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.
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.
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.