Another day, another issue with Europe. The never-ending crisis is weighing heavily on US markets after the Euro dipped below 1.30 in overnight trading. Currently the Dow Futures are off modestly at 14 points, while the Nasdaq is slightly negative, dropping 7 points. The S&P is following the same trend down 1.75.
While the Fed statement yesterday met expectations, investors were still disappointed that it did not provide a clue or signal an intent to a return of QE. This caused a broader market sell-off with all the major indices going negative. Currently European markets are negative as traders there look at this week’s bond sales in both Italy and Europe. They are especially worried about the Italian sale due to the rapid rise in yields over the past few months.
Here in the states it is a return of political brinkmanship over something that should be bi-partisan. The payroll tax cut for millions of Americans is set to expire at the end of the year and the two parties still refuse to budge. The House GOP in their normal stubborn way decided to attach a pipeline project to the extension. Just so happens this pipeline goes right over the biggest aquifer in the country. Ask the Gulf of Mexico how that turned out.
The Democrats for their part have held up the omnibus spending bill which will cause a government shutdown in the next few days unless it is passed. Toss in a presidential veto for the House version and you have all the makings of Capitol Hill holiday cheer.
Commodities are trading to the downside this morning. Most of this is due to the strengthening of the dollar against the Euro but also on economic concerns. Gold lost another 2% as it continues its downward trend while oil slipped another 1.5%.
European markets continue to take it on the chin as their crisis, while not spinning out of control, seems to be teetering once again on the edge. Major indexes in the EU are all red in afternoon trading with the banking heavy Stoxx 600 down about a percent.
Stocks to watch today include Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Jive Software Inc. (NASDAQ:JIVE), LiveDeal, Inc. (NASDAQ:LIVE), Endocyte, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECYT), Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR).
Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP) is up 8.98% in pre market trading at $17.59. AVP trades 6.57 million shares a day on average. AVP stock has dropped more than $1 a share since last Thursday. Avon announced it will be separating the roles of CEO and chairman starting in 2012. Andrea Jung currently holds both positions. The company has a current market cap of 6.95 billion.
NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) is up 1.20% in pre market trading at $14.30. NVDA trades 17.60 million shares a day on average. NVDA has been trading lower since last Wednesday and has fallen nearly $1 a share. NVIDIA has a current market cap of 8.63 billion.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is down slightly in pre market trading at $388.62. AAPL trades 14.33 million shares a day on average. Since last Wednesday, AAPL has traded from $388 to $394 and back down again. The company has a current market cap of 361.36 billion.
Jive Software Inc. (NASDAQ:JIVE) is up 1.13% in pre market trading at $15.22. JIVE had its IPO yesterday and traded nearly 15 million shares. Will IPO fever catch with JIVE like it did for other IPOs this year or will it slowly trudge along until having a sell off? Depends on what is happening in the overall market.
LiveDeal, Inc. (NASDAQ:LIVE) closed Tuesday up 286% at $5.60. LIVE was up on heavy volume yesterday and looks to continue trading heavy volume today. LIVE jumped yesterday after the company completed equity financing. LiveDeal has a market cap of 3.87 million.
Endocyte, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECYT) closed yesterday down 65.31% at $3.57. ECYT trades 189 thousand shares a day on average. Endocyte tanked yesterday following disappointing results on its cancer therapy EC 145. A study found the drug did not extend a patient’s life. The company has a current market cap of 127.59 million.
Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) finished Tuesday down 2.76% at $28.84. MAR trades 3.69 million shares a day on average. Marriott announced a management change as J.W. Marriott Jr. will step down from his post of Chief Executive next March. Arne Sorenson will replace him as CEO. Marriott has a current market cap of 9.67 billion.