Euro Zone Contagion Builds, Stock Futures Drop. Stocks to Watch: NTAP, RMBS, MU, NG, AMAT

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJ1Z) fell 63 points to 11,782 and those on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index (SP1Z) declined 8.5 points to 1,222.50. Nasdaq 100 futures (ND1Z) declined 13 points to 2,300.7.

In Europe, stock markets fell deeper into negative territory in early afternoon trade, with the Stoxx 600 index down 1.8%. The Spanish and French governments conducted debt auctions and saw their borrowing costs rise. Spain’s 10-year-government-bond yields surged to euro-era highs.

Crude Oil for December delivery dropped $2.20 down to $100.39 a barrel in electronic trading on the Globex. Gold for December delivery fell $33.00 to 1,741.30 a troy ounce.

Investors are increasingly worried as the contagion builds in Europe. So far, it has enveloped, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Spain, and France seems to be getting the virus today. Both Spain and France struggled with government bond auctions on Thursday. Spain was forced to buy 10- year bonds with the highest borrowing costs it has seen since 1997. France only fared a little better than Spain.

“The euro zone has got to deliver something which is going to calm markets down and at the moment markets feel like they are being given no comfort whatsoever,” said Marc Ostwald, strategist at Monument Securities.

France and Germany have stepped up their war of words which does nothing to help ease the fears of investors worldwide. France wants the European Central Bank to be more heavily involved in the crisis. French banks are heavily exposed to Greek debt. “If politicians think the ECB can solve the euro crisis, then they are mistaken,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, adding that even if the European Central Bank assumed a role as a lender of last resort, it would not solve the crisis.

Stocks to watch today include: NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP), Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS), MIcron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), NovaGold Resources Inc. (NYSEAMEX:NG) and Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT).

NetApp, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) are down 9.3% in pre-market trading after the company released weak second quarter revenue and third quarter seen below expectations. Earnings came in slightly above expectations at $0.63 per share, but third quarter guidance was below current market estimates. NTAP is currently trading at $36.94 with 215 thousand shares in volume. The company has a current market cap of 15.01 billion.

Rambus, Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS) is up 4.22% in pre-market trading. Share of RMBS fell sharply late yesterday after the company lost its antitrust case. RMBS fell yesterday from $18 to $5 before closing at $7.11. The stock is currently trading at $7.41 with 590 thousand shares traded. The company has a current market cap of 781.82 million.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is up 1.48% at $6.84 in pre-market trading. Micron rose yesterday after the ruling in an antitrust case involving Micron, Hynix Semiconductor and Rambus. MU has traded over 1 million shares already in pre-market trading. The company has a current market cap of 6.66 billion.

NovaGold Resources Inc. (NYSEAMEX:NG) is down 1.64% at $10.77 in pre-market trading. NG jumped yesterday after the company named a new CEO and named billionaire Thomas Kaplan as Chairman. NG has traded 8 thousand shares in pre-market trading and usually trades 3.4 million shares daily. The company has a current market cap of 2.62 billion.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) is trading down 2.73% at $12.13 in pre-market trading. AMAT has traded over 100 thousand shares in early trading and usually trades 16 million daily. The company’s forecast first quarter sales and profit fell below analysts’ predictions. The company said revenue will decline as much as 15% from the prior quarter. Applied Materials has a current market cap of 16.43 billion.

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Danny is the old hat at Active Investor. One of the been around the block a few times traders, his main focus is on overall market conditions. Be it some new merger talk or Washington being Washington, you can expect Danny will be on top of it.
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