Futures Flat on Worries over Fiscal Cliff. Stocks to Watch: ADI, AAPL, PLCE, CAG, DDS, FB, GMCR, LVS, RAH

CAGNew York, November 27th (TradersHuddle.com) – Stock futures were pointing flattish open as fiscal cliff fears were offsetting positive sentiment over the Greek debt deal. The lack of progress in the fiscal cliff negotiations, increased participants jitters and dampened overseas sentiment over the deal that will allow Greece to access another round of financial aid.

 

In Asia, stocks closed mixed after international creditors agreed on new debt targets for Greece. The Nikkei climbed 0.37% to a seven-month closing high, while the Shanghai Composite ignored the Greece news and slumped 1.3% to a four-year low, dragged down by cyclical stocks amid fears over limited economic growth due to banks’ limited lending capacity.

 

In Europe, markets were trading to the upside after Greece agreed to new debt targets with its international creditors, which allow the country to access a new tranche of financial aid. The plan agreed will change the debt target from 120% of GDP by 2020 to 124%, while reducing its debt by 40 billion euros. Both EU and IMF officials refused to take haircuts on the debt and instead agreed to a package of steps like the extension of loan maturities, reduction on interest rates, and a debt buyback scheme.

 

The euro was falling against the Dollar, trading below the $1.30 level. Crude oil was adding 0.06% to $87.79 per barrel. Also in the energy complex, natural gas was jumping 0.48% to $3.748 per MMBtu. Gold was dropping 0.18% $1746.50 an ounce, and silver was sliding 0.4% to $34.00 an ounce; meanwhile copper was advancing 0.14%.

 

On economic news, at 8:30 am October durable goods orders data will be available. At 9 am September Case-Schiller 20-city home price index will be released and at 10 am the November Consumer Confidence reading will be available.

 

Today’s Stocks to watch: Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Children’s Place (NASDAQ: PLCE), ConAgra (NYSE: CAG), Dillard’s (NYSE: DDS), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Green Mountain Coffee (NASDAQ: GMCR), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), and Ralcorp (NYSE: RAH).

 

Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI), the maker of integrated circuits for instrumentation, will report its quarterly results after the close of the trading session. On average analysts expect a profit of $0.57 per share on revenues of $696.98 million. The highest earnings estimate is $0.58 per share, while the lowest is $0.53. Last quarter, the company earned $0.56 per share, which was inline with consensus.

 

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was climbing 0.42% to $592 in pre-market, seeing follow thru strength from its 3% jump in the prior session. Apple has rebounded sharply from the $520 area. Yesterday, Citigroup initiated coverage with a Buy and a $675 target, saying that it sees Apple highly oversold after slumping more than 20% from its all-time high. Data from ComScore showed that Apple’s website was one of the top five more visited sites in the U.S. over Black Friday, which bodes well for this quarterly results and the overall holiday-shopping season, particularly with Apple having 2 new products with the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini that are generating strong demand. The stock broke above its 20day moving average last week and broke above its 200day exponential moving average of $578 in the prior session. It now trades below the 50day moving average, which will act as resistance around the $623 level.

 

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), the social media giant, was climbing more than 1% to $26.28 in pre-market, seeing follow-thru strength from its 8% surge in the prior session. The stock received an upgrade to Outperform at Bernstein, which helped participants’ confidence in the name. Bernstein had been one of the most bearish firms after the company’s IPO, but now it raised its target price on the stock to $33 from $23 per share.

 

Children’s Place (NASDAQ: PLCE), the value-priced children's apparel retailer, announced yesterday that its Board approved a new share repurchase plan for up to $100 million of the company’s common stock. Children’s Place also announced the appointment of Michael Scarpa as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective December 3, 2012. Meanwhile, Steven Baginski, CFO, will be leaving the Company effective immediately to pursue other interests.

 

ConAgra (NYSE: CAG), the maker of packaged foods like Chef Boyardee and Peter Pan peanut butter, will be in focus after it agreed to buy Ralcorp (NYSE: RAH) for $90 per share in cash, a 28.8% premium. Ralcorp just reported earnings of $0.92 per share, beating consensus by $0.06, on revenue that climbed 7.8% from a year ago to $1.07 billion.

 

Dillard’s (NYSE: DDS), the fashion apparel and home furnishings retail department store chain, will be in focus after the Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share, while approving a one-time special dividend of $5 per share. Both dividends will be paid to both A and B class shares on December 21st to shareholders of record on December 7th.

 

Green Mountain Coffee (NASDAQ: GMCR), the specialty coffee company with the original single-cup brewing technology, will be in focus as participants adjust positions ahead of its quarterly results scheduled after the closing bell. On average analysts expect a profit of $0.48 per share on revenues of $902.23 million. The highest earnings estimate is $0.49 per share, while the lowest is $0.46. Last quarter, the company earned $0.52 per share, 4% above consensus.

 

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), the owner and operator of casino resorts and convention centers in the U.S., Macau, and Singapore, announced yesterday afternoon that its board of directors approved a special dividend of $2.75 per share on its common stock payable on December 18th to shareholders of record on December 10th.

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