Europe is once again dominating the minds of investors on the street. A steeper than expected drop in a EU business zone gauge of confidence. Jobless claims offered little respite for investors looking for a big drop. They were little changed off the 388k level. Dow futures are currently down a modest 27 points. The Nasdaq and S&P futures are essentially flat, both dropping around 6 and 4 points respectively..
The 1k drop in jobless claims was due to the BLS upward revision from 386k to 389k. This is the highest level of claims for 2012 so far and could indicate a weakening labor market. Consensus expectations were for a 375k print so the news on the job front will disappoint investors.
Europe is trading lower this morning after yesterday’s rally. A gauge in business confidence across the EU zone saw a bigger than expected drop. The banking heaving Stoxx Europe 600 is leading the way on the downside, off .4% in late trading.
Bernanke’s press conference yesterday after the FOMC meeting left the door open for more QE, but he struck a bit more of an upbeat tone in regards to the recovery. The reaction to the Fed meeting and statements was muted among stocks. Most of the advances were credited to strong earnings from Apple and Boeing. Analysts think that sell-off in equities is over and that the Dow needs to consolidate above 13k to attract fresh buying.
In commodities, gold and oil prices are essentially flat. Oil futures are ticking up, with Nymex crude futures up 2 cents to $104.12 per barrel. Gold price futures are adding just over $8 to $1,650 per ounce.
Stocks to Watch
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN) is up 10.26% in pre market trading at $140.10. REGN has traded nearly 10 thousand shares this morning and trades just over a million shares a day on average. Regeneron announced first quarter results earlier today with non-GAAP net income of $0.37 per share. The company also increased 2012 forecasted sales from around $300 million to more than $500 million. The company has a market cap of 11.70 billion.
Logitech International SA (NASDAQ:LOGI) is up 13.61% this morning at $8.85. LOGI has traded 14 thousand shares in pre market and trades 485 thousand shares a day on average. LOGI shares are up after the company announced fourth quarter results late yesterday. Net income for the fourth quarter was $28 million versus in the prior year’s quarter. The company has a market cap of 1.34 billion.
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) is up 8.26% in early trading at $16.25. EA has traded 443 thousand shares this morning and trades 7.4 million shares a day on average. EA shares are rallying today as Bloomberg reports Nexon to make an offer for the company. The company has a market cap of 4.9 billion.
Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) is up 12.28% in pre market trading at $25.60. NUAN has traded nearly 50 thousand shares this morning and trades 5.4 million shares a day on average. NUAN shares are up again today as companies tied to Apple ride its stellar earnings report. The company has a market cap of 7.03 billion.
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW) is up 4.17% in pre market trading at $8.50. MWW has traded more than 2 thousand shares this morning and trades 4.5 million shares a day on average. MWW shares are rising today as the company reports its latest earnings. Monster Worldwide reported EPS of $0.04 per share, $0.02 better than estimates. Revenue also slightly beat with $246.1 million versus $242.2 million. The company has a market cap of 959.84 million.
Alcatel-Lucent, S.A. (NYSE:ALU) is down 13.33% this morning at $1.69. ALU has traded 1.5 million shares already today and trades 23.3 million shares a day on average. ALU shares are taking a hit today as the company warns that its underlying earnings were disappointing and market uncertainties are high. The company has a market cap of 4.42 billion.
Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) is up 1.36% today at $2.2349. SIRI has traded 184 thousand shares this morning and trades just over 53 million shares a day on average. SIRI shares are up slightly this week with gains of about $0.10 per share from Monday’s low. The company has a market cap of 8.28 billion.