Stock Futures Red As Europe Hits Turbulence. Stocks to Watch: ARNA, NOK, GTXI, DNDN, MAKO, KKD, EA, SYNC

Stock FuturesEuropean worries are hitting the US futures this morning after news broke that the pro-bailout parties in Greece could not form a coalition government. The focus now shifts towards the leftist parties who are decidedly anti-bailout. Most observers doubt they will be able to form a new government, which could lead to new elections in June. All the uncertainty has domestic futures edging lower this morning. Dow futures are down 72 points, Nasdaq futures are off 16 and the S&P 500 futures are down just over 6 points.

International markets were mixed overnight as investors take a wait and see approach to the French and Greek results. The lack of any domestic economic data will have the market trading sideways according to most analysts. US markets could also be susceptible to knee-jerk reactions on news out of the EU.

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A measure of small business optimisms posted its best post-recession number this morning. The NFIB reported that its index rose by 2 points to 94.5. It was helped along by an 11 point increase in earnings trends.

Commodities are following the broader market lower this morning. Oil prices are dropping again as Nymex crude futures are off a dollar to $96.94 per barrel. Gold prices are following suit, down over $23 to $1616 per ounce. [Read more...]

Stock Futures Weak After Jobless Claims Disappoint. Stocks Watch: REGN, LOGI, EA, NUAN, MWW, ALU, SIRI

Stock FuturesEurope 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. [Read more...]

After Hours Winners and Losers: AKAM, CVA, V, GRPN, TQNT, EA

Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM) is up 13.97% in after hours trading at $39.25. AKAM shares are up this afternoon following fourth quarter results. Akamai posted revenue of $324 million, up 14% from the previous year. Profit came in at $0.45 a share, beating Wall Street estimates of $0.40 a share. The company has a market cap of 6.18 billion.

Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE:CVA) is up 6.31% in after hours trading at $15.50. CVA shares are rallying in after hours trading thanks to good fourth quarter results. Covanta posted adjusted earnings of $0.26 a share, beating analyst estimates of $0.23 a share. Covanta forecasted adjusted 2012 earnings of $0.55-65 a share, beating estimates of $0.59 a share. The company has a market cap of 2.03 billion.

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is up 2.45% in after hours trading at $111.00. V shares are up this afternoon thanks to a 16% rise in first quarter profit. Revenue rose 14% to $2.55 a share. The company has a market cap of 74.52 billion.

Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) is down 12.04% in after hours trading at $21.62. GRPN shares are getting hammered after reporting a fourth quarter loss. Groupon posted a net loss of $0.08 per share, Wall Street was expecting a profit of $0.03 per share. The company has a market cap of 15.68 billion.

TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TQNT) is down 7.75% in after hours trading at $6.31. TQNT shares are down following the company’s fourth quarter results. TriQuint beat estimates with EPS of $0.08 per share, but guidance came in below expectations. The company has a market cap of 1.14 billion.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) is down 5.98% in after hours trading at $17.15. EA shares are falling this afternoon after the company’s CFO leaves for Polycom. Sources say EA’s CFO was not pushed out and that he left for Polycom to have a more operational role. The company has a market cap of 6.06 billion.

Futures Look Toward Bernanke. Stocks to Watch: GMCR, ZNGA, QCOM, RENN, VIAB, EA, AOL

The market is in a wait and see mode this morning as investors wait for Bernanke’s testimony on the Hill. Currently Dow futures are down 9 points to 12,644. Nasdaq 100 futures are following that lead, down 2.75 points to 2,485. S&P 500 futures are rounding out the decline, off 1.50 points to 1,318.25.

Bernanke’s testimony to the House Budget Committee is expected to be the highlight of the day. With the election cycle almost in full swing, it is almost guaranteed to contain a few fireworks. His comments on the economy will be carefully watched. Anything outside of his normally measured tone can move the market violently in either direction. So expect the market pundits to be parsing what exactly he means by ‘is’.

Jobless claims that just released were slightly better than expected. Weekly claims fell 12,000 to 367,000.

Earnings season continues to be in full swing. Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) reported a net loss and that sent shares tumbling in pre-market by nearly 4%.

Drug maker AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) is off over 3% this morning after they announced a round of job cuts in order to trim costs. The company is expecting a dip in earnings this year due to patent expirations.

In Europe the markets gyrated between small gains and losses as investors still wait for a resolution to the Greece crisis. There is a possible big merger in the works that is helping boost the market. Xstrata PLC is in talks with Glencore International about a merger of equals.

In Span the government conducted a bond auction that saw yields fall as compared to previous auctions. A French bond auction was also successful, selling 7.96 billion in government bonds.

A bigger-than-expected rise in inventories is sending oil lower on the day. Nymex crude futures are currently down 66 cents to $96.95 per barrel.

Stocks to watch today include Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR), Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), Renren Inc. (NYSE:RENN), Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) and AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL)

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) is up 21.57% in pre market trading at $65.26. GMCR shares are rallying big after the company announced fiscal first quarter results yesterday. Green Mountain had an adjusted EPS of $0.60 for its first quarter, way above analysts consensus of $0.36. Sales were at $1.16 billion, beating estimates of $1.06 billion. For its second quarter, Green Mountain is expecting adjusted profit of $0.60 to $0.65 per share, lower than analyst estimates of $0.73 a share. GMRC will likely trade above its average volume of 7.2 million shares today on this news. The company has a market cap of 8.29 billion.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is up 3.77% in pre market trading at $11.00. ZNGA has been trending higher this month as news of a Facebook IPO has sent companies related to the social media sector higher. ZNGA typically trades about 10 million shares a day on average and has a market cap of 7.41 billion.

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) is up 4.16% in pre market trading at $62.04. QCOM shares are rising this morning after the company’s first quarter net income beat expectations. Adjusted net income was $0.97 for the first quarter, higher than estimates of $0.90. Revenue for the quarter was $4.68 billion. The company forecasted revenue for the current quarter to be between $4.6 billion and $5 billion with adjusted net income between $0.91 and $0.97 per share. Analysts were expecting $0.89 per share with $4.49 billion in revenue. The company has a market cap of 100.12 billion.

Renren Inc. (NYSE:RENN) is up 3.79% in pre market trading at $5.20. RENN along with many companies dealing in the social media space have been rallying over the past week now has Facebook IPO fever has swept Wall Street. RENN shares have seen a pull back in the past two days after rallying more than 50% earlier in the week. The company has a market cap of 1.96 billion.

Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) is down 6.86% in pre market trading at $46.97. VIAB shares are down after the company announced first quarter results. Profit for the quarter fell to $212 million or $0.39 a share, down from $610 million, or $1.01 a share a year ago. Viacom did beat on adjusted profit with $1.06 for the quarter, beating estimates by $0.01. VIAB trades 4.4 million shares a day on average.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) is up 5.75% in pre market trading at $19.50. EA shares are higher following yesterday’s earnings. Its third quarter earnings were strong thanks to its holiday game releases “Batlefield 3” and “Star Wars: The Old Republic.” EA said it sold 2 million units of Star Wars and has 1.7 million daily active subscribers. The company has a market cap of 6.11 billion.

AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) is trading down 2.70% in pre market trading at $17.28. AOL released its fourth quarter earnings late yesterday. While its net income fell 66%, the results still beat estimates. Total revenue for the quarter came in at $576.8 million while net income was $22.8 million. AOL trades 1.5 million shares a day on average and has a market cap of 1.73 billion.

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