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Futures Retain Sharp Drop, General Electric Co. (GE) Slumps

 March 15, 2011 09:20 AM
 


U.S. PRE-MARKET INDICATORS

-Dow Jones Industrial futures down 227 points.

-S&P 500 futures down 32 points.

-Nasdaq 100 futures down 62 points.

-Nasdaq-100 Pre-Market Indicator Down 50.45 at 2,240.27.

GLOBAL SENTIMENT


Nikkei down 11%

Hang Seng down 3%

Shanghai Composite down 1.4%

FTSE-100 down 2.5%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(-) Large cap tech: lower

(-) Chip stocks: lower

(-) Software stocks: lower

(-) Internet stocks: lower

(-,+) Drug stocks: mixed

(-) Financial stocks: lower

(-) Industrial stocks: mostly lower

(-) Auto stocks: mostly lower

(-) Airline stocks: mostly lower

(-) Retail stocks: mostly lower

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) XOM (-2.7%) following broader market lower; upgraded at Goldman Sachs amid several energy sector analyst moves.

(-) WSM (-0.3%) loss in step with broader market though downside limited; company reports profit rise and hikes dividend.

(-) GE (-5%) defending nuclear design.

(-) NOK (-7.1%) down as Samsung reportedly trying to poach Symbian engineers, while Nokia Siemens looks to restructure deal.

(-) URRE (-21%) among several uranium stocks tumbling.

(-) INTC (-3%) downgraded.

(-) NVDA (-5.2%) downgraded.

(-) CRZO (-15%) misses with preliminary results.

UPSIDE MOVERS


(+) YGE (+9%), STP (+2.3%), FSLR (+2.1%), APWR (+5%), JASO (+0.9%) all gain as alternative energy shares among rare gainers as future of nuclear power cloudy.

(+) CLBI (+11.7%) continues sharp Monday upside on prospects for radiation treatment.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stock futures remain sharply lower as the opening bell nears. Futures are off their worst levels, however, as early declines had DJIA futures down over 3%, not the 1.9% drop seen in more recent action. A global stock sell-off has followed continued reports of post-quake radiation fears in Japan, which sent its main stock index down 11%.

U.S. futures remain lower even as a report shows a March gain for the Fed's Empire State index. The Empire state index rose to 17.5 in March from 15.4 in February. This is the fourth straight increase and the highest level of the index since last June. The gain was a bit less than expected.

Also reported, U.S. February import prices jumped 1.4% owed to a 3.7% rise in fuel.

U.S. markets also await a monetary-policy meeting by the Federal Reserve on Tuesday.

Global news is dominating most company news this morning. A third explosion Tuesday at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant released large amounts of nuclear material directly into the atmosphere. Prime Minister Naoto Kan warned of "substantial" radiation leaks, according to news reports.

The Bank of Japan is injecting more cash into money markets.

[Related -General Electric Company (GE): GE Shares At An Inflection Point]

[Related -General Electric Company (GE) Q4 Earnings Preview: Feeling The January Effect]

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average dropped nearly 11% at the close but was off as much as 14%. Hong Kong's average fell 2.9%. Germany is fronting broad European weakness, with the DAX 30 off more than 4%.

The dollar slips vs the yen but is firmer against the euro. Gold futures are down over $40. Oil futures are off some 3%, with the April contract just above $97 a barrel.

As for early movers, alternative energy stocks are again up in Tuesday's pre-market trade, mirroring the morning strength the group recorded in Monday's early trade. Overnight, global markets swooned lower as Japan's earthquake-damaged nuclear plants moved even closer to meltdowns and a potential environmental and economic disaster for the country.

General Electric Co. (GE), off nearly 5% in pre-market action, is defending the design of the now-stricken reactor it supplied to Japan 40 years ago, saying its containment system is safe and reliable, the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets report.

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