Dow futures are taking it on the chin this morning after a one-two punch out of Europe and China. The French election saw the Socialist candidate forcing Sarkozy into a runoff on May 6. Polls indicate that Sarkozy is on track to lose the election, which could throw EU bailout deals into jeopardy.
Manufacturing news data via HSBC out of China showed factories continue to languish. Conditions have improved this month, but still show an overall contraction in activity. Though the news is not what investors are looking for, the possibility of a Chinese hard-landing are remote.
Dow futures are currently down 133 points. Nasdaq futures are off 24 and the S&P is dropping over 14 points.
On May 6th there will not only be a French election, but Greeks also go to the polls. One has to wonder will voters take a stand in which they say no to more austerity. The system of austerity has been proven not to work, look at Greece or Spain. You do not shrink your way to growth. However, you can shrink your way out of office – we may get to ask Sarkozy about that come May 6.
Domestically, the economic data front is quiet today. Earnings this week kicks off in a big way when Apple reports on Tuesday.
Commodities are following the broader market lower this morning. Oil prices are sinking as Nymex crude futures are down $1.09 to $102.79 per barrel. Gold prices are also down, dropping nearly $13 to $1629.90 per ounce.
Stocks to Watch
Ardea Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:RDEA) is up 51.78% in pre market trading at $31.63. RDEA has traded 119 thousand shares this morning and trades 232 thousand shares a day on average. RDEA shares are rallying after the company agrees to AstraZeneca’s $1.26 billion buyout. The company has a market cap of 765.64 million.
Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMLN) is up 10.38% this morning at $25.30. AMLN has traded 66 thousand shares so far today and trades 5.1 million shares on average. Amylin Pharmaceuticals has reportedly hired advisors to find a buyer. The company has a market cap of 3.38 billion.
Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) is down 13.29% this morning at $7.18. ACHN has traded 31 thousand shares so far today and trades 1.4 million shares a day on average. ACHN shares were downgraded to market perform from outperform at JMP Securities. The company has a market cap of 584.29 million.
Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) is down 1.12% in pre market trading at $2.20. SIRI has traded 84 thousand shares in pre market and trades 53.8 million shares a day on average. SIRI shares have traded slightly pretty much flat over the past week as it hovers around the $2.20 mark. The company has a market cap of 8.36 billion.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is down 3.41% in pre market trading at $8.08. BAC has traded over a million shares this morning and trades 295.29 million shares a day on average. BAC shares have dropped $1 a share since Thursday. BAC shares are getting hit hard right now as the broader market is set to open significantly lower. The company has a market cap of 90.08 billion.
Alcatel-Lucent, S.A. (NYSE:ALU) is down 2.16% this morning at $1.81. ALU has traded 101 thousand shares this morning and trades 23.1 million shares a day on average. ALU shares have fallen $0.20 a share since last Wednesday. The company has a market cap of 4.19 billion.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) is down 1.35% in pre market trading at $3.65. NOK has traded 190 thousand shares so far today and trades 37.8 million shares a day on average. NOK shares have fallen $0.50 a share over the past week. April has not been kind for Nokia as a software glitch hurt the launch of its Lumia 900 and sent its stock plunging from $5.40 to its $3.65. The company has a market cap of 13.73 billion.