U.S. futures are trending higher early this morning, as Asia rose off of its lows and Europe is green across the board. There was an earthquake in Asia, and experts are expecting a tsunami to hit the shores of various countries with Indonesia being the main concern at the moment.
We have a ton of economic data today, with the MBA Mortgage Index, Export Prices Ex-Agriculture, Import Prices Ex-Oil, Crude Inventories, the Treasury Budget (Consensus -$193 Billion) and the Fed's Beige Book. This will all set up the market for tomorrow's job numbers, which many will be looking to for signs that maybe the last batch of numbers were an outlier and not representative of what is truly happening in the market at this time.
Looking at Asian markets we see markets are lower:
All Ordinaries - down 1.06%
Shanghai Composite - up 0.13%
Nikkei 225 - down 0.83%
NZSE 50 - down 0.28%
Seoul Composite - CLOSED
In Europe markets are higher:
CAC 40 - up 1.11%
DAX - up 1.29%
FTSE 100 - up 0.56%
OSE - up 0.59%
Apple (AAPL) is up about $8/share in pre-market trading after having been lower yesterday. The company briefly surpassed the $600 billion market cap threshold in the morning before trending lower into the close. They are only the second company to ever accomplish this feat and it is somewhat ironic that the other was Microsoft. Investors should not worry about the company not holding above that milestone as Apple's shares usually take out these thresholds and then fall back before making a run to permanently pass through that share price level. One thing to watch today is the Department of Justice and whether they file suit against Apple, as that is the rumor early this morning.
Sirius XM (SIRI) fell all the way down (and past for a bit according to our chart) our support level of $2.20/share. It is a bit disappointing that we are back down to where we started liking this one, but such is the reality when dealing in markets like we currently find ourselves in. This is a momentum story, but also a deleveraging story - and investors know from history how well companies who deleverage the balance sheet perform as they reap the benefits of being in better financial shape. We would hang around until the shares really break down and cannot close above the $2.20/share range.
Starbucks (SBUX) has been hanging in near its 52 week high even in this market, which we find extremely positive. The company is looking to expand its footprint worldwide and is focusing on North America, Germany and China per recent interviews and news reports. They are also moving into areas where they lack a dominate market position and are taking on entrenched competitors. The risks are high, but so too are the rewards and we would recommend remaining long shares at this point as the company has continued to deliver. We have been on this one since its share price was in the $40s, so we wanted to provide an update this morning on our thoughts.
Alcoa (AA) beat earnings last night, and it is possible that this paves the way for earnings to save the market once again. It is early in the earnings season to make this statement, but the manner in which the company beat opens the door to this type of speculation. In pre-market trading shares are up $0.60/share to $9.92 so we look to Alcoa to be a leader today, even if markets find themselves selling off. The conference call transcript can be located here.
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) is looking to open a $4.4 billion casino resort in Macau. It will be the 35th casino to open in Macau and will be the last to open until 2015. This one was delayed numerous times, but with the first phase opening now and a second phase by the end of the year the company will add more than 500 tables which should significantly boost revenue and allow the company to garner more of the fast growing market. Next up for the company's China unit is a 3,600 room resort next door.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.