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Stocks May Move Back To The Upside In Early Trading - U.S. Commentary

Stocks May Move Back To The Upside In Early Trading - U.S. Commentary
3/22/2013 8:57 AM ET

After ending the previous session mostly lower, stocks are likely to move back to the upside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 43 points.

Some traders may look to pick up stocks at reduced levels following the pullback seen on Thursday, although lingering concerns about the situation in Cyprus is likely to keep any early buying interest relatively subdued.

Cypriot politicians are reportedly continuing talks to come up with a new bailout plan, although the European Central Bank has indicated that the Mediterranean island nation only has until Monday to come up with a "Plan B" before it cuts off emergency funding.

On Tuesday, Cyprus's parliament voted to reject a proposed European Union bailout plan that would tax bank deposits at a rate of up to 9.9 percent.

A lack of major U.S. economic data may also keep some traders on the sidelines, potentially leading to a choppy trading day.

Shares of Nike (NKE) are likely to show a strong move to the upside, however, with the athletic apparel maker surging up by nearly 8 percent in pre-market trading.

The upward momentum for Nike comes after the company reported stronger than expected third quarter earnings growth. While the company's revenues trailed expectations, it also reported a 6 percent increase in futures orders.

Chip maker Micron Technology (MU) is also moving higher in pre-market trading despite reporting a wider than expected second quarter loss. Revenues for the quarter exceeded analyst estimates.

On the other hand, shares of Tibco Software (TIBX) are likely to come under pressure after the business software developer reported first quarter earnings that fell year-over-year on weaker than expected revenues. The company also provided disappointing guidance.

Stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday, offsetting the gains posted in the previous session. The pullback by the markets came as worries about the situation in Cyprus overshadowed a batch of largely upbeat U.S. economic data.

The major averages ended the day in negative territory but off their worst levels of the session. The Dow fell 90.24 points or 0.6 percent to 14,421.49, the Nasdaq slid 31.59 points or 1 percent to 3,222.60 and the S&P 500 dropped 12.91 points or 0.8 percent to 1,545.80.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 2.4 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the day down by 0.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a lackluster performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has edged up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are down by 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.40 to $92.85 a barrel after falling $1.05 to $92.45 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, gold futures are sliding $8.40 to $1,605.40 an ounce. In the previous session, gold rose $13.30 to $1,613.80 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 95.01 yen compared to the 94.89 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.2961 compared to yesterday's $1.2899.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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