Stock Futures Set For A Pull-Back, Stocks to Watch

Stock FuturesGrowth prospects out of China are causing the bulls here in the states to take a breather. Dow futures are down 68 points to 13,099. Nasdaq 100 futures are down 12.75 to 2,715. The S&P 500 futures are rounding out the red start, down 8.50 points to 1,395.

The economic data calendar is fairly stacked this morning with February housing starts up first. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to give the first of four lectures at 12:45pm EST. The first will be at the George Washington School of Business.

Housing start data this AM was a mixed bag. While starts fell slightly, permits jumped 5.1%. The sector is still lagging the rest of the recovery and at this point you have the question the robustness of such recovery. Maybe it could stand a permit for a new foundation, because it looks awfully shaky.

Fears of a slowdown in China were exacerbated overnight when Ian Ashby, CEO of BHP’s Iron-Ore Division, told Australian reporters that demand from China is waning in the commodity sector. If that pattern holds it could signal a downturn in China.

More bad news from China came when they decided o raise the price of retail gasoline. This was the second time this year they raised both gasoline and diesel prices. The move is weighing heavily on auto stocks this morning. [Read more...]

Market’s Bullish Run Slows and 6 Stocks to Watch

A list of NASDAQ stocksStocks ended the day higher, but just barely. Boosted by housing data and the Apple announcement, the major indexes finished the day slightly higher. The Dow closed up 6 points to 13,293. The Nasdaq 100 finished the day up 23 points to 3,078. The S&P 500 rounded out the day’s modest gains, up 5.5 points to ,409.

The Nasdaq today was buttressed by the two-fold Apple announcement. First they announced a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share. The second part of the announcement was a stock buy-back program. Some analysts said that Apple went and made dividends cool again. Other analysts say that it is possible for Apple to stretch its run to $700 per share. That would make the stock look even more toppy than it does now.

The rest of the market spent the day digesting the first in a series of housing data points to be released this year. With housing sentiment number coming in high, there is hope that the lagging housing market could be joining the recovery.

The one caveat to the recovery that analysts are quick to point out is rising energy prices. Already skyrocketing gas prices could start to pinch the consumer’s pocket and throw inflationary models out of whack. Toss in some good old fashioned geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and it makes for one giant caveat. [Read more...]

Active Stocks Heading Lower in Midday Trading: TSL, YGE, KORS, P, TZYM, HGSI, SIRI, MU

Traders at the NYSEStocks continue to trade flat at midday. No big news has investors in a h wait and see mode. Investors have their eye set on a fed meeting later this week where current monetary policy will be discussed. At noon the Dow is up 7 points, the Nasdaq is down 11 points and the S&P 500 is down 3 points.

Trina Solar Limited (NYSE:TSL) is down 4.92% in midday trading at $6.95. TSL has traded 1.5 million shares so far today and trades 4.4 million shares a day on average. Trina Solar is back to levels it started the year at. The stock hit a high of $11 back in mid February. The company has a market cap of 490.39 million.

Yingli Green Energy Holding Company (NYSE:YGE) is down 5.79% today at $3.58. YGE is trading light volume today with 1.1 million shares traded. The stock trades 4.7 million shares a day on average. Solar shares are taking a bit of a hit today after jumping about $0.40 late last week. The company has a market cap of 554.07 million. [Read more...]

Futures Look For Direction After German Data and Downgrades. Stocks to Watch: KORS, FRO, AVP, NFLX, RAX, AAPL, ZNGA

Investors are looking for direction today after they received two pieces of conflicting news. Moody’s went on a downgrade spree in Europe after the close yesterday, while German investor sentiment numbers improved. Currently, Dow futures are are down 3 points to 12,832. Nasdaq 100 futures are slightly in positive territory, up .25 to 2,568. The S&P 500 futures are down .75 points 1,348.25.

Domestically, the economic data calendar is full today. At 8:30am EST, retail sales numbers will be released. January import prices are due at the same time. Expectations are for an increase of .9%. Analysts are pointing towards gains in car-sales and chain-stores.

At 10am, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Finance Committee regarding President’s Obama’s budget. Undoubtedly this will be a partisan circus act with the GOP looking to score political points in the run-up to the election. [Read more...]

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