New York, November 14th (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing to a slightly higher to flat open amid weak overseas markets, which continue to struggle amid renewed jitters over the debt crisis in Europe and the looming fiscal cliff in the U.S. Retailers will be in focus in the session after the U.S. government report retail sales figures ahead of the open.
In Asia, stocks climbed on a lackluster rebound amid ongoing jitters over the debt crisis in Europe and the possibility of another recession in the U.S. as the fiscal cliff looms. The Nikkei climbed 0.04%, snapping a seven-straight session losing streak. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite gained 0.37%, rebounding from a seven-week low.
In Europe, markets were trading to the downside as headlines over anti-austerity strikes and lack of resolution over the next tranche of financial aid to Greece have put the debt crisis back in focus. Adding to the woes, euro zone factory output fell by the most in nearly 4 years, amid a sputtering Germany industry that its feeling the full brunt of the crisis in Europe and the slowdown in China.
The euro was climbing against the Dollar, trading above the $1.27 level. Crude oil was gaining 0.21% to $85.56 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was jumping 1% to $3.777 per MMBtu. Gold was sliding 0.16% $1722.00 an ounce, and silver was dropping 0.18% to $32.43 an ounce; meanwhile copper was advancing 0.27%.
On economic data, at 8:30 am Retail Sales figures for October will be available, while the Labor Department reports its Producer Price Index for October. At 10 am September Business Inventories will be available and at 2 pm the Fed will release the minutes of the latest FOMC meeting.
Today’s Stocks to watch: Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF), Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), Mosaic (NYSE: MOS), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS), Tyco (NYSE: TYC), and Zynga, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA).
Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF), the specialty-clothing retailer, will be in focus as it report quarterly results later this morning. On average analysts expect a profit of $0.59 per share. The highest earnings estimate is $0.69, while the lowest is $0.44 per share. Last quarter, A&F earned $0.19 per share, 11.8% above consensus.
Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), the world’s second largest chipmaker, will be in focus after falling nearly 2%, giving back part of its 5% rally in the prior session. The company said that it’s not pursuing a sale of itself or other of its significant assets. The stock jumped amid reports that AMD hired JPMorgan to explore strategic options.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was climbing 0.57% to $546.01 in pre-market as the stock continues on a trading range without much momentum, unable to close above the $550 mark following its sharp drop into bear market in the prior weeks. Apple is down more than 20% from its all-time high amid concerns over its shipment rates in iPads and iPhones after it missed analyst estimates last month. The stock also saw a bout of strong selling with some blaming it on the Fiscal Cliff in the U.S., as the stock is widely held and has one of the biggest gains for investors, which some might be selling and taking profits ahead of increases in taxes next year. According to a report in the New York Post, Apple sales per square foot in its retail stores fell 2.5% in 2012, but still remain the gold standard for retail.
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), the world’s largest maker of networking equipment, was surging 8% in pre-market after the company reported earnings that beat consensus on revenue that was inline with estimates. Cisco said it earned $0.48 per share, $0.02 better than consensus, on revenue that climbed 5.5% from a year ago to $11.88 billion. The company said that fiscal first quarter gross margins were above guidance at 62.7%, adding that it does not expect margins to fundamentally change in the months ahead.
Mosaic (NYSE: MOS), the concentrated phosphates and potash producer, will be in focus after slumping 5% in after hours following updated second quarter guidance. The company lowered its sales volume forecast for potash and phosphate on weaker shipments in the export market. Mosaic said that the long-term positive outlook has not changed, but said that it expects volume of 2.9 to 3.1 million tones, which is lower than prior guidance of 3 to 3.4 million tones.
NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), the storage and data management solutions provider will be in focus as participants adjust positions ahead of its quarterly results scheduled for after the bell. On average analysts expect a profit of $0.48 per share. The highest earnings estimate is $0.53, while the lowest is $0.44 per share. Last quarter, NetApp earned $0.42 per share, 10.5% above consensus.
Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS), the office supplies, furniture, and technology retailer, will be in focus after reporting mixed quarterly results and issuing upside earnings guidance for fiscal 2013. The retailer said it earned $0.46 per share, $0.01 better than consensus, on revenue that fell 2% from a year ago to $6.35 billion versus consensus of $6.46 billion. Staples said that it expects to generate more than $1 billion on free cash flow and plans to continue to repurchase its common stock.
Tyco (NYSE: TYC), the provider of security products and services, valves and controls and other industrial products, reported mixed quarterly results. Tyco earned on its fiscal fourth quarter $0.33 per share, $0.03 worse than consensus, on revenue that fell 2.5% from a year ago to $2.72 billion, which is inline with estimates. The company said that the results highlight their ability to continue to deliver margin expansion.
Zynga, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA), the social game developer of popular games like Farmville and Mafia Wars, will be in focus after announcing that its Chief Accounting Office Mark Vranesh has been appointed as CFO. Additionally, Zynga reaffirmed its fiscal 2012 outlook.