Moody’s Ban Warning Sends Futures Lower. Stocks to Watch: AEA, AMZN, CLWR, GM, NVDA, BAC, PMFG

A bearish mood is reigning over Wall Street this morning after Moody’s warned it could cut the credit ratings of over 100 banks. Add in the precarious position of Greece, and you have all the ingredients for a sell-off. Dow futures are currently down 36 points to 12,727. Nasdaq 100 futures are also declining, down 6.50 points to 2,551. S&P 500 futures are rounding out the losses, down 5.75 points to 1,336.50.

Late yesterday, Moody’s announced it was reviewing the ratings for over 100 financial institutions. Citing the EU crisis among other issues, the ratings agency said it could cut ratings of banks by multiple notches. US institutions under the gun include Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

In Europe, the Greek debt crisis continued unabated. Some analysts are beginning to believe that the EU is preparing to eject Greece from the single currency union. The looming default deadline in March should make the officials speed up on what has been a multi-year crisis at this point. [Read more...]

US Futures Up as Traders Await Home Building Data. Stocks to Watch: AAPL, AMZN, DELL, T, GM, SIRI, RIMM

Dow Jones futures are up a modest 48 points at 11,826. Nasdaq futures are tacking on 14 points at 2247. The S&P is showing a relatively modest increase of 6.25 to 1217.25.

Over night Asia markets were rocked by the death of Kim Jong Il, the leader of North Korea. When the news of his death broke, South Korea immediately put their military forces on alert. The region is expected to remain in focus as the world watched for any sign of instability.

European markets and the futures here stateside are mostly muted towards the death. This news was almost expected sometime soon, and the North Korean government was trying to complete a live transfer of power to his son before his death.

A bounce in European markets is helping the US stay positive as trader wait for home building data that is set to release at 10am EST. With Christmas week volume expected to be thin at best most agree the markets will stay range bound through the rest of 2011.

Early European losses have been reversed with the Stoxx 600 up .66% to 235. In France, the CAC 40 shook off the late Friday report of an outlook negative rating. Currently it is up nearly 1 percent.

Commodity prices continued to muddle through with crude oil up 59 cents to $94.12. Gold continues to lose its price luster, down another 3.25. This is below the $1600 price threshold.

The Dollar Index (DXY) is experiencing a slight rise this morning against major currencies. It is sitting at 80.263 this morning.

Stocks to watch today include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) and Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM)

Apple Inc. (NASDASQ:AAPL) is up slightly in pre market at $382.14. AAPL trades 14.02 million shares a day on average. AAPL stock sold off the latter part of last week and finished down more than $10 on the week. Apple has a market cap of 354.12 billion.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is up 0.46% in pre market trading this morning at $182.10. AMZN trades 6.59 million shares on average every day. AMZN stock bounced back some last week after it sold off on Tuesday and some of Wednesday. The stock opened the week around $190 and finished at $181.26. Amazon is hoping to have a good holiday season as it enters the last week before Christmas. The company has a market cap of 82.43 billion.

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) closed Friday down 0.13% at $15.03. DELL trades 20.72 million shares a day on average. The stock finished last week down about $0.50 a share. Dell has a market cap of 27.00 billion.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is down slightly in pre market trading at $28.80. T trades on average 24.42 million shares a day. T stock traded mostly flat last week, only trading down about $0.15 a share. AT&T and T-Mobile talks over potential asset sales as part of the effort to get the get approval of the deal have gone cold according to the Wall Street Journal. The company has a market cap of 170.97 billion.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) closed Friday up 0.25% at $20.15. GM trades 11.38 million shares a day on average. GM ended last week relatively flat, only losing about $0.40 a share. The company has a market cap of 31.53 billion.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) is up 0.56% in pre market trading at $1.78. SIRI trades 57.33 million shares a day on average. SIRI ended last week flat and the stock is down about $0.15 on the month. Sirius XM has a market cap of 6.64 billion.

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) is up slightly in pre market trading at $13.45. RIMM trades 22.29 million shares a day on average. RIMM stock took a massive hit on Friday after the company announced poor financial results and delayed the launch of their new BlackBerry. The company has a market cap of 7.04 billion.

Stock Futures Head South as the EU Summit Hangover Sets In. Stocks to Watch: LNG, AAPL, BAC, T, LMT, GM

Futures in the US market are modestly negative this morning after Moody’s piled on with S&P saying that the credit ratings of several EU countries remained under pressure. This was announced after the IMF said over the weekend the EU summit deal was not enough to properly deal with the sovereign debt crisis.

The agreement on Friday was mostly medium term solutions set to address ballooning debt. Concerns for investors started to pop overnight after they realized their was little in the short-term to address skyrocketing debt financing costs. With no major economic data coming out of the United States all eyes continued to be focused on Europe and its near constant crisis state.

In addition to equities being weak, commodities also took a major hit in overnight trading. Gold was especially hard hit being down nearly 2%. Oil also followed the precious metals basket lower, dropping to 98.22 a barrel on economic slowdown concerns.

As of 8am EST the Dow Jones is off 85 points, the Nasdaq is shedding 14.75 and the S&P is set to give up 10 points.

Stocks to watch this morning include Cheniere Energy, Inc. (AMEX:LNG), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)

Cheniere Energy, Inc. (AMEX:LNG) is up 6.62% at $10.15 in pre market trading. LNG trades 4.97 million shares a day on average. India’s state-run gas utility GAIL signed a pact with Cheniere Energy for supply of 3.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas annually. These deliveries will start in 2017. The company has a market cap of 788.67 million.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is down slightly in pre market trading at $392.01. AAPL trades 14.36 million shares a day on average. Since last Wednesday, AAPL stock has moved up from $388 a share to nearly $394 a share. Apple has a market cap of 365.83 billion.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is down 1.75% in pre market trading at $5.62. BAC trades 272.26 million shares a day on average. BAC stock is under pressure this morning as the market is set to open lower. Whichever way the market heads, BAC is usually right behind it. BAC has had a decent move from around $5 two weeks ago to around $5.75 the past few days. The company has a market cap of 57.98 billion.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is down 0.41% in pre market trading at $28.91. T has trades 23.88 million shares a day on average. T traded mostly flat last week, only moving about $0.25 a share. AT&T has a market cap of 172.03 billion.

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) is down slightly in pre market trading at $77.22. LMT trades 2.72 million shares a day on average. Over the weekend there was news that Lockheed Martin received a $4 billion order from the U.S. military for the F-35. Lockheed has a market cap of 25.05 billion.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) is down 0.71% in pre market trading at $21.00. GM trades 12.24 million shares a day on average. GM’s European subsidiary, Opel, is expecting to make a profit of 1 billion euros in 2016. General Motors has a market cap of 33.09 billion.

Toyota (TM) Set To Lose Title Of World’s Top-Selling Automaker This Year

Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) is reeling from a strong yen, and the Thai floods that severely severed its supply lines this year. The world’s current top-selling automaker is poised to fall from that spot as the companies production capabilities have been devastated this year.

Toyota is expecting to be overtaken in sales this year by General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and probably by Volkswagen AG.

“Toyota is hitting a trough,” said Cho Soo-Hong, auto analyst at Woori Investment & Securities in Seoul. “Its market share will recover next year with output normalization and new model launches, but I don’t expect too much from Toyota’s earnings as the yen is expected to remain strong because of appetite for safe-haven assets.”

Japan’s top automaker expects operating profit to fall 57% to 200 billion yen in the year to end-March, well below a consensus forecast of 419 billion yen in a survey of 23 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Toyota’s previous forecast of 450 billion yen, issued in August, was withdrawn last month after Thailand’s worst floods in 50 years cut off the supply of parts to Toyota’s factories in 10 countries. Toyota said the floods would effectively cost the company 230,000 vehicles in lost production this business year.

Toyota said the floods accounted for 120 billion yen of the downward revision to operating profit, while the yen’s strength, which makes exports less competitive and eats into overseas profits when brought back to Japan, cut another 190 billion yen.

Chief Financial Officer Satoshi Ozawa expressed deep frustration with the firm yen, which Tokyo has failed to weaken through intervention, warning that current exchange rates could threaten Japan’s very foundation as an export-driven economy.

“The revision is partly because Toyota’s exposure to currency swings is big, but I think it also brought to light the severity of the crisis Japan is in, because the country is founded on its export strength,” Ozawa told a news conference.

Shares of Toyota were trading at 67.07, down 0.09% at 9:37 am ET today.

U.S. Automakers Post Strong Sales For November

General Motors (NYSE:GM), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and Chrysler all enjoyed a surprisingly strong month of sales in November. Overall, the industry reported a SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales) of 13.6 million units, according to Autodata, up from 12.28 million in November 2010. Total deliveries rose 13.9% from a year earlier.

GM reported it sold 180,402 cars and trucks, paced by a 34% increase in sales of the Chevy Silverado and a 22% rise in sales of the GMC Sierra. GM saw retail sales rise 15% while fleet sales dropped 14%.

“We are seeing a broad spectrum of customers return to the market,” said Don Johnson, GM’s head of U.S. sales operations. “Truck sales showed a very solid increase, as we expected, but the momentum building behind our most fuel-efficient vehicles was even stronger.”

Ford reported a 13.3% rise to 166,865 for cars and trucks. The improvement was helped by a 20% gain in retail sales. Ford said the increase helped bring its retail market share to an average of 15% over the past three months, its highest level in five years. Ford also raised its first-quarter production forecast by 3% to 675,000 vehicles.

“The industry sales rate has exceeded 13 million in each of the last three months,” said Ken Czubay, head of Ford’s U.S. sales division. “This suggests the current momentum is not an aberration. We believe replacement demand will continue to support stronger levels in 2012, and Ford is ready to meet that demand with high-quality, fuel-efficient cars, utilities and trucks.

Chrysler Group LLC was the biggest winner Chrysler posted a 45% surge in sales to 107,172 cars and trucks. That marks the twentieth consecutive month of year-over-year improvements, the best November since 2007.

Also reporting strong November sales were Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) and Nissan. Honda Motor Company (NYSE:HMC) took a 6.4% drop in sales.

U.S. Stock Futures Rebound On Thursday. Stocks to Watch: GMCR, CSCO, GM, KITD

Stock-index futures showed a rally on Thursday following the worst sell-off in months after promising developments from Italy and Greece somewhat eased anxiety that euro zone policymakers are losing control of the debt crisis that has threatened to throw the region into financial disaster.

Wall Street’s dive on Wednesday knocked the the Nasdaq and S&P 500 into negative territory for the year. The plunge shaved $117.4 billion in market capitalization from the 30 companies listed on the Dow. Headlines from Europe have ruled the day in every trading session this week, and appear to be ready to do so again today.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 106 points to 11,838 and those on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index climbed 13.5 points to 1,239.10. Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 21.25 points to 2,332.20.

The blue-chip Dow index slumped nearly 400 points on Wednesday, as Italy’s borrowing costs surged to levels seen as unsustainable. The yield on 10-year Italian government bonds fell on Thursday but remained near the critical 7% level. The Italian government sold 5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) in 12-month Treasury bills, but its borrowing costs soared.

European equity markets swung between small gains and losses on Thursday, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 0.3%. Asian markets fell sharply overnight, with the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong falling 5.3% to 18,964. The Japanese Nikkei plummeted 2.9% to 8,501.

Data from China showed the October trade surplus widened less than expected, as exports fell from the previous month.

In the commodity markets, December gold futures fell $23.60 to $1,768 an ounce in electronic trading on Globex.

Crude-oil futures rose $1.23 to $96.97 a barrel.

Stocks to watch today include Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR), Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and KIT digital, Inc. (NASDAQ:KITD).

GM Delivers A Solid Quarter, Net Revenue $36.7 Billion

General Motors Corporation (NYSE:GM) posted a stronger than expected quarterly profit as the company said it has gained market share in North American and Asian markets.

GM reported net revenue increased $2.6 billion to $36.7 billion, compared with the third quarter of 2010. Earnings before interest and tax adjusted was $2.2 billion, compared with $2.3 billion in the third quarter of 2010.

“GM delivered a solid quarter thanks to our leadership positions in North America and China, where we have grown both sales and market share this year. But solid isn’t good enough, even in a tough global economy,” said Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO. “Our overall results underscore the work we have to do to leverage our scale and further improve our margins everywhere we do business.”

For the third quarter, automotive cash flow from operating activities was $1.8 billion and automotive free cash flow was $0.3 billion. GM reported it ended the quarter with very strong total automotive liquidity of $38.8 billion. Automotive cash and marketable securities, including Canadian Health Care Trust restricted cash, was $33.0 billion compared with $33.8 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2011.

GM also reported the underfunded status on its U.S. pensions stood at $8.7 billion at the end of September. This was down from $10.8 billion at the end of June.

General Motors Company and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries. General Motors remains the number one auto maker in the United States. In 2009, GM emerged from bankruptcy after the U.S. government and taxpayers funded a $52billion bailout for the company. The U.S. Treasury still holds 32% of GM’s common stock.

GM’s shares fell 4.2% to $24 a share in pre-market trading from Tuesday’s closing price on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares are down 39% from this year’s high reached in January, and down 27% since its IPO price of $33 a year ago.

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