Futures Rise As Investors Wait for Economic Reports; Stocks to Watch: AAPL, BAC, MSFT, CSCO, NVDA, NVLS, RBY

U.S. futures are up modestly after yesterday’s sell-off as investors wait for several key economic data points. At 8:30am EST weekly jobless numbers, November producer prices and the Empire State manufacturing indexing will release. At 9:15am the Industrial Production data for November will come out and at 10am the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey will release its numbers. Needless to say there will be plenty for traders to go over in the coming hours.

Traders on the floor are hopeful they Can tack on a percent or two purely off technical rebound but they are mindful that the market has been seized by the realities of the ongoing EU crisis. Overnight the Swiss National Bank vowed to defend the franc. While traders hoped the SNB would raise the rate, the bank has vowed to keep the 1.2 franc to euro rate intact. They also warned that the continuing sovereign debt crisis was a major threat to the Swiss economy.

Greece continued to be the underpinning of the sovereign debt crisis after the IMF said that the country was lagging in reforms. The International Monetary Fund said that Greece could not just rely on tax increases and across the board cuts, it needed to look at areas that amount to a third rail of Greek politics – laying off state workers. Granted one has to wonder how do you cut spending and not lay off state workers.

HSBC released a report overnight showing continued cooling of manufacturing in China. The pace of decline has stabilized but the growing weakness of domestic demand is becoming prevalent in the numbers.

Commodity prices were edging higher after yesterday’s rout. Gold futures were up about a half a percent while oil is tacking on .66%. Yesterday’s rout could continue if there s continued weakness out of developed economies.

Current number as of 8am EST have the Dow futures up 57 points, the Nasdaq adding 12 and the S%P rising 6.50.

European markets have rebounded after yesterday’s sell-off with the banking heavy Stoxx Europe 600 adding a percent. The Euro is up modestly breaking above the psychologically important 1.30 level. The DAX is up over a percent, while the FTSE 100 is nearly up three quarters of a percent.

Stocks to watch today include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Novellus Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVLS) and Rubicon Minerals Corp. (AMEX:RBY).

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is up 0.58% in pre market trading at $382.40. AAPL has traded 5 thousand shares so far in pre market trading. The stock trades on average 14.28 million shares a day. AAPL stock dropped 2.22% on Wednesday, or $8.62 a share. The company has a market cap of 353.35 billion.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is up 1.53% in pre market trading at $5.31. BAC trades 268.72 million shares a day on average. BAC has been in a slight decline for about a week now, falling from around $6 a share last week. Bank of America has a market cap of 53.01 billion.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is closed Wednesday down slightly at $25.59. MSFT trades 50.69 million shares a day on average. Late yesterday, Microsoft declared a quarterly dividend of $0.20 per share. This dividend is payable on March 8, 2012 to shareholders that are on record by February 16, 2012. Microsoft has a market cap of 215.27 billion.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is up 0.67% in pre market at $18.10. CSCO trades 52.30 million shares a day on average. CSCO stock has fallen more than $1 a share since last Thursday. The company has a market cap of 96.66 billion.

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) is up 4.42% in pre market trading at $14.18. NVDA trades 17.59 million shares a day on average. Shares of NVIDIA have fallen nearly $2 a share over the pst five trading sessions. The company has a market cap of 8.29 billion.

Novellus Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVLS) is up 23.05% in pre market trading at $42.65. NVLS has traded 10 thousand shares already this morning and trades 1.55 million shares a day on average. Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) acquired Novellus Systems in an all-stock transaction worth $3.3 billion. Novellus shareholders will get 1.125 shares of LRCX stock for each of their shares. Novellus has a market cap of 2.31 billion.

Rubicon Minerals Corp. (AMEX:RBY) is up 7.10% in pre market trading at $3.62. RBY trades 818 thousand shares a day on average. RBY stock finished yesterday down 7.65% at $3.38. The stock has fallen close to $0.75 a share since Monday. Rubicon Minerals has a market cap of 803.48 million.

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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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