Futures Higher As Traders Await Fed Statement. Stocks to Watch: MDS, JVA, CDTI, RENN, URBN, GNC, AMZN

Stock FuturesStock futures are looking for any excuse to go higher. After a bounce in Asia overnight, US markets are set for a sizable bounce this morning. Dow futures are up 61 points to 12,968. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 13.50 points to 2,661. The S&P 500 futures are rounding out the gains, up 7 points to 1,373.

Retail sales are out this morning in-line with expectations. Most of the 1.1% rise is attributable to the record high gas prices this early in a season.

The big news domestically today will be the Fed statement this afternoon. Most expect few fireworks, as the trajectory of the data prevents the Fed from doing anything major to keep the recovery propped up. [Read more...]

Investors Look Ahead to Fed Meeting and 6 Hot Stocks to Watch: CDTI, PWAV, YOKU, YELP, EXC, JVA

Wall Street signThe Fed is expected to come back into sharp focus as investors await news from their upcoming meeting. While most observers thing that the Fed will hold off on any new rounds of stimulus, they think it is becoming an eventuality.

While the data has been on a positive trajectory, the numbers under the numbers paint a less than rosy picture. The labor market is being bolstered by temp jobs. Is that sustainable in the long-term? Will it lead to a crimp in consumer spending. Will final demand be depressed due to rising fuel prices? All of these questions face the fed as they decide what to do to keep the economy in recovery mode.

Outside of the Fed statement, investors are looking forward to February retail sales numbers. Expected at 8:30am EST, they are expected to show a 1.1 percent gain. Most of that will be attributable to the jump in gasoline prices and auto sales. The rise in gas prices could also crimp fed action due to inflationary concerns. [Read more...]

Cheap Stocks Trading Higher This Afternoon: PWAV, COSI, MOTR, SNPK, TFER, BPZ

Wall StreetPowerwave Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PWAV) is up 24.65% this afternoon at $1.77. PWAV has traded 1.8 million shares so far today, more than double its average volume. PWAV shares are up about $0.80 in the past week. The company has a market cap of 55.23 million.

Cosi, Inc. (NASDAQ:COSI) is up 9.31% today at $1.1150. COSI has traded 1.2 million shares this afternoon, 6 times its usual volume. COSI shares are up today on rumors of a Panera buyout of Cosi. Cosi is also announcing earnings later this month and today’s gain could be investors positioning themselves for that. The company has a market cap of 58.32 million.

Motricity, Inc. (NASDAQ:MOTR) is up 7.59% today at $1.21. MOTR is up on light volume today with 904 thousand shares traded. The stock trades 1.8 million shares a day on average. MOTR shares are up about $0.15 in the past couple of days. The company has a market cap of 55.15 million. [Read more...]

Active Stocks Heading Lower in Midday Trading: TSL, YGE, KORS, P, TZYM, HGSI, SIRI, MU

Traders at the NYSEStocks continue to trade flat at midday. No big news has investors in a h wait and see mode. Investors have their eye set on a fed meeting later this week where current monetary policy will be discussed. At noon the Dow is up 7 points, the Nasdaq is down 11 points and the S&P 500 is down 3 points.

Trina Solar Limited (NYSE:TSL) is down 4.92% in midday trading at $6.95. TSL has traded 1.5 million shares so far today and trades 4.4 million shares a day on average. Trina Solar is back to levels it started the year at. The stock hit a high of $11 back in mid February. The company has a market cap of 490.39 million.

Yingli Green Energy Holding Company (NYSE:YGE) is down 5.79% today at $3.58. YGE is trading light volume today with 1.1 million shares traded. The stock trades 4.7 million shares a day on average. Solar shares are taking a bit of a hit today after jumping about $0.40 late last week. The company has a market cap of 554.07 million. [Read more...]

Gold Below $1,700, Gold Stocks to Watch

Gold pricesGold prices moved below $1,700 this morning as the entire market looks weak today. Gold is off some today as the dollar is showing some strength today. Gold investors will have their eyes on a Fed meeting later this week where they will discuss monetary policy.

Investors are in a holding pattern today as no news is driving the market one way or another. The market is being held down slightly due to China’s trade balance. Gold prices may rise more, but gold traders will have to wait for the market to have a significant downturn. Gold would then become a flight to safety investment like it was late last year and during 2008. [Read more...]

Nasdaq Stocks Rallying as Market Trades Flat: KUTV, ZOLL, JVA, VELT, FCEL, COOL

Nasdaq StocksStocks aren’t seeing a lot of movement today after economic data from China. China’s trade balance fell $31.5 billion into the red in February, the largest deficit in at least 10 years and caused doubts about about what caused the drop, weak foreign demand or a seasonal drop. Investors will also be keeping an eye on Tuesday’s statement from the Federal Open Market Committee to gauge the direction on monetary policy. The Dow is up 15 points this morning, the Nasdaq is down about 1 point and the S&P 500 is down a half point.

Oil prices fell today which should help consumers at the pump if the prices continue to drop even further. Gold is also down and is trading below $1,700. [Read more...]

Stock Futures Shaky on Overseas News. Stocks to Watch: TUDO, OREX, RENN, S, CDTI, ANTH, AMZN

Stock FuturesFutures are on edge this morning as investors look at downbeat data emerging out of China. A meeting in Europe is also raising concerns that the Greek issue may yet appear again. The contagion factor with the debt deals and bailouts is also a factor in the general nervousness of the market. Dow futures are currently down 17 points to 12,486. Nasdaq 100 futures are off 5.25 points to 2,639. S&P 500 futures are rounding out the downtrend, down 2.75 points to 1,364.

While the non-farm payroll data was a boon to the market on Friday, it lost all steam after the ISDA declared the Greek bond-swap a credit event. The European markets are trading in a choppy range thanks to that and data out of China showing them swinging to a major trade deficit due to waning demand for their exports.

Today the EU group is expected to meet to approve the second Greek bailout. Span will also come into sharp focus as it will announce it will miss its 2012 budgetary requirements. The Finance minister is expected to attend and explain the miss. Pretty simple, when one-fifth of your country is unemployed your rosy numbers are going to be missed. [Read more...]

Rising Gas Prices and 6 Hot Stocks to Watch for March 12: JVA, QSFT, SWHC, MCP, VRS, QRM

Wall StreetRising gas prices over the past few weeks would lead you to believe that the recovery could be in danger. What people are missing is the mitigating factor in consumer spending. The winter that never happened. Last year it was Snowpacalypse or Armageddon. Some sort of cataclysmic winter weather even. So utility bills have been kept in check which offsets the rise. The question now is what happens now.

Spring is pretty much upon us along with the summer driving season. If gas prices continue to climb you have to expect some sort of consumer pullback. We saw it in 2008, and it stands to reason it will happen this year. Tensions with Iran and continued growth in the developing world will put constraints on supply leading speculators to juice the price of oil. We should soon find out in the coming weeks when new consumer data releases if the price at the pump is effecting spending. [Read more...]

Active Stocks in Midday Trading: ASTM, ZLTQ, ANN, USU, DYN, HEK

stock market todayAastrom Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTM) is up 20.88% today at $2.20. ASTM has traded 2.7 million shares so far today, more than 10 times its average volume. ASTM shares are up today after the company completed $40 million in financing. The company has a market cap of 86.54 million.

Zeltiq Aesthetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZLTQ) is up 14.13% in midday trading at $6.46. ZLTQ has traded 770 thousand shares so far today, 3 times its average volume. Canaccord Genuity initiated coverage on Zeltiq today and gave it a buy rating. The company has a market cap of 219.33 million. [Read more...]

Gold Prices Rally Alongside Market, Gold Stocks to Watch

Gold pricesGold prices are rallying for the third straight day today and are currently trading up $10.90 at $1,709.60. The overall market is rallying today thanks to positive news out of Greece and a better than expected jobs report. 227,000 jobs were added in February according to the Labor Department, beating estimates of 210,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained at a three year low of 8.3%.

Good news out of Greece also sent the market higher this morning. About 85% of bondholders participated in the credit swap on Thursday night. Just a short time ago, Greece activated the Collective Action Clauses on those who held out forcing them to participate in the credit swap. This raised the participation up to nearly 96%.

Let’s take a look at how some gold stocks are reacting to gold prices heading up for the third straight day. [Read more...]

Hot Stocks This Morning: JVA, QSFT, SWHC, REE, VRS, S

Wall StreetStocks are up this morning thanks to a better than expected government jobs report. The Labor Department announced today that 227,000 jobs were added last month with the unemployment rate holding steady at 8.3%. Economists were expecting a gain of around 210,000 jobs. News out of Greece was positive as well today with participation from bondholders for the credit swap at 85.8% of the country’s debt burden.

All of this positive news has sent the Dow up 60 points, the Nasdaq up 21 points and the S&P 500 up 8 points. [Read more...]

Stock Futures Gap on Jobs Numbers. Stocks to Watch: VRML, RENN, SBUX, MCP, GMCR, FRO, SIRI

Stock FuturesAdd another feather in the cap for the recovery. In February, the US economy added 227k jobs. Then unemployment remained unchanged as more people reentered the workforce in search of jobs. Dow futures are currently up 83 points to 12,855. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 31.50 to 2,635. The S&P 500 futures are rounding out the Friday gains, up 14.25 points to 1,361.

The past three months of job growth has been the fastest since 2006. This is a huge boost to the psyche of the recovery, and to the President’s reelection campaign. Trade gap data with China also showed a trade gap of over 25 billion dollars.

Job gains for January were also revised higher, from 243k to 284k. This was the biggest one-month total since the recession ended.

One takeaway from this. Any expectations of QE3 just got shoved out of the window. The catalyst for that will have to be severe now. [Read more...]

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