U.S. Stock Futures Flat Anticipating Euro Zone Summit, Stocks To Watch: THQI, AAPL, BAC, YHOO, AMR, MCD, COST
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7 points to 12,207. Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures fell 2.10 points to 1,261.9. Nasdaq 100 futures were flat at 2,321.
Investors are anxiously waiting to see what kind of progress comes out of the euro zone as the summit to tackle the sovereign debt crisis once and for all is just around the corner. Euro zone leaders and finance ministers will be meeting on Thursday and Friday to hammer out a plan to save the euro. At any given moment, optimism about the euro zone shifts to pessimism while the affected parties jockey for position in the crisis.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.4% to 242.32 in afternoon trading.
The European Central Bank lowered its main refinancing rate by 25 basis points, or 0.25 percentage point, to 1%, as expected.
Germany’s DAX 30 index rose 0.4% to 6,019, while France’s CAC-40 index edged lower to 3,174. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index climbed 0.4% to 5,567.
The euro stayed at around $1.3415, having got a slight lift after two clearing houses cut the margin requirements on Italian bonds, a sign that pressure on the indebted country’s debt had eased slightly. The single currency has gained 1.5% since it struck a seven-week low of $1.3213 on Nov. 25.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average each ended the day with a 0.7% loss. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.4%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.3%, and the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.1%.
Light, sweet crude-oil futures for January delivery gained 9 cents, or 0.1%, to $100.58 a barrel on Globex. The front-month New Mercantile Exchange contract moved about in a thin range between $100.26 and $100.77, in absence of any material moves in U.S. stock index futures and the dollar index.
Stocks to watch today include THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), AMR Corporation (NYSE:AMR), McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) and Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)
THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) is down 14.38% in pre-market trading this morning at $1.25. THQI trades 1.43 million shares a day on average and will probably eclipse that number today. THQI announced late yesterday they will miss its sales forecast for the holiday season. Revenue for the third quarter will be 25% below its forecast of $510 million to $550 million. THQ Inc. has a market cap of 99.76 million.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is up 0.90% in pre-market trading at $392.60. AAPL trades 14.69 million shares a day on average. AAPL stock has been trending down slightly this week falling from $395 to $390. The company has a market cap of 361.62 billion.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is up 0.85% in pre-market trading this morning at $5.94. BAC has traded 2.05 million shares already this morning and trades 273.50 million shares a day on average. BAC is up more than $0.50 a share over the past five trading days. Bank of America has a market cap of 59.70 billion.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) closed Wednesday down at $15.62. YHOO trades 23.59 million shares a day on average. Over the past week or so, YHOO stock has fallen from around $16.50 to $15.50. The company has a market cap of 19.37 billion.
AMR Corporation (NYSE:AMR) is down 5.36% in pre-market trading at $1.06. AMR is due for a pull back after it jumped from $0.40 to $1.15 in just two days. AMR trades 38.76 million shares a day on average. The company has a market cap of 375.45 million.
McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is up 1.61% in pre-market trading at $98.00. MCD is up right now after they announced strong sales worldwide. Growth was up 6.5% in the U.S. and Europe while Asia, Africa and the Middle East saw growth of 8.1%. MCD trades 5.29 million shares a day on average. McDonald’s has a market cap of 98.69 billion.
Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) is down 1.41% in pre-market trading at $86.24. COST trades 2.37 million shares a day on average. Costco posted a higher quarterly profit in the first quarter. This was helped by strong gasoline prices and membership fees. The company has a market cap of 37.91 billion.