Futures are whipsawing between positive and negative territory as investors look for direction on this first day of the new quarter. Dow futures are trading higher, up 68 points to 13,146. Nasdaq 100 futures are slightly negative along with the S&P 500 futures. Both are down 2 points and .75 points respectively.
After a near record-setting pace of the first quarter, investors are looking for confirmation of their perception on the economy. ISM numbers and the construction spending report are both slated for release at 10am EST. Analysts are expecting a rise in the ISM number despite regional weakness in recent reports.
Some analysts are starting to wonder if this will be a repeat of last year. We had a top around this point and then a low set in September. That is the reason the data has to quit missing expectations if the rally is expected to continue. Plus global concerns remain in the mix.
In Europe, Spanish and Italians markets are being heavily his in trading. Both are down over 1%. Other EU markets are drifting lower.
An official survey out of China on manufacturing showed a much better than expected improvement in March. This flies in the face of HSBC survey and one has to question the validity of the government’s survey.
Commodities continue to look for direction and are drifting lower this morning. Oil is down 72 cents to $102 per barrel. Gold prices are also in negative territory, down almost $6 to 1,666 per ounce.
Stocks to watch today include Towerstream Corporation (NASDAQ:TWER), Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP), Roundy’s Inc. (NYSE:RNDY), Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR), Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX), Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN).
Towerstream Corporation (NASDAQ:TWER) is up 23.16% in pre market trading at $5.85. TWER has traded 12 thousand shares so this morning and trades 507 thousand shares a day on average. Over the past five days, TWER shares have jumped nearly $2 a share. The company has a market cap of 258.04 million.
Avon Products Inc. (NYSE:AVP) is up 20.40% in pre market trading at $23.21. AVP has traded 136 thousand shares so far today and trades 5.5 million shares a day on average. AVP shares are soaring this morning on news of a $10 billion offer from Coty Inc. The company has a market cap of 8.34 billion.
Roundy’s Inc. (NYSE:RNDY) is up 10.93% in pre market trading at $11.87. RNDY has traded around 4 thousand shares this morning and trades 609 thousand shares daily. CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on Friday that Roundy’s is a small cap speculation play with tons of upside. He points out that it has a big dividend and yield (8.5%) that are somewhat unusual for a small cap company. The company has a market cap of 488.37 million.
Frontier Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:FTR) is up 2.40% in pre market trading at $4.27. FTR has traded 44 thousand shares this morning and trades 20.7 million shares a day on average. Frontier announced today that all operating systems associated with its 2010 acquisition of Verizon wireline exchanged have been successfully converted onto Frontier’s legacy systems. The company has a market cap of 4.15 billion.
Keryx BIopharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:KERX) is down 58.84% in pre market trading at $2.06. KERX has traded 368 thousand shares already today and trades 2.2 million shares a day on average. KERX shares are tumbling on news their colon cancer drug failed trials. The company has a market cap of 353.69 million.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) is down 2.55% in pre market trading at $5.35. NOK has traded 86 thousand shares this morning and trades 32.2 million shares a day on average. Over the past week, NOK shares have whipsawed between $5.30 and $5.50 a share. The company has a market cap of 20.37 billion.
Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) is down 10.66% in pre market trading at $16.42. GRPN has traded 142 thousand shares this morning and trades 2.2 million shares a day on average. GRPN shares are tanking after the company revised lower previously reported fourth quarter earnings due to an increase the company’s refund reverse accrual. The company also said an independent auditor included a statement of material weakness in its internal controls in its 10-K filing. The company has a market cap of 9.71 billion.