Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 3 points to 12,031 and those on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index fell 3 points to 1,243. Nasdaq 100 futures were marginally higher at 2,296. Investors seem to be holding the line after a huge rally on Wednesday. The big news today seems to be the weak economic data coming in from China, coupled with a bond sell-off by Spain and France.
Two separate reports on China’s manufacturing sector show contraction for the month of November. The Spanish government successfully sold 3.75 billion euros ($5 billion) of bonds, while France saw its borrowing costs slip at an auction of 10-year bonds.
The blue-chip Dow index surged 490 points, or 4.2%, on Wednesday, posting its biggest point and percentage gains since March 23, 2009. The rally was triggered by news that global central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, were taking coordinated action to reduce the cost of dollar financing. The measures aim to ease monetary funding strains, faced by European banks, and to prevent the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis from creating a global liquidity crunch.
Later today, the market will focus on the Labor Department’s latest report on the jobs market, with the release at 8:30 a.m. EST of weekly jobless claims. Economists forecast a total of 390,000 new filings, compared with 393,000 in the prior week.
The Institute for Supply Management releases its November manufacturing index at 10 a.m. EST. Economists expect a reading of 51.5 versus 50.8 in October.
The Commerce Department reports on October construction spending at 10 a.m. Economists forecast an increase of 0.3 percent, compared with a 0.2 percent rise in September.
Stocks to watch today include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD), Zoltek Companies, Inc., (NASDAQ:ZOLT), Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ:PEIX), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is up slightly in pre-market trading at $382.26. AAPL trades 16.47 million shares a day on average. Over the past five trading sessions, Apple stock has risen about $5 a share. Apple Inc. has a current market cap of 355.22 billion.
Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES) is up a little bit in pre-market trading at $28.15. Guess released earnings late yesterday and fell short of analysts expectations. GES reported EPS of $0.71 with analysts expecting EPS of $0.73. Fourth quarter guidance was also lower then consensus. GES trades 1.5 million shares a day on average. The company has a current market cap of 2.61 billion.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD) is down 4.26% in pre-market trading at $7.20. KKD slightly raised guidance for FY 2012 and 2013. KKD trades nearly 600 thousand shares a day on average. Krispy Kreme has a current market cap of 510.85 million.
Zoltek Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZOLT) closed at $8.21 yesterday and rose more than $2 yesterday. ZOLT trades around 220 thousand shares a day on average. The company has a current market value of 282.16 million.
Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ:PEIX) is up 6.67% in pre-market trading today at $1.12. PEIX trades 14.09 million shares a day on average. Over the past three trading sessions, PEIX has fallen from $1.40 to $1.05. Pacific Ethanol has a current market cap of 80.96 million.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is down nearly 1% in pre-market trading at $5.39. BAC has traded over a million shares already today and trades 268.57 million shares a day on average. BAC rose yesterday following the coordinated central bank action to lower borrowing rates. Bank of America has a current market cap of 55.14 billion.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is up slightly in pre-market trading at $64.53. NFLX trades 9.23 million shares a day on average. Over the past two trading sessions, Netflix shares have fallen more than $4 a share. This comes as analysts downgrade the stock and call their business model ‘broken’. Netflix has a current market cap of 3.39 billion.