Stock Futures Higher as Greek Concern Ease; FOMC Eyed. Stocks to Watch: AAPL, AZO, BAC, BKE, GE, MU, NFLX, TOL

by admin on September 25, 2011

New York, September 20th ( – Stock futures were pointing to a higher open, as Wall Street was seeking to extend the late session move propelled by news that Greece was closed to a deal with its International lenders, as global participants largely shrugged off news that S&P downgraded Italy’s credit rating, which prompted that the cost of insurance against default for the country surged to a record. the Fed will start its 2-day FOMC meeting, with participants awaiting an announcement on “operation twist”.

In Asia, stocks ended mixed. the Nikkei closed down 1.6% but much of that was due to response in weakness in equity markets yesterday, while Japan was closed for a Holiday. China and Hong Kong both closed higher, and Australia fell 1%, pressured by mining stocks after copper prices fell to its lowest price in 9 ½ months.

In Europe, markets were rebounding despite Italy’s credit rating downgrade by the S&P on a weak economic growth outlook. Participants were bidding the market higher on news that Greece described talks with the IMF, EU, and ECB as productive. according to some reports Greece’s Prime Minister is contemplating calling for a referendum on whether Greece should continue to tackle its debt crisis within the euro zone or by exiting the euro and that Banks of China have halted forex trade with European banks. meanwhile, German investor confidence fell to its lowest level in more than 2 ½ years, but still was slightly better than expected.

The euro was rebounding from the prior session and was trading above $1.37 level. Crude oil was also climbing 1% to $86.57 per barrel. Both gold and silver were seeing strength on flight to safety from Italy’s downgrade and as the Dollar weakened against the euro. the bullion was adding 0.9% to $1794.8 an ounce, while silver was climbing 1.1% to $39.61 an ounce.

On economic news at 8:30 am, August Housing starts will be released, with analysts expecting 590,000 units. At the same time August Building Permits will also be available.

Today’s Stocks to Watch: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Buckle (NYSE:BKE), General Electric (NYSE:GE), Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL).

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the maker of iPads and iPhones, was jumping 1.12% to $416.25 in pre-market, trading in fresh all-time high territory. Yesterday, jumped to a record high of $413.23 as the iPhone 5 buzz continues to build amid further speculation the company will likely schedule the unveiling event for the new iPhone some time this week, as most analysts expect the device will launch sometime in early October. JPMorgan said that it expects Apple to unveil 2 iPhones, the first one will be the iPhone 5, which will be a world phone, with GSM and CDMA capabilities and other improvements to display and camera in a lighter and thinner form factor. and the second one will be a revamped the existing iPhone 4 with some improvements, aiming to replace its largely successful 3GS model, which is intended as a lower price offering from the tech giant. the firm reiterated its overweight rating and target price of $525, as it said that it sees meaningful additions to the list of wireless carriers that have the iPhone in their portfolio, with Sprint and the introduction of likely the revamped iPhone 4 in China. the stock was able to attract momentum traders after being able to breach the prior all-time high of $404.50.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), the auto parts specialty retailer, will be a focus after the company posted better than expected earnings as revenues exceeded estimates. AutoZone said it earned $7.18 per share, $0.22 better than consensus, on revenues that climbed 8.1% year over year to $2.64 billion versus the consensus of $2.61 billion, as domestic same store sales increased 4.5% for the quarter. the stock has calculated support at $266.25 and resistance at $318.79.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), the largest U.S. lender, was climbing 1.14% to $7.07, rebounding from the prior session sharp drop. the Charlotte, NC based bank will likely see as reaction to housing starts and will likely be impacted along the financial sector by the performance of European banks, which are under some pressure following reports that China banks have halted forex forwards and swaps with European banks. There were increased worries following a report that suggested Siemens (NYSE:SI) had withdraw funds from a large bank and transferred to the ECB, but the company later dismissed the report, saying it was factually incorrect. Bank of America has calculated support at $6.81 and resistance at $7.39.

Buckle (NYSE:BKE), the retailer of medium to better–priced casual apparel, footwear and accessories, was climbing 0.94% to $39.75 in pre-market following the announcement of a special cash dividend of $2.25 per share.

General Electric (NYSE:GE), the diversified conglomerate maker of power turbines and medical devices, was climbing 0.56% to $16.27 in pre-market after its Energy unit announced new customer agreements of more than $3 billion, which include natural gas and wind turbine technologies. GE has calculated support at $14.72 and resistance at $16.40, for the year it has lost 11.54%.

Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), the dynamic random access memory chips maker, will be in focus after the Sterne Agee reduced their quarter estimates further amid litigation headlines and as Taiwanese DRAM original equipment manufacturers are indicating that August was a very tough month. the firm believes significant DRAM cuts in the September quarter position the company well. Micron has calculated resistance at $7.42 and support at $5.28.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), the video rental company, was tumbling 2.6% to $140.01, just below its 52-week low of $140.02. the market rout continues, as the company has not been able to shake-off the sell-off in its shares, which followed after the company cut its guidance for domestic subscribers in the quarter. Netflix said yesterday that it will separate its DVD mail-in rental business, and will rebrand it as Qwikster, but the move sparked additional customer complaints, with some analysts predicting the move will likely accelerate cancellations to its DVD business. the stock fell sharply as Goldman Sachs cut its target price to $270 and investors became skeptical about the Qwikster move and remained concern over growth prospects.

Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL), the luxury homebuilder, will be in focus in the session, as the stock will likely react to the Housing starts and building permits data. Toll outperform the broad market in the prior session, supported b strength in Lennar (NYSE:LEN), which jumped more than 4% as it reported in-line earnings with better than expected revenues. Toll Brothers has calculated support at $15.34 and resistance at $16.16, for the year the stock has dropped 16.6%.

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