Another day, more ‘soothing’ comments from China regarding the EU crisis. If you are thinking you have seen this movie before, you have. And yet here we sit, still in the midst of the crisis. Overnight, Chinese officials announced they have confidence that the EU can resolve the crisis. Judging by the canceled finance ministers meeting, I think they need to borrow some of China’s mojo. After they completely sell-out their continent.
Reports are out now that the the Greek deal will possibly placed on hold. Greek politicians have been trying to stake out positions in the run-up to elections. Come to find out austerity induces Great Depression symptoms among your populace. Who would have guessed wiping out a chunk of your workforce would cause a rise in joblessness? Then that would lead to a rise in poverty and social unrest? I mean the IMF is only stacked with PhDs. Can’t expect them to know everything I guess.
The reports further state that the goal would be to delay all or part of the bailout, yet Greece would not default. Kind of like being partially pregnant. Utter nonsense, but then again it makes for good tv.
Domestically, the economic data calendar is full today. The Empire State Index blew by expectations this morning, posting a 19.5. This is its highest level since June of 2010. Underlying conditions were decidedly mixed, with the new orders number dropping to 9.7 from 13.7.
The National Homebuilders Association Index is due out at 10am EST.
Commodities are having a field day with the non-stop pace of news coming out of the EU and Middle East. A report this morning, since denied, had Iran halting crude exports to several European countries. Nymex crude futures are currently up 92 cents to $101.65 per barrel.
Gold prices are up $14.40 to $1,732.10.
Stocks to watch today include Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Renren Inc. (NYSE:RENN), BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX), Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA)
Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is down 7.68% in pre market trading at $13.25. Zynga shares are dipping after reporting fourth quarter results yesterday. Adjusted earnings came in at $0.05 per share, beating estimates of $0.02 per share. Revenue also increased to $311 million. This was not enough to push its stock price higher though. Zynga was also downgraded to underweight from equal weight by Evercore this morning. The company has a market cap of 10.04 billion.
Renren Inc. (NYSE:RENN) is down 7.17% in pre market trading at $5.05. RENN shares are down this morning after the company issued disappointing preliminary report on fourth quarter results. The company said its revenue is still within guidance at $31 to $33 million. Renren now sees a non-GAAP operation loss of $15 to $17 million though. The company has a market cap of 2.13 billion.
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRCX) is up 16.62% in pre market trading at $4.28. BCRX shares are higher today after announcing promising results from preclinical studies of BCX5191 for Hepatitis C. BCRX trades about 215 thousand shares a day on average. The company has a market cap of 165.93 million.
Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) is up 4.80% in pre market trading at $2.40. Clearwire is set to announce earnings after market close today. CLWR trades close to 13 million shares a day on average. The stock has climbed more than $0.40 over the past week. The company has a market cap of 571.82 million.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:LGF) is up 4.67% in pre market trading at $11.87. LGF trades 850 thousand shares a day on average. LGF shares have been rallying since the start of the year as the release of its movie “Hunger Games” approaches. The company has a market cap of 1.43 billion.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is up 0.88% in pre market trading at $513.97. AAPL shares breached the $500/share mark earlier this week and are now well beyond it. Apple is set to announce the iPad 3 sometime in March and is reported to be a major upgrade from the iPad 2. The company has a market cap of 475 billion.
Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is up 6.57% in pre market trading at $29.04. CMCSA shares are up this morning on better than expected results from the company. Comcast added 336,000 subscribers last quarter and saw net income rise to $1.29 billion. EPS was at $0.47 a share, beating estimates of $0.41 a share. The company has a market cap of 74.25 billion.