US Futures Being Dragged Down By Europe. Stocks to Watch: PLCM, WDC, VMW, BAC, AAPL, YHOO, VZ

With major earnings coming out today, Wall Street is being dominated again by uncertainty coming out of Europe. The lack of any meaningful bond-swap deal in Greece is sending the futures lower. Dow futures are down 46 points to 12, 606. Nasdaq futures are shedding nearly 9 points, and the S&P 500 is down 6.50 points to 1,304.50.

Greece continues to march to towards a default deadline in March. The lack of any deal by then could force the nation into default as a series of bods mature in the month. A demand by private creditors for a 4% coupon on any new bonds was soundly rejected by EU officials as too high. The sent the banking-heavy Stoxx 600 index down nearly a percent, and is pressuring US futures as we near the open.

Domestically all eyes will be on the FOMC meeting today. With economic data improving, some analysts believe it will tie the Fed’s hands when it comes to a new round of QE. Other analysts point out that with CPI moderating, it could give them cover to extend the stimulus program.

In earnings, McDonald’s and Johnson and Johnson are slated to report today. McDonald’s is expected to post a fourth-quarter profit of $1.30 a share on sales of $6.81 billion. Johnson and Johnson is expected to post fourth-quarter earnings of $1.09 per share on $16.28 billion in revenue.

In Asia, shares of the main Indian stock market soared after their central bank cut banking reserve requirements. This was done to ease the burgeoning liquidity crisis in the country. Japan was boosted by energy producers, while the Chinese New Year kept markets closed in China.

Gold prices are being kept in check by the strength of the dollar today. After a near constant run-up since the start of 2012, gold prices are down just over $10 to $1665.50.

Oil futures continue to have little reaction to the Iranian oil embargo instituted yesterday. Most of this is due to the fact it does not start for six months and Europe left themselves a sizable escape hatch. Nymex futures are down 31 cents to $99.26.

Stocks to watch today include Polycom Inc. (NASDAQ:PLCM), Western Digital Company (NYSE:WDC), VMware Inc. (NYSE:VMW), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLCM) is up 12.38% in pre market trading at $20.75. PLCM shares are jumping this morning after the company released its fourth quarter earnings yesterday. Polycom saw fourth quarter profit rise 50%. Its adjusted earnings came in at $0.41 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $0.29 per share. For the first quarter, Polycom is expecting revenue to decline 2% because of its efforts to ‘realign’ its North American sales force. The company has a market cap of 3.26 billion.

Western Digital Corporation (NYSE:WDC) is up 4.75% in pre market trading at $36.33. WDC shares are rising following second quarter results from the company. Western Digital saw adjusted EPS of $1.51, beating estimates of $0.71. The company expects third quarter EPS to be around $1.15-$1.45 with analysts estimating $0.91. The company has a market cap of 8.11 billion.

VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW) is up 4.19% in pre market trading at $89.60. VMW stock is rallying after the company reported sales and profit that beat Wall Street estimates. Revenue increased by 27% from a year ago to $1.06 billion and posted a profit of $0.62 per share. Analysts were expecting $0.60 per share in profit. The company has a market cap of 36.31 billion.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is down 1.79% in pre market trading at $7.12. BAC shares are slipping as the entire market is set to open lower due to uncertainty in Europe. BAC typically trades 271.7 million shares a day on average. The company has a market cap of 76.39 billion.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is down 0.40% in pre market trading at $425.72. AAPL is set to report quarterly results after the closing bell today. AAPL trades 12.5 million shares a day on average. The stock has been trading between a range of $420 and $430 for about a week now as investors wait for their quarter results to come in. The company has a market cap of 397.24 billion.

Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is trading slightly down in pre market trading at $15.65. YHOO trades 21.7 million shares a day on average. YHOO will announced their latest quarterly results later today and analysts are expecting to see EPS of $0.24 with revenue at $1.19 billion. The company has a market cap of 19.45 billion.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is down 1.95% in pre market trading at $37.65. VZ shares are taking a hit today after Verizon posted a $2 billion fourth quarter loss on pension adjustment. Verizon EPS came in at $0.52 per share with analysts expecting $0.53 per share. Revenue increased 7.7% from a year ago to $28.4 billion. The company has a market cap of 108.71 billion.

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Danny is the old hat at Active Investor. One of the been around the block a few times traders, his main focus is on overall market conditions. Be it some new merger talk or Washington being Washington, you can expect Danny will be on top of it.
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