China Helps Stock Futures Rise With A Cut In Bank Reserve Requirements. Stocks to Watch: AAPL, AMZN, NFLX, SIRI, BAC, GLW, RIMM
The news of the day will be China surprising the markets with its first cut in banks’ reserve requirements in nearly three years, moving into easing mode as Beijing looks to soften the country’s economic slowdown. The move proved to a reversal of fortune for investors after a wide-ranging cut in financial sector ratings by Standard & Poor’s added to worries about the fallout of the euro zone’s debt problems as time runs out for policymakers to quiet ongoing debt crisis.
Late on Tuesday, euro zone finance ministers meeting in Belgium agreed to boost the firepower of the regional bailout fund, and Standard & Poor’s downgrade of a number of leading banks fuelled an early sell-off.
Stock futures had fallen earlier after Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services late Tuesday lowered its ratings on more than a dozen global banks, as the ratings company applied its revised criteria to 37 banks in total. Several large U.S. banks, including Bank of America (BAC), J.P. Morgan & Chase (JPM) and Citigroup (C) had their credit ratings lowered
The China move, which lowers the reserve ratio for China’s biggest banks to 21%, will free up cash for small firms crippled by credit market strains. The move came just after Chinese stocks posted their biggest one day slide since August on the belief the Chinese government was not going to ease monetary policy.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65 points to 11,630 after trading down around 50 points. The blue-chip Dow index closed up 0.3% on Tuesday, gaining for a second session.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index gained 8 points to 1,204.5 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 17.75 points to 2,230.2.
The euro was little changed at $1.3325. The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, edged lower to 78.997, paring its earlier gains.
Stocks to watch today include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) and Research in Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed Tuesday down 0.78% at $373.20. AAPL is currently up 1% in pre-market trading at $376.95. AAPL trades on average 17.40 million shares a day. Over the past 5 trading sessions, AAPL stock has traded in the range of $365 to around $375. Apple Inc. has a current market cap of 346.86 billion.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) closed Tuesday down 2.97% at $188.39. AMZN is up in pre-market trading at $191.38, a gain of 1.59%. AMZN trades on average 7.29 million shares a day. AMZN started the week off in good shape following better than expected Black Friday holiday sales. Amazon.com has a current market cap of 85.67 billion.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) closed Tuesday down 3.40% at $67.57. NFLX is currently up slightly in pre-market trading at $67.75. On average, NFLX trades 8.86 million shares daily. NFLX had a bit of a sell of yesterday following S&P’s downgrade of the company’s credit rating. Netflix has a current market cap of 3.55 billion.
Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) closed Tuesday down 2.55% at $1.72. SIRI on average trades 64.15 million shares a day. Besides Monday’s market wide rally, SIRI has been in a slow downtrend the past 5 trading sessions falling from $1.90 to $1.75. Sirius has a current market cap of 6.45 billion.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) closed Tuesday down 3.24% at $5.08. BAC is currently up 1.77% in pre-market trading at $5.17. BAC trades 265.31 million shares a day on average. The company’s shares fell yesterday after S&P downgraded most major financial stocks. Bank of America has a current market cap of 51.49 billion.
Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) closed Tuesday down 10.76% at $13.19. GLW shares fell yesterday after the company downgraded its fourth-quarter outlook. GLW trades 20.75 million shares a day on average. Corning has a current market cap of 20.73 billion.
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) closed Tuesday up 5.40% at $17.37. RIMM is up slightly in pre-market trading at $17.40. RIMM trades on average 18.65 million shares a day. The stock has jumped up more than $1 per share in the past two trading sessions. Research In Motion has a current market cap of 9.10 billion.