US Futures in Positive Territory With Halliburton News. Stocks to Watch: RIMM, AAPL, ZNGA, CHK, SIRI, HAL, FRO

Investors are willing to take hope wherever they can get it in regards to Europe. After hitting a snag over the weekend, the Greek debt talks are back on again this morning. Hopes of a possible deal along with earnings out of Halliburton are driving the market modestly higher. Dow futures are currently up 27 points to 12,681. Nasdaq 100 futures are adding 5 points, while the S&P 500 is up just over 2 points.

This week’s earning schedule is relatively light so all the focus will be back on Europe. Market action is expected to be sideways according to many analysts. Any news out of Greece or the broader EU will move the market in any direction. Hope on the street is for a possible Greek debt deal today at the EU meeting.

Reports out of Greece have Greek creditors submitted a maximum offer on the losses they will bear. It is now up to the EU and the IMF on whether or not they will accept the deal. Overall European markets are up slightly as all eyes turn towards the meeting of finance ministers in Brussels. The banking-heavy Stoxx 600 Index is up slightly to 256.74.

In domestic corporate news the weekend was dominated by Research in Motion. Their co-CEOs announced on Sunday that they would resign on Monday. This has sent the shares of RIMM higher in pre-market trading.

Other corporate news had Halliburton releasing their earnings. The energy-service company reported 50% higher income on 37% higher revenue in the 4th quarter.

In commodities, oil futures continue to trade near the $100 per barrel mark. Nymex crude is up nearly a dollar to $99.26. Gold futures are following suit, up $11 to $1,674.70.

Stocks to watch today include Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI), Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) and Frontline Ltd. (NYSE:FRO)

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) is up 3.35% in pre market trading at $17.57. RIMM shares are rising after the company’s co CEOs quit and a new CEO is named. Thorsten Heins, a former Siemens executive, took over as CEO on Saturday. Investors reacted positively to this news as they have been pressuring the company to make a change for some time now. RIMM has traded 560 thousand shares so far this morning and trades 22.9 million shares a day on average. The company has a market cap of 8.77 billion.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is up 0.82% in pre market trading at $423.75. AAPL will be interesting to watch as the company reports its fourth quarter earnings tomorrow. The stock recently hit a new overall high at over $431, but has recently dipped a little bit. AAPL trades 12.7 million shares a day on average and has a market cap of 390.63 billion.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is up 0.77% in pre market trading at $9.16. ZNGA recently announced it is thinking of entering the online gambling market and has been speaking with potential partners. This news comes as the U.S. Justice Department ruled in-state Internet gambling does not violate federal law. ZNGA trades 10.5 million shares a day on average. The company has a market cap of 6.36 billion.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) is up 4.96% in pre market trading at $22.00. CHK has traded more than 80 thousand shares this morning and trades 13.2 million shares a day on average. CHK announced earlier today it will be cutting its gas production by 50% in 2012 in response to low natural gas prices. The company has a market cap of 13.41 billion.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) is down 1.90% in pre market trading at $2.06. SIRI trades 54.2 million shares a day on average. Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to equal weight from overweight this morning, but increased the price target to $2.30. The company has a market cap of 7.87 billion.

Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) is down 1.30% in pre market trading at $35.73. Halliburton reported fourth quarter EPS of $1.00, one cent above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts and the company saw a 50% jump in profit for the fourth quarter. HAL has traded 170 thousand shares so far today and trades 18 million shares a day on average. The company has a market cap of 33.31 billion.

Frontline Ltd. (NYSE:FRO) is up 6.78% in pre market trading at $5.04. FRO shares look to bounce back today after dipping more than $0.20 on Friday. The stock has traded more than 15 thousand share so far this morning and trades 2.2 million shares a day on average. The company has a market cap of 369.05 million.

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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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