The miss in payrolls has Wall Street deep in negative territory in premarket trading. Chinese CPI numbers are also helping fuel the decline as gains in consumer prices accelerated in March. Dow futures are currently down 118 points. Nasdaq futures are off nearly 29 points and the S&P 500 is shedding 15.
While the unemployment level ticked down, the NFP report was a disappointment taken as a whole. Expectations for report were set at 210k jobs created in March. Instead, the number came in at 120k. This marked the first time that the NFP job creation number had been below 200k since November.
Analysts say that the one silver lining to the report is that the QE3 carrot that has been dangling will get a little closer to reality now. No economic data is slated for release, but Ben Bernanke is expected to deliver a speech this evening in Georgia. This will be closely watched to see if he gives an indication about where the Fed might be heading.
Globally, most markets are closed today, either for Easter in Europe or other public holidays in Asia. Asian markets that are open were hit hard for a variety of reasons. Shanghai took a hit after the CPI numbers came out above expectations. This could renew fears over Chinese inflation at the consumer level.
Japanese markets were hit on a strengthening yen, which hurts their export market.
In commodities, oil is following the rest of the market lower. Nymex crude futures are down over $1.60 per barrel to $101.69.
The bearish return on the equity markets is helping prop up gold this morning. Gold prices are up over $12 to $1,642.40. Any renewed prospects of QE3 should be boon for the precious metals market.
Stocks to watch today include AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL), Vringo, Inc. (AMEX:VRNG), Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI), InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDCC), AVI BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVII), Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPTR) and Molina Healthcare Inc. (NYSE:MOH).
AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) is up 31.34% in pre market trading at $24.18. AOL has traded 43 thousand shares so far this morning and trades 1.3 million shares a day on average. AOL shares are rallying today on news that the company will sell more than 800 patents to MIcrosoft for $1.1 billion. The company has a market cap of 1.75 billion.
Vringo, Inc. (AMEX:VRNG) is up 17.18% in pre market trading at $3.10. VRNG has traded about 3 thousand shares this morning and trades 1.5 million shares a day on average. VRNG shares jumped more than 100% early last week from $1.5 to nearly $4. The stock then came back down and settled around $2.66 before jumping in pre market trading today. The company has a market cap of 36.87 million.
Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) is down 1.28% in pre market trading at $2.32. SIRI has traded 101 thousand shares in pre market trading and trades 57.8 million shares daily on average. SIRI shares were very active last week with the stock price jumping to as much as $2.40 and falling as low as $2.25. The company has a market cap of 8.82 billion.
InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDCC) is up 5.45% in pre market trading at $35.62. IDCC has traded 7 thousand shares in pre market trading and trades slightly more than a million shares on average. IDCC shares have been in a downtrend most of the year and have fallen from $46 a share in early January to below $34 last week. The company has a market cap of 1.52 billion.
AVI Biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVII) is up 4.95% in pre market trading at $1.06. AVII has traded 10 thousand shares so far today and trades 1.2 million shares on average. AVII shares fell $0.50 early last week on mixed drug study results. The company has a market cap of 137.10 million.
Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPTR) is down 4.76% in pre market trading at $13.61. OPTR has traded 13 thousand shares this morning and trades 584 thousand shares a day on average. Optimer announced this morning the appointment of Hank McKinnell as new chairman. The company has a market cap of 688.01 million.
Molina Healthcare Inc. (NYSE:MOH) is down 21.45% in pre market trading at $27.50. MOH has traded 46 thousand shares this morning and trades 780 thousand shares a day on average. MOH shares were downgraded by Cantor Fitzgerald today from buy to hold. The company has a market cap of 1.60 billion.