Futures Lower on Fiscal Cliff Jitters. Stocks to Watch: AAPL, AMAT, ADSK, DELL, FL, GPS, INTU, SJM, NKE, SHLD

GPSNew York, November 16th (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing to a lower open. Participants have not been able to shake up the negative sentiment post election amid worries over the looming fiscal cliff and its implications to economic growth, particularly amid a challenging global macro environment with China’s slower growth and the euro zone in a fresh recession.


In Asia, stocks closed mixed, with the Nikkei rallying more than 2% amid a plunge in the yen, which boosted exporters. The rally in Japan bucked pessimism in global markets over the looming U.S. fiscal cliff and growth worries in Europe, as the euro zone enter a second recession since 2009. The gains in the Nikkei came as participants expect that Japan’s main opposition party will regain control of the leadership, with the country likely to see its seventh Prime Minister in six years. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite slumped 0.77%.


In Europe, markets were trading to the downside after erasing an early attempt of a rebound. Financials were leading the declines amid ongoing worries over the debt crisis in the region and the possibility of a new recession in the U.S. if lawmakers cannot avoid the fiscal cliff, which will likely prolong the new recession in the euro zone.


The euro was falling against the Dollar, trading above the $1.27 level. Crude oil was losing 0.25% to $85.24 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was climbing 0.51% to $3.722 per MMBtu. Gold was sliding 0.24% $1709.70 an ounce, and silver was dropping 1.14% to $32.30 an ounce; meanwhile copper was slumping 0.48%.


On economic data, at 9:15 am October Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization figures will be available.


Today’s Stocks to watch: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT), Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK), Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), Foot Locker (NYSE: FL), Gap (NYSE: GPS), Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU), J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM), Nike (NYSE: NKE), and Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD).


Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was losing 0.69% to $522 in pre-market, as the stock continues to experience follow thru weakness from its 2% decline in the prior session. Yesterday Apple hit a 6-month low as hedge funds look for the exits in the widely held stock. Apple has calculated support at the $519 level, which the stock will likely test. Apple hit a record high at the $705 level back in September, with the stock experiencing a sharp plunge, which cut its yearly gain to 29.8%.


Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT), the provider of nano-manufacturing technology solutions, reported earnings that beat expectations on revenue that was above consensus. The company also issued weak guidance for its fiscal first quarter 2013. Applied Material said it earned $0.06 per share, $0.03 better than consensus, on revenue that fell 24.4% from a year ago to $1.65 billion.


Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK), the design Software Company reported better than expected earnings on revenue that was shy of consensus. It also issued downside earnings and revenue guidance. Autodesk said it earned $0.47 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 better than consensus, on revenues that fell 0.1% from a year ago to $548 million.


Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), the third largest PC maker, was slumping 2.5% to $9.32 in pre-market following the release of weaker than expected quarterly results and downside revenue guidance for the current quarter. Dell earned $0.39 per share, $0.01 worse than consensus, on revenue that fell 10.7% from a prior year to $13.72 billion. The company cited challenging global macro-economic environment for the weak results and the lackluster guidance.


Foot Locker (NYSE: FL), the athletic footwear and apparel retailer, will be in focus as it reports its quarterly results later this morning. On average analysts expect a profit of $0.54 per share. The highest earnings estimate is $0.57, while the lowest is $0.51 per share. Last quarter, Foot Locker earned $0.38 per share, 15.2% above consensus.


Gap (NYSE: GPS), the owner and operator of specialty retailers like Banana Republic and Old Navy, will be in focus after jumping more than 3% in after hours. The retailer reported results that beat consensus and were just inline with its prior guidance, while raising its fiscal 2013 EPS guidance just below consensus. Gap earned $0.63 per share, including a $0.02 per share tax credit, $0.01 better than consensus, on revenue that jumped 7.8% from the prior year to $3.86 billion. Additionally, Gap reported that same-store sales climbed 6% in the quarter. The stock was upgraded to a Hold from Sell at Cannaccord Genuity.


Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU), the financial management and tax preparation software provider, gained 2% in after hours after its results topped consensus. The company earned $0.03, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than consensus, on revenue that jumped 12.5% from the prior year to $647 million. Additionally, Intuit issued downside guidance for the current quarter, while reaffirming its fiscal 2013 earnings and revenue guidance.


J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM), the maker of Smucker's jam and Jif's peanut butter, will be in focus as it reports its quarterly results later this morning. On average analysts expect a profit of $1.45 per share. The highest earnings estimate is $1.59, while the lowest is $1.35 per share. Last quarter, J.M. Smucker earned $1.17 per share, 17% above consensus.


Nike (NYSE: NKE), the athletic footwear and apparel giant, climbed in after hours after announcing a 2 for 1 stock split and increasing its quarterly dividend by 17% to a post split $0.21 per share.


Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD), the holding company that owns and operates the Sears and Kmart retail chains, plunged more than 7% in after hours despite reporting a smaller loss than expected on revenue that was better than consensus. The retailer showed a 5.8% decline in revenue from the prior year primarily due to the effect of having fewer Kmart and Sears Full-line stores in operation and lower domestic comparable store sales for the quarter. Sears said it lost $1.99 per share, $0.33 better than consensus, on revenue of $8.86 billion.


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