US Futures Up as Traders Await Home Building Data. Stocks to Watch: AAPL, AMZN, DELL, T, GM, SIRI, RIMM

Dow Jones futures are up a modest 48 points at 11,826. Nasdaq futures are tacking on 14 points at 2247. The S&P is showing a relatively modest increase of 6.25 to 1217.25.

Over night Asia markets were rocked by the death of Kim Jong Il, the leader of North Korea. When the news of his death broke, South Korea immediately put their military forces on alert. The region is expected to remain in focus as the world watched for any sign of instability.

European markets and the futures here stateside are mostly muted towards the death. This news was almost expected sometime soon, and the North Korean government was trying to complete a live transfer of power to his son before his death.

A bounce in European markets is helping the US stay positive as trader wait for home building data that is set to release at 10am EST. With Christmas week volume expected to be thin at best most agree the markets will stay range bound through the rest of 2011.

Early European losses have been reversed with the Stoxx 600 up .66% to 235. In France, the CAC 40 shook off the late Friday report of an outlook negative rating. Currently it is up nearly 1 percent.

Commodity prices continued to muddle through with crude oil up 59 cents to $94.12. Gold continues to lose its price luster, down another 3.25. This is below the $1600 price threshold.

The Dollar Index (DXY) is experiencing a slight rise this morning against major currencies. It is sitting at 80.263 this morning.

Stocks to watch today include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) and Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM)

Apple Inc. (NASDASQ:AAPL) is up slightly in pre market at $382.14. AAPL trades 14.02 million shares a day on average. AAPL stock sold off the latter part of last week and finished down more than $10 on the week. Apple has a market cap of 354.12 billion., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is up 0.46% in pre market trading this morning at $182.10. AMZN trades 6.59 million shares on average every day. AMZN stock bounced back some last week after it sold off on Tuesday and some of Wednesday. The stock opened the week around $190 and finished at $181.26. Amazon is hoping to have a good holiday season as it enters the last week before Christmas. The company has a market cap of 82.43 billion.

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) closed Friday down 0.13% at $15.03. DELL trades 20.72 million shares a day on average. The stock finished last week down about $0.50 a share. Dell has a market cap of 27.00 billion.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is down slightly in pre market trading at $28.80. T trades on average 24.42 million shares a day. T stock traded mostly flat last week, only trading down about $0.15 a share. AT&T and T-Mobile talks over potential asset sales as part of the effort to get the get approval of the deal have gone cold according to the Wall Street Journal. The company has a market cap of 170.97 billion.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) closed Friday up 0.25% at $20.15. GM trades 11.38 million shares a day on average. GM ended last week relatively flat, only losing about $0.40 a share. The company has a market cap of 31.53 billion.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) is up 0.56% in pre market trading at $1.78. SIRI trades 57.33 million shares a day on average. SIRI ended last week flat and the stock is down about $0.15 on the month. Sirius XM has a market cap of 6.64 billion.

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) is up slightly in pre market trading at $13.45. RIMM trades 22.29 million shares a day on average. RIMM stock took a massive hit on Friday after the company announced poor financial results and delayed the launch of their new BlackBerry. The company has a market cap of 7.04 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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