2012 January

Market Turns Positive and Afternoon Movers: FBN, HDSN, NUVA, COOL, ERIC, BLRX, BVSN, GLW

The market is turning higher in midday trading after the Fed pledges to not raise interest rates until at least late 2014. Economic conditions “are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014,” the central bank said in a statement. The Federal Reserve still describes the unemployment rate as “elevated” and expects inflation to stay at levels consistent with stable prices. The market reacted favorably to the news with the Dow up 30 points, the Nasdaq up 21 points and the S&P 500 is up 5 points.

Furniture Brands International (NYSE:FBN) is up 17.87% today at $1.7799. FBN has traded 1.3 million shares so far today, more than double its daily average. FBN shares are up more than $0.40 a share since the new year. FBN has earnings coming up at the end of the month. The company has a market cap of 99.34 million. Check out one of the best swing traders on the street.

Hudson Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:HDSN) is up 13.09% today at $2.4540. HDSN has traded 624 thousand shares today, way above its daily average of 32 thousand shares. Hudson Technologies reported the issuance of EPA no action assurance letters to HCFC importers and producers. The company has a market cap of 58.61 million.

NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUVA) is up 10.29% in afternoon trading at $15.11. NUVA has traded 950 thousand shares so far today, 100 thousand shares more than its daily average. Medtronic is seeking an injunction against NuVasive tomorrow to prevent NuVasive from making or selling medical devices for spinal surgery. In a note to investors, Leerink Swann said Medtronic’s chances of an injunction are low. The company has a market cap of 635.77 million.

Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ:COOL) is up 10.23% at $2.37 this afternoon. COOL has traded nearly 2 million shares so far today, more than double its daily average. COOL shares are bouncing back today after falling about $0.80 last week. The company has a market cap of 93.26 million.

LM Ericsson Telephone Company (NASDAQ:ERIC) is down 15.84% today at $8.61. ERIC has traded 11.6 million shares today, nearly 3 times its daily average volume. ERIC shares are dropping today after its quarterly results came in below Wall Street estimates. The company has a market cap of 27.68 billion. Check out one of the best swing traders on the street.

BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ:BLRX) is down 11.69% this afternoon at $4.9010. BLRX has traded 1.3 million shares so far, more than ten times its daily average. BLRX shares are falling today after the stock shot up more than 100% yesterday on hepatitis C deal. The company has a market cap of 64.89 million.

BroadVision, Inc. (NASDAQ:BVSN) is down 15.42% today at $28.75. BVSN has traded 1.4 million shares so far today, ten times its daily average. BVSN shares have finally started to fall after the stock bounced up more than 200% since the beginning of the month. The company has a market cap of 126.42 million.

Corning Inc. (NYSE:GLW) is down 10.09% today at $13.15. GLW is down on heavy volume with 43.3 million shares traded so far today. GLW shares are down today after fourth quarter profit falls 53%. The company has a market cap of 20.69 billion.

Fed Set To Keep Interest Rates Near Zero For At Least Two Years

The Federal Reserve looks like it will announce no new monetary changes at their meeting today. It is expected to release forecasts that show interest rates will remain near zero for at least the next two years.

With the recent improvement in the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve will more than likely not announce any additional bond purchases. However, they will leave the option open in case the European debt crisis gets worse and has the possibility of affecting the U.S. economy.

The Federal Reserve has continued to say since mid last year that interest rates will remain extremely low through at least the middle of next year.

The Fed is expected to release its statement outlining its views on the economy and monetary policy shortly after lunch. Rate projections and quarterly economic forecasts will be released soon after at 2pm.

Many analysts believe the U.S. economic recovery will be affected as Europe’s economy begins to struggle even more. This could potentially force the Fed into another bond buying spree, and will more than likely focus on mortgage debt.

We’ll know more once the Fed comes out with their statement. The markets are looking better than they did right now as most investors await word on what the Fed will say. The Dow is currently down 49 points, the Nasdaq is up 16 points and the S&P is down 2 points.

Housing Sector Sees More Bad News

Pending home sales in the U.S. fell in December after hitting the highest level in a year in November. The National Association of Realtors said pending home sales fell 3.5% in December to 96.6 on their index. November’s index reading was 100.1. Even with the drop, December sill had the second highest reading since April 2010. A reading of a 100 is considered healthy for the housing market.

Pending home sales gives some insights into where the housing market is potentially headed. There is usually about a month or two wait time between a signed contract and a completed deal. Lately though, pending home sales have not always meant a completed deal as many buyers have cancelled their contract at the last minute.

While pending sales saw a decline last month, analysts have welcomed the recent trend as the housing market tries to right itself.

Home prices are the cheapest they’ve been in decades with long-term mortgage rates at historic lows. Home prices in cities have fallen steadily since 2006.

There are many factors as to why Americans aren’t buying houses right now. The main ones are high unemployment and weak job growth. Plus, loans are still hard to come by unless you have a well paying job and great credit. Even those with the ability to get a loan are waiting as they think home prices will move even lower.

Early Stock Gainers As Overall Market Looks Weak: LCC, TXT, CA, HGSI, AFFX, DAL

Most of the market is looking weaker this morning with the exception of the Nasdaq, which is being propped up by Apple. Apple released its earnings yesterday and blew away Wall Street estimates. The Dow and S&P are both negative as the overall market falls on poor home sales news. Pending home sales fell more than expected in December, with a 3.5% drop. Analysts were expecting a 1% drop. As always, Europe continues to be one of the contributing causes to any market pull back as the debt crisis in that region continues. The Dow is currently down 81 points, the Nasdaq is up 6 points and the S&P 500 is down 4 points.

US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC) is up 15.44% today at $7.41. LCC shares are rallying after US Airways earnings beat Wall Street’s expectations. Excluding charges, US Airways earned $0.13 per share in the fourth quarter, well above analysts’ estimates of $0.02 per share. Revenue jumped 9% to $3.16 billion. The company would have earned even more if not for soaring fuel prices. LCC has traded 8.6 million shares so far today, 2 million shares more than its daily average. The company has a market cap of 1.19 billion. Check out one of the best swing traders on the street.

Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) is up 14.39% this morning at $24.72. TXT has traded 7.7 million shares so far today, close to double its daily average. Textron posted a fourth quarter loss today, but shares rose on the company’s outlook. The company expects 2012 profit from continuing operations to be between $1.80 and $2 per share. Analysts had estimated around $1.66 per share. The company has a market cap of 6.90 billion.

CA Inc. (NASDAQ:CA) is up 9.96% in early trading at $25.10. CA has traded 8.5 million shares so far today, about triple its daily average volume. CA shares are climbing after reporting its fiscal third quarter results. The company also announced it will increase its annual dividend five times to $1. Earnings rose 32% in the fiscal third quarter. The company has a market cap of 12.37 billion.

Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:HGSI) is up 5.81% today at $9.66. HGSI has traded 5.7 million shares so far this morning and trades 6.6 million shares a day on average. HGSI shares are up more than $2 a share since the start of the new year. The company has a market cap of 1.94 billion.

Affymetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFFX) is up 4.84% this morning at $4.99. AFFX has traded 1.4 million shares today, 50% more volume than it trades on average. AFFX shares are seeing a slight boost today following the Roche deal to buy Illumina. The company has a market cap of 357.30 million. Check out one of the best swing traders on the street.

Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL) is up 8.26% today at $10.15. DAL has traded 13.1 million shares so far today, 2 million shares more than its daily average. DAL shares are up after the company saw a 44% jump in profits. Revenue was up 11% at $35.1 billion with EPS of $1.01. The company has a market cap of 8.51 billion.

Futures Mixed As Apple Lifts Nasdaq. Stocks to Watch: PACB, ILMN, AAPL, RDN, FIO, BA, C

US futures are diverging this morning after Apple reported stellar earnings in after-hours trading yesterday. Dow futures are down 40 points to 12,586. Nasdaq futures are riding the Apple effect, up over 15 points to 2,453. S&P 500 futures are following the Dow’s trend, down over 3 points to 1,308.

Apple’s earnings yesterday are driving the Nasdaq futures. A broker at Valbury Capital remarked, “The figures from Apple show that despite the global recession looming, people still want to have an overpriced, lacking-in-features iPhone 4S that they couldn’t even be bothered to change the shape on.” Maybe he can ask Siri why he’s so down this morning?

On the economic data calendar today is the a decision by the FOMC on where to keep interest rates. Analysts are starting to worry that even though the economic outlook is negative, the recent spate of good news will keep the Fed from announcing another round of QE 3. Check out one of the best swing traders on the street.

The Fed will release their outlook for rates over the coming years. They will also try to give timing for the first rate hike and their overall plan for their growing balance sheet. This move is intended to soothe both the hawks and doves that watch the Federal reserve.

The recent down-tick in unemployment has increased the talk of the Fed eventually getting away from historically low interest rates.

In European news the news has started to shift from the always-near-the-cliff Greece to Portugal. Austerity measures in Portugal have started to push economic activity off the books. A full quarter of the economy now occurs off the books in what is being deemed a shadow economy. If both Greece and Portugal were to default, the pressures on the EU could reach a breaking point with stronger countries refusing to backstop weaker ones.

Who knew you couldn’t place the economic burden on citizens that already bore the brunt? US officials should take note of the abject failure of austerity in EU before they use it as a model here in the states.

Stocks to watch today include Pacific Biosciences of California (NASDAQ:PACB), Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Radian Group Inc. (NYSE:RDN), Fusion-io, Inc. (NYSE:FIO), Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE:C)

Pacific Biosciences of California (NASDAQ:PACB) is up 20.76% in pre market trading at $4.77. PACB shares are jumping this morning following the deal between Roche and Illumina. PACB has traded over 30 thousand shares so far in pre market and trades close to 300 thousand shares a day on average. The company has a market cap of 216.51 million. Check out one of the best swing traders on the street.

Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) is up 37.64% in pre market at $52.10. ILMN shares are up big after Swiss drug maker Roche Holdings made a $5.7 billion bid on the company this morning. Roche said it would pay $44.50 a share in cash through a tender offer. ILMN has traded over 4 million shares this morning, more than double its daily average. The company has a market cap of 4.58 billion.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is up 8.24% in pre market trading at $455.05. AAPL shares are rallying following a stellar fiscal first quarter from the company. Apple saw profit more than double in its fiscal first quarter with revenue rising 73% to $46.3 billion. EPS came in at $13.87, crushing analysts’ estimates of $10.08 per share. Apple sold more than 37 million iPhones in the quarter, up 128% from the year before. The company has a market cap of 390.73 billion.

Radian Group Inc. (NYSE:RDN) is up 4.75% this morning at $3.09. RDN shares are jumping this morning following news the company will return $12.9 billion reinsurance portfolio to Assured Guaranty Ltd. This move is expected to increase Radian’s statutory capital. The company has a market cap of 392.94 million.

Fusion-io, Inc. (NYSE:FIO) is down 12% in pre market trading at $26.70. FIO shares are taking a hit today after a disappointing fiscal second quarter. FIO’s second quarter loss narrowed but higher cots affected margins. The company has a market cap of 2.53 billion.

Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) is down 1.55% in pre market at $74.19. BA shares are dipping some following Boeing’s fourth quarter earnings. Boeing beat estimates, but its 2012 guidance was reduced because of higher than expected pension expenses. The company has a market cap of 56.01 billion.

Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE:C) is down about 1% in pre market trading at $29.63. C shares are slipping as the company ponders more cuts to banking and securities unit. C typically trades 55.7 million shares a day on average. The company has a market cap of 87.42 billion.

After Hours Winners & Losers: CA, NUAN, BMC, SWKS, FIO, ENER, AMD

CA Inc. (NASDAQ:CA) is up 16.13% in after hours trading at $26.50. CA shares are rallying big stronger than expected fiscal third quarter results. Revenue jumped 10% from a year ago to $1.263 billion. Non-GAAP profits were $0.65 a share beating Wall Street’s expectations of $0.54 a share. The company has a market cap of 11.26 billion.

Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) is up 5.04% in after hours trading at $29.40. The Apple supplier is up following Apple’s stellar quarterly results. The company has a market cap of 8.42 blilion.

BMC Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:BMC) is up 3.84% in after hours trading at $36.00. BMC shares have continued to rise today and have rallied more than $4 a share since Jan. 9. The company has a market cap of 5.90 billion. Check out one of the best swing traders on the street.

Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:SWKS) is up 3.73% in after hours at $22.36. SWKS shares have jumped more than $2 a share since last Friday after announcing positive quarterly results. The company has a market cap of 3.97 billion.

Fusion-io, Inc. (NYSE:FIO) is down 13.84% in after hours trading at $26.14. FIO announced fiscal second quarter results this afternoon. Revenue and profit both beat expectations and forecasts for this quarter’s revenue also beat expectations. The company has a market cap of 2.53 billion.

Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENER) is down 5.08% in after hours trading at $0.9320. ENER is in a downward trend right now after rallying more than 200% earlier this month. The company has a market cap of 52.21 million. Check out one of the best swing traders on the street.

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) is down 1.99% in after hours at $6.40. AMD shares fell this afternoon after the company posts a fourth quarter loss on GlobalFoundries investment and restructuring costs. The company has a market cap of 4.55 billion.

Active Stocks As Market Finishes Mostly Lower: INTC, MSFT, AAPL, RIMM, ZNGA, BRCM

The market could not extend its winning streak to 6 with the Dow dropping into negative territory. Most portfolio managers concede that it is normal for stocks to take a breather after a strong start in early January. Continued uncertainty over Greece has reached a point where bad news is hardly a blip on investors’ radar. Most of Greek’s woes have been priced in and the consensus is that eventually Greece will be forced into some type of default.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is up 0.45% near the close at $26.83. INTC has traded 50.1 million shares so far today and trades 53.9 million shares a day on average. INTC shares have jumped more than $1.50 a share over the past week. INTC has been rallying the past few days after reporting better than expected earnings last Thursday. The company has a market cap of 136.10 billion.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is down 1.40% today at $29.32. MSFT is trading weaker than usual volume with only 46.4 million shares traded. The stock typically trades 55.7 million shares. MSFT shares are seeing a slightly pull back today have, but its trending upward overall. There are recent reports that Microsoft may be getting rid of their Xbox Live currency system. The company has a market cap of 246.35 billion. Check out one of the best swing traders on the street.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is down 1.43% today at $421.18. All eyes are on Apple after the market close when they announce their earnings. Analysts are expecting revenue of $38.76 billion with an EPS of $10.07. AAPL has traded 12.7 million shares today, slightly higher than its daily average of 12.5 million shares. The company has a market cap of 391.80 billion.

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) is down 3.47% in late afternoon trading at $15.01. RIMM shares continue to fall after the company’s co CEOs stepped down and a new CEO was appointed. RIMM has traded 35.7 million shares today, 12 million shares more than its daily average. The company has a market cap of 7.75 billion.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is up 6.47% today at $9.71. ZNGA has traded 11.5 million shares today, up from its daily average of 10.2 million shares. ZNGA shares have been trending higher the past few days after reports the company is considering internet gambling. The company has a market cap of 6.81 billion. Check out one of the best swing traders on the street.

Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM) is up 2.22% today at $35.23. BRCM has traded slightly above volume today with 10.4 million shares traded. BRCM shares are up more than $5 a share on the year. The company has a market cap of 18.94 billion.

Midday Movers: TEAR, BVSN, CYTX, IDCC, KUTV, URRE, NOK

TearLab Corporation (NASDAQ:TEAR) is up 31.26% in midday trading at $1.6408. TEAR has traded 357 thousand shares so far today, well above its daily average of 73 thousand shares. TEAR shares are up today after announcing the FDA has now granted Waiver categorization for the TearLab Osmolarity System. The company has a market cap of 32.87 million.

BroadVision, Inc. (NASDAQ:BVSN) continues its rise today jumping another 19.49% at $39.73. BVSN has traded 1.1 million shares so far today, way above its daily average of 132 thousand shares. BVSN shares are up more than 200% since the start of the new year. The company has a market cap of 179.16 million.

Cytori Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:CYTX) is up 14.93% in midday trading at $3.23. CYTX has traded nearly 400 thousand shares already today, 30 thousand more shares than its daily average. CYTX shares are rising today after the company announces the publication of previously reported results from APOLLO trial. The publication reported safety and improvements in cardiac function. The company has a market cap of 175.93 million.

InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDCC) is down 18.94% at midday at $36.10. IDCC has traded 8.3 million shares so far today, eight times its daily average. IDCC shares are falling the company said it ended a strategic review and determined the company would not put itself up for sale. The company has a market cap of 1.63 billion.

Ku6 Media Co., Ltd (NASDAQ:KUTV) is down 10.66% today at $1.76. KUTV has traded 414 thousand shares today, more than double its daily average volume. KUTV shares have dropped more than $1.50 a share after the stock doubled earlier this month on news of a YouTube deal. The company has a market cap of 87.84 million.

Uranium Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE) is down 7.08% today at $1.05. URRE is trading above average volume today with 1.3 million shares traded. URRE is seeing a slight pull back today after jumping more nearly $0.40 a share over the past week. The company has a market cap of 96.33 million.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) is down 7.09% today at $5.32. NOK has traded 41.8 million shares so far today, 10 million more than its daily average. NOK shares are falling today after weak results from a key chip supplier. Tim Boddy, a Goldman Sachs analyst, is speculating the company could cut its rich dividend in order to conserve cash. The company has a market cap of 19.74 billion.

Stocks Heading Higher As Market Starts Lower: BLRX, ACHN, DMND, EMC, LEE, BONT

Stocks are heading lower today as worries about the debt crisis in Europe, specifically Greece, grow. The credit ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, said this morning it will likely cut Greece’s credit rating to “selective default.” This news out of Europe has over shadowed a big earnings day today with Apple and Yahoo releasing their latest quarterly reports after market close today. The Dow is down 53 points this morning, the Nasdaq is down 7 points and the S&P is down 5 points.

Not all stocks are heading lower though. Let’s take a look at six stocks trending higher in early trading.

BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ:BLRX) is up 79.33% in morning trading at $5.90. BLRX is up on huge volume today after signing an exclusive license agreement with Genosience for BL-8020, an oral treatment for Hepatitis C. BLRX has traded nearly 2.4 million shares today, way above its daily average of just 3 thousand shares. The company has a market cap of 78.98 million.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) is up 13.36% today at $10.43. ACHN has traded 1.5 million shares so far today, 500 thousand shares more than its daily average. ACHN is bouncing back today after the stock fell more than $3 a share in the past week over concerns of its Hepatitis C drug’s future. The company has a market cap of 739.97 million.

Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:DMND) is up 9.59% in early trading at $35.72. DMND has traded 1.4 million shares so far today and trades 2.6 million shares a day on average. DMND saw a big volume spike this morning as it moved higher. DMND shares lost nearly 60% of their value between October and December of last year. The company has a market cap of 788.91 million.

EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) is up 5.42% at $24.71 this morning. EMC is already trading above its daily average volume today with 21.2 million shares traded. EMC shares are up today after their fourth quarter earnings beat estimates. EPS came in at $0.49 a share, beating estimates of $0.46 a share. The company’s current year outlook is in line with analysts’ estimates. EMC expects $22 billion in revenue this year with $1.70 per share in profit. Analysts are expecting $22.02 billion with $1.71 per share. The company has a market cap of 50.45 billion.

Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE:LEE) is up 20.91% today at $1.33. LEE has traded 1.1 million shares so far today, more than five times its daily average. LEE shares are up after their bankruptcy plan was approved and the company expects to exit bankruptcy on Jan. 30 according to Bloomberg. The company has a market cap of 58.90 million.

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:BONT) is up 12.38% this morning at $3.63. BONT has traded 580 thousand shares today, double its daily average. BONT shares jumped this morning after the company appointed Brendan L. Hoffman as their new CEO effective on February 7. The company has a market cap of 71.32 million.

Greece Likely To Be Cut To “Selective Default” By S&P

Standard & Poor’s is likely to downgrade Greece’s credit rating to “selective default” when the country finishes its debt restructuring according to an official with the ratings agency.

“It’s not a given that Greece’s default would have a domino effect in the euro zone,” John Chambers, the chairman of S&P’s sovereign rating committee, said in an event organized by Blooomberg Link.

Greece is trying to get a last second bond swap deal done to avoid a nasty default. Euro zone officials rejected the final offer from the country’s private bondholders and essentially sent the two parties back to square one to figure something else out.

Greece needs to get a deal done in order to secure funds from a 130 billion euro rescue plan by the IMF before 14.5 billion euros bond redemptions are due in March.

The deal between Greece and its creditors fell apart after the creditors demand for a 4% coupon, or interest rate, on new bonds in exchange for existing debts.

The markets are reacting negatively to this news with the Dow down 65 points, the Nasdaq down 8 points and the S&P 500 down 6 points. Market volatility will continue in the near future as long as their is uncertainty in Europe, which right now there is a lot of.

Taxpayers Could Lose $100 Billion On Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loans

The regulator for the two companies said forgiving mortgage debt on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans would cost the taxpayer-funded companies to lose nearly $100 billion.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said the companies guaranteed nearly 3 million mortgages on single-family homes that are worth less than the loans they secure.

“FHFA estimates that principal forgiveness for all of these mortgages would require funding of almost $100 billion,” FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco said in a Jan. 20 letter to Representative Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland who was threatening to subpoena to gain access to the information.

Around 80% of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers with negative equity were up to date with their payments according to DeMarco.

DeMarco has said that forgiving mortgage debt on the two companies would increase bailout size for them. The bailout has already cost taxpayers $153 billion since 2008.

Any money spent on forgiving the mortgage debt of these two companies would come from the taxpayers. DeMarco believes that any money given to them should require congressional action.

US Futures Being Dragged Down By Europe. Stocks to Watch: PLCM, WDC, VMW, BAC, AAPL, YHOO, VZ

With major earnings coming out today, Wall Street is being dominated again by uncertainty coming out of Europe. The lack of any meaningful bond-swap deal in Greece is sending the futures lower. Dow futures are down 46 points to 12, 606. Nasdaq futures are shedding nearly 9 points, and the S&P 500 is down 6.50 points to 1,304.50.

Greece continues to march to towards a default deadline in March. The lack of any deal by then could force the nation into default as a series of bods mature in the month. A demand by private creditors for a 4% coupon on any new bonds was soundly rejected by EU officials as too high. The sent the banking-heavy Stoxx 600 index down nearly a percent, and is pressuring US futures as we near the open.

Domestically all eyes will be on the FOMC meeting today. With economic data improving, some analysts believe it will tie the Fed’s hands when it comes to a new round of QE. Other analysts point out that with CPI moderating, it could give them cover to extend the stimulus program.

In earnings, McDonald’s and Johnson and Johnson are slated to report today. McDonald’s is expected to post a fourth-quarter profit of $1.30 a share on sales of $6.81 billion. Johnson and Johnson is expected to post fourth-quarter earnings of $1.09 per share on $16.28 billion in revenue.

In Asia, shares of the main Indian stock market soared after their central bank cut banking reserve requirements. This was done to ease the burgeoning liquidity crisis in the country. Japan was boosted by energy producers, while the Chinese New Year kept markets closed in China.

Gold prices are being kept in check by the strength of the dollar today. After a near constant run-up since the start of 2012, gold prices are down just over $10 to $1665.50.

Oil futures continue to have little reaction to the Iranian oil embargo instituted yesterday. Most of this is due to the fact it does not start for six months and Europe left themselves a sizable escape hatch. Nymex futures are down 31 cents to $99.26.

Stocks to watch today include Polycom Inc. (NASDAQ:PLCM), Western Digital Company (NYSE:WDC), VMware Inc. (NYSE:VMW), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLCM) is up 12.38% in pre market trading at $20.75. PLCM shares are jumping this morning after the company released its fourth quarter earnings yesterday. Polycom saw fourth quarter profit rise 50%. Its adjusted earnings came in at $0.41 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $0.29 per share. For the first quarter, Polycom is expecting revenue to decline 2% because of its efforts to ‘realign’ its North American sales force. The company has a market cap of 3.26 billion.

Western Digital Corporation (NYSE:WDC) is up 4.75% in pre market trading at $36.33. WDC shares are rising following second quarter results from the company. Western Digital saw adjusted EPS of $1.51, beating estimates of $0.71. The company expects third quarter EPS to be around $1.15-$1.45 with analysts estimating $0.91. The company has a market cap of 8.11 billion.

VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW) is up 4.19% in pre market trading at $89.60. VMW stock is rallying after the company reported sales and profit that beat Wall Street estimates. Revenue increased by 27% from a year ago to $1.06 billion and posted a profit of $0.62 per share. Analysts were expecting $0.60 per share in profit. The company has a market cap of 36.31 billion.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is down 1.79% in pre market trading at $7.12. BAC shares are slipping as the entire market is set to open lower due to uncertainty in Europe. BAC typically trades 271.7 million shares a day on average. The company has a market cap of 76.39 billion.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is down 0.40% in pre market trading at $425.72. AAPL is set to report quarterly results after the closing bell today. AAPL trades 12.5 million shares a day on average. The stock has been trading between a range of $420 and $430 for about a week now as investors wait for their quarter results to come in. The company has a market cap of 397.24 billion.

Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is trading slightly down in pre market trading at $15.65. YHOO trades 21.7 million shares a day on average. YHOO will announced their latest quarterly results later today and analysts are expecting to see EPS of $0.24 with revenue at $1.19 billion. The company has a market cap of 19.45 billion.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is down 1.95% in pre market trading at $37.65. VZ shares are taking a hit today after Verizon posted a $2 billion fourth quarter loss on pension adjustment. Verizon EPS came in at $0.52 per share with analysts expecting $0.53 per share. Revenue increased 7.7% from a year ago to $28.4 billion. The company has a market cap of 108.71 billion.

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