.86% to $638 in pre-market on reaction to results that easily beat expectations. Priceline said that it earned $12.40 per share, $0.58 better than consensus, on revenue that jumped 17.4% from a year ago to $1.71 billion versus consensus of $1.65 billion. Additionally, the company issued inline guidance for the current quarter.
Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL), the owner of one of America's Iconic apparel brands, will be in focus after it reports its quarterly results later this morning. On average analysts expect a profit of $2.15 per share on revenue of $1.84 billion. The highest earnings estimate is $2.21, while the lowest is $2.07. Last quarter, the company earned $2 per share, 14% above consensus.
Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), the largest coffee shop chain in the world, was jumping 7.7% to $50.19 in pre-market following the release of its quarterly results and after the company raised its fiscal 2013 forecast. Starbucks reported better than expected earnings and defied the global slowdown by ramping up its target for global new net stores to 1,300 from 1,200 thanks to accelerated developments plans in China and as it plans to open 150 stores in Mexico. Starbucks earned $0.46 per share, $0.01 better than consensus, on revenues that climbed 11% from a year ago to $3.36 billion versus consensus of $3.4 billion.
TripAdvisor (NASDAQ: TRIP), the online travel research company, will be in focus after soaring nearly 17% to $34.40 in after hours trading following better than expected earnings on revenue that was inline with consensus. TripAdvisor said earned $0.46 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 better than consensus, on revenue that jumped 17.6% from a year ago to $212.7 million versus consensus of $211.32 million.
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