Stock Futures Look To End Quarter On Positive Note. Stocks to Watch

Stock FuturesStock futures this morning are looking to extend their bullish run for the quarter. The Nasdaq alone has had its best performing quarter since 1998. Guess they can thank Apple for that one. Dow futures are up 60 points in pre-market trading to 13,138. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 13.75 points to 2,772. The S&P 500 futures are rounding out the bullish pre-market, up 7.25 to 1,405.50.

Analysts that are looking for a short-term correction may have to wait a bit longer. An equity researcher an Danske Research thinks that stocks will continue to drift higher on into the second quarter as long as conditions stay the same or see some more slight improvement.

Gains on the market have been tempered by fresh concerns over Europe. Their lack of a true resolution will continue to haunt the markets through the rest of the year. Add in Chinese concerns over a hard-landing and consistent misses on economic data coming out of the United States and you have to wonder how much longer the good times will roll. Investors seem to be counting on the Fed, who is more than willing to jump in at the first sign of trouble.

Over in Europe, finance ministers are expected to meet today to agree upon an expanded EU firewall for their sovereign debt crisis. Meanwhile, the Greek PM said that a third bailout could not be ruled out. SO look for the part 3 of that little aga sometime later this year. [Read more...]

Stock Futures Consolidate Ahead of AAPL Call and Stocks to Watch

Stock FuturesWith the bullish run nearly constant, it seems investors are willing to sit on the sidelines today and wait to see where the next catalyst will come from. Dow futures are currently down 19 points to 13,144. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 5.25 to 2,714. S&P 500 futures are following the Dow, down 2 points to 1,396.50.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is helping the Nasdaq break the negative trend with investors waiting to see what the company will announce today. Their conference call is expected to go over their decision making process with the $100 billion in cash they have on hand.

Outside of the AAPL call there is very little economic data investors can look at. This may create an atmosphere where they sit on the sidelines and the market trades range-bound. Analysts agree, however, that unless the 13k mark is breached to the downside, the positive trend will continue.

One item that will be in focus will be the Fed speeches. Regional Governors are expected to talk beginning at 8:35am EST. The New York Fed chief is expected to give the first ins a slew of speeches this week. Investors will be looking for signs of a possible resumption of QE or other easing programs. [Read more...]

Dunkin’ Brands Signs A New Supply Deal With National DCP LLC

Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ:DNKN) shares are up this morning with shares climbing 1% to 25.00 per share. Volume is trading steady and is approaching 300k shares as the markets head toward late morning trading. The surge by DNKN this morning comes on news that Dunkin’ Brands signed a new supply deal to provide franchisees in non-traditional Dunkin’ Brands markets products at the same cost as those in traditional markets. The deal, which was completed with National DCP LLC, will help the companies expansions plans.

In previous years Dunkin’ Brands used regional distributors which led to large variables in product cost dependent upon the region in which franchises were located.This new deal ensures uniform cost of distribution throughout the country. With cost remaining uniform for products Dunkin’ Brands is more likely to seek expansion since the variable cost of regional distributors is negated in the new deal. The current expansion plan will occur in three phases and will seek to double the number of Dunkin’ Brands locations by the year 2032.

About Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc

Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises quick service restaurants worldwide. It franchises restaurants under the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands. The company’s restaurants offer hot and cold coffee, baked goods, and hardserve ice cream. Its franchised business model comprises 9,760 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and 6,433 Baskin-Robbins restaurants.

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