U.S. equity futures are showing little direction premarket, edging higher, most likely due to the dollar trading modestly lower against the euro and yen. Asian markets rallied overnight, particularly in Hong Kong and China, following yesterday’s rally in U.S. equity and commodity markets. But European markets are up only modestly, with the exception of the UK’s FTSE. It is being led higher by banks following market talk that Barclays (BCS) may lift its outlook and after Deutsche Bank said that Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group (LYG) were among its top picks in European banks. Back in the U.S., the only big headline is that Kraft (KFT) sweetened its bid for Cadbury (CBY) after agreeing to sell its North American frozen pizza business to Nestle. But Kraft only increased the cash element of the hostile bid, not the size, and shares of CBY are trading 2% lower premarket.
-Equity futures: S&P +1.8, Nasdaq +1.3
-10-year Note: +04/32 to 3.798%
-Dollar: 1.4450 $/euro, 1.6050 $/pound, 91.94 yen/$
-European Indices: FTSE +0.6%, DAX unch, CAC +0.1%, MICEX +0.6%
-Asian Indices: Nikkei +0.3%, Hang Seng +2.1%; Shanghai Composite +1.2%
Key earnings/guidance since Thursday’s close:
Technical Perspective: The S&P ran to and paused at resistance in the 1132/1133 area (Fibonacci extension targets, weekly low) in late morning action yesterday, with narrow range trade persisting just below throughout the afternoon. From a short term perspective a continued posture above initial supports at 1131/1130 and the 1127/1126 area keeps it in position for follow through. The next resistance of interest is in the 1140/1141 zone.
Key economic data:
-November Pending Home Sales m/m at 10:00ET (consensus -2.0%; prior 3.7%)
-November Factory Orders at 10:00ET (consensus 0.5%; prior 0.6%)
-Kansas City President Hoenig and former Minneapolis President Stern speak as part of a panel on government bailouts at 8:00ET
Key Note/Bond auction results:
-ANGO, LNDC, MOS, SONC, SNX and TISI are confirmed to report today after the close
Key industry conferences:
Brightpoint Inc. (CELL:US) fell 6.4 percent to $7.26. The wholesaler of mobile phones said preliminary results showed that, excluding some items, it earned 18 cents a share at most in the fourth quarter. That trailed the average estimate of 19 cents from analysts in a Bloomberg survey.
II-VI Inc. (IIVI:US): The maker of optical devices used in laser processing increased its revenue forecast, saying it expects sales of at least $293 million for the current fiscal year. That beat the average analyst estimate of $274 million from a Bloomberg survey.
Merix Corp. (MERX:US) climbed 14 percent to $2.65. The circuit-board maker posted a loss excluding some items of 6 cents a share in the second quarter. That’s narrower than the 18-cent loss estimated by Longbow Research Inc.
Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM:US): The biggest seller of Internet-based software for managing customer information reported multiple disruptions of its service, including one that halted it for 75 minutes.