MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, December 17, 2010

Indications: Stock futures waver as Europe back in play

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software

By Kate Gibson and Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures pointed to a reticent start Friday, a day after Wall Street hit two-year highs, as worries from overseas once again came back into play after Ireland was hit with a downgrade.

“Unfortunately we’re still in an environment where European sovereign debt is still an issue, and then the dollar goes up a bit, commodities go up a bit and U.S. equities get hit a little bit,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Jefferies & Co.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\h11 (DJH11 11,407, -24.00, -0.21%)  added 5 points to 11,436. S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\h11 (SPH11 1,238, -1.00, -0.08%)  were flat at 1,238.5. On Thursday, both the Dow /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 11,474, -25.09, -0.22%)   and S&P 500 /quotes/comstock/21z!i1:in\x (SPX 1,242, -0.59, -0.05%)   ended at their highest level since September 2008.

Futures for the Nasdaq 100 /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\h11 (NDH11 2,222, +2.25, +0.10%)  rose 1.25 points to 2,220.5.

Asia's week ahead

Japan next week is facing a full slate of economic news. MarketWatch's Phani Kumar reports.

As the year winds down, strategists said volumes were thinning out.

“There’s no incentive to buying stocks right now,” said Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec Securities. “A lot of money has been taken off the table. It’s more a matter of getting the positions you want for the new year.”

“There’s certainly an end-of-year feel in markets at the moment, and it’s really only the odd one or two events that are generating any sort of market movements,” he added. “European debt is one of those.”

Markets in Europe gave way to selling toward midday as Moody’s Investors Service cut Ireland’s credit rating by five notches to Baa1 from Aa2.

While the move was mostly expected, Shaw noted it still had an impact, with credit spreads for peripheral debt widening out.

“The impact could be felt in the opening hours of U.S. trading,” he said.

In Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a two-year extension of tax cuts dating back to the presidency of George W. Bush just before midnight Thursday, following weeks of intense debate. The bill has already passed a Senate vote. Analysts said this event largely went as expected and was unlikely to have much market impact. Read about the two-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts.

Data on tap for Friday include leading economic indicators for November, due at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

On the corporate front, shares of AstraZenca PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!azn/quotes/nls/azn (AZN 45.70, -3.53, -7.17%) fell nearly 6% in premarket trade after the firm was dealt a blow by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over its Brilinta blood-thinning drug.

The FDA has asked for more analysis related to a study on the drug, a move that may delay the drug’s final approval by at least six months.

Oracle Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!orcl/quotes/nls/orcl (ORCL 32.00, +1.73, +5.72%)  shares rose 4% in premarket trade after the software group beat analysts’ expectations with its second-quarter report late Thursday. See Oracle’s earnings report.

Shares of Research In Motion Ltd. /quotes/comstock/15*!rimm/quotes/nls/rimm (RIMM 60.95, +1.71, +2.89%)  gained 2% in premarket trade after the group beat forecasts for third-quarter earnings, aided by buoyant sales for its BlackBerry smartphones. See RIM’s report.

Also reporting late in the prior session, Take-Two Interactive Software /quotes/comstock/15*!ttwo/quotes/nls/ttwo (TTWO 13.38, +1.44, +12.06%)  said it swung to a profit for the quarter ended Oct. 31, helped by upbeat sales of a key basketball game and other videogames.

European stocks were mostly weaker, led by heavy losses for AstraZeneca, while banks also declined, taking no inspiration from the German Ifo Institute’s business-climate gauge, which ended 2010 at a record high. See story on German Ifo index.

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York. Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid.

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Indications: Futures slip with Europe events in focus

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

MADRID (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures slipped on Friday, with a multinotch downgrade of Ireland’s debt providing a focus as investors also awaited data on leading indicators.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\h11 (DJH11 11,430, -1.00, -0.01%)  dropped 14 points to 11,417 and S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\h11 (SPH11 1,238, -0.50, -0.04%)  declined 2.60 points to 1,235.90.

Futures for the Nasdaq 100 /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\h11 (NDH11 2,218, -1.25, -0.06%)  fell 3.75 points to 2,215.50.

Asia's week ahead

Japan next week is facing a full slate of economic news. MarketWatch's Phani Kumar reports.

As the last full trading week of the year winds down, strategists said volumes were thinning out.

“There’s no incentive to buying stocks right now,” said Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec Securities. “A lot of money has been taken off the table. It’s more a matter of getting the positions you want for the new year.”

“There’s certainly an end-of-year feel in markets at the moment and it’s really only the odd one or two events that are generating any sort of market movements,” he added. “European debt is one of those.”

Markets in Europe gave way to selling toward midday as Moody’s Investors Service cut Ireland’s credit rating by five notches to Baa1 from Aa2.

While the move was mostly expected, Shaw noted it still had an impact, with credit spreads for peripheral debt widening out.

“The impact could be felt in the opening hours of U.S. trading,” he said.

U.S. stocks finished higher on Thursday, lifted by upbeat economic reports and a cheerier forecast from FedEx Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!fdx/quotes/nls/fdx (FDX 94.22, +1.83, +1.98%) .

The Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 11,499, +41.78, +0.36%)  rose 41.78 points, or 0.4%, to 11,499.25.

In Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a two-year extension of tax cuts dating back to the presidency of George W. Bush just before midnight on Thursday, following weeks of intense debate. The bill has already passed a Senate vote. Analysts said this event largely went as expected and was unlikely to have much market impact. Read about the two-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts.

Data on tap for Friday include leading economic indicators for November due at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

On the corporate front, shares of AstraZenca PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!azn/quotes/nls/azn (AZN 49.23, -0.05, -0.10%) fell nearly 6% in preopening trade after the firm was dealt a blow by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over its Brilinta blood-thinning drug.

The FDA has asked for additional analysis related to a study on the drug, a move which may hold back final approval of the drug by at least six months.

Oracle Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!orcl/quotes/nls/orcl (ORCL 30.27, -0.22, -0.72%)  shares rose 4% in premarket trade after the software group beat analysts’ expectations with its second-quarter report late Thursday. See Oracle’s earnings report.

Shares of Research in Motion Ltd. /quotes/comstock/15*!rimm/quotes/nls/rimm (RIMM 59.24, +0.06, +0.10%)  gained 2% in premarket trade after the group beat forecasts for third fiscal-quarter earnings, aided by buoyant sales for its BlackBerry smartphones. See RIM’s report.

Also reporting late the prior session, Take-Two Interactive Software /quotes/comstock/15*!ttwo/quotes/nls/ttwo (TTWO 11.94, -0.06, -0.50%)  said it swung to a profit for the quarter ended Oct. 31, helped by upbeat sales of a key basketball game and other video games.

European stocks shifted mostly weaker, led by heavy losses for AstraZeneca, while banks were also weak, taking no inspiration from the German Ifo Institute’s business-climate gauge, which ended 2010 at a record high. See story on German Ifo index.

Markets will continue to watch a summit in the EU, which wraps up on Friday. A day earlier, leaders in Brussels said they would amend an EU treaty to allow for the creation of a permanent rescue fund for countries to counter sovereign-debt issues.

In Asia, Taiwanese stocks hit a 31-month high on a continuation of fund flows, while Chinese stocks struggled amid still-present concerns of an official tightening of interest rates. See Asia Markets.

Gold for February delivery was flat at $1,371 an ounce, while crude-oil futures for January delivery slipped 61 cents to $87.09 a barrel.

Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid.

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NYSE Arca Morning Update - 08:30:00 ET

NYSE Arca Morning Update for Friday, Dec 17, 2010 :

STOCKS TRADING ON NYSE Arca AT A PRICE 15% OR MORE AWAY FROM
THE PREVIOUS TRADE DAY'S CONSOLIDATED CLOSE PRICE (AS OF 08:30:00 ET)

Stock Thursday's Close Current Price Pct Change Current NYSE ARCA Vol
ITMN $14.24 $30.71 116% 781,606
NYMX $4.45 $6.35 42.7% 900
MI $5.80 $7.18 23.8% 1,821,163


10 MOST ACTIVE STOCKS ON NYSE ARCA AS OF 08:30:00 ET

BASED ON DOLLARS TRADED: | BASED ON SHARES TRADED:
Stock $ Volume Price PctChg | Stock Share Vol Price PctChg
SPY $46,847,098 $124.07 ( 0.6%) | MI 1,821,163 $7.18 23.8%
ITMN $23,797,376 $30.71 116% | RF 1,201,848 $6.53 6.4%
QQQQ $20,963,497 $54.45 ( 0.2%) | ITMN 781,606 $30.71 116%
MI $13,249,596 $7.18 23.8% | C 471,287 $4.61 0.5%
V $12,714,392 $68.68 2.3% | QQQQ 385,702 $54.45 ( 0.2%)
ORCL $10,602,025 $31.50 4.1% | SPY 377,516 $124.07 ( 0.6%)
BHP $8,869,290 $89.41 ( 0.3%) | HBAN 345,670 $6.37 1.9%
TBT $8,092,275 $39.01 ( 1.6%) | ORCL 334,747 $31.50 4.1%
RF $7,821,250 $6.53 6.4% | TBT 207,413 $39.01 ( 1.6%)
RIO $7,575,978 $68.92 ( 1.5%) | IRE 201,788 $2.53 ( 5.8%)


Price changes may be affected by symbol splits and dividends.

Consolidated close price is the last print (excluding prints with trade
conditions) prior to 4PM ET.

This information is also updated on our web page every morning at 8:35ET:
http://www.tradearca.com/data/volume/daily_update.asp

This material is for informational purposes only.
NYSE Euronext and its affiliates ("NYSE Arca") are not soliciting any action based upon it.
This material is not to be construed as an offer to buy or sell any security in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation would be illegal.
Any opinions expressed in this material are NYSE Arca opinions only.
NYSE Arca undertakes no obligation to update any of the information contained in this material in light of new information or future events.
THIS MATERIAL IS PROVIDED BY NYSE ARCA "AS IS" AND WITHOUT WARRANTIES EXPRESS OR IMPLIED.
NYSE ARCA DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES INCLUDING THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY, TITLE, AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AS TO THIS MATERIAL.
IN NO EVENT SHALL NYSE ARCA BE LIABLE FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOST PROFITS, TRADING LOSSES AND DAMAGES THAT MAY RESULT FROM THE USE
OF THIS MATERIAL, ANY DELAY OR INTERRUPTION OF SERVICE OR OMISSIONS OR INACCURACIES IN THE MATERIAL) WITH RESPECT TO THIS MATERIAL.

Copyright [2010] by NYSE Euronext. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution prohibited without prior express consent.

Pre Market Movers - Futures Trading - Nasdaq - NYSE

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