US futures are a bit lower this morning, however it is Jobs Thursday so none of this is material as those numbers and the other economic data has the potential to move markets significantly. The economic news we have today are the Initial Claims (Consensus 365k), Continuing Claims (Consensus 3288k), Trade Balance (Consensus -$50.2 billion), Export Prices - ex Ag, Import Prices - ex Oil and the Treasury Budget (Consensus $58 billion).
Looking at Asian markets we see markets are mixed:
All Ordinaries - up 0.5%
Shanghai Composite - up 0.07%
Nikkei 225 - down 0.39%
NZSE 50 - up 0.27%
Seoul Composite - down 0.27%
In Europe markets are lower:
CAC 40 - down 1.24%
DAX - down 0.36%
FTSE 100 - down 0.65%
OSE - up 0.26%
Cisco (CSCO) shares were down 8% in after hours last night after announcing earnings. The company forecast lower revenue growth than what Wall Street was expecting which seems to be a recurring theme here, but there is always the possibility that they were just talking down next quarter to make the numbers easier to meet or exceed. Either way, today will probably be a rough day for tech shares and it is hard to imagine this one opening up anywhere near positive today. We have steered clear of this one for some time, viewing it like other tech titans which have become constant reporters of lethargic growth and that alone makes it dead money.
Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) rose another $0.24, or 7.02%, yesterday to close at $3.66/share. Volume was once again high with 42 million shares traded as the recent upgrades on the briefing documents posted on Tuesday continued to have a positive effect. It was the finishing touches on the 'melt-up' we had been predicting, but today is the big day. Using stops would be wise, but we should see a halt for a news release, that is what one would expect with this type of news but if not at least you have the stops to hopefully fall back on.
MetroPCS (PCS) closed at $7.50 having risen $0.94 (14.33%) on a rumor of T-Mobile USA being interested. The rumor surfaced right around noon, and shares shot up immediately. It seems like a long shot, but who knows maybe the cash the company received from the botched takeover attempt is burning a hole in their pocket. For those who owned shares before the announcement we would look at this like a gift and take profits and move on, because typically news/rumors around lunch comes off of a trading desk with little substance to back it up.
Regions (RF) was like most financials yesterday, and that mean that their performance lagged the general market. Shares fell $0.14 (2.09%) to close at $6.56/share on volume of 33 million. This is now about 10% off of its 52-week high, and about halfway to the area where we would once again be buyers. For those who remember we have previously stated that we wanted to see a 20% pullback for those wanting to add shares and we felt that it was in the cards - and this was when the shares were closer to their high.
SodaStream International (SODA) reported first quarter earnings above analysts' estimates. Their earnings per share rose 55% on revenues which rose 50% which were both well above those same estimates. The company also raised 2012 guidance because they are seeing strong sales in North America and, get this, Europe as well! We have heard nothing but bad news regarding Europe, but this might be the first time this quarter we have heard a company raise guidance because of good things happening on the continent. Shares rose $7.71 (26.41%) to close at $36.90/share on volume of 12.8 million.