In the Headlines
Greek debt and international growth concerns were among factors sinking U.S. stock futures Tuesday, part of worldwide selling pressure.
Futures on both Nasdaq and NYSE indices pointed to a lower open. There is much media attention, of course, on the Super Tuesday Republican primaries. However, many analysts say primary season has had no effect on equity markets, thus far.
European stocks were trading sharply lower, as euphoria over last week's liquidity injection to banks wore off. The Institute of International Finance, an association of 30 global banks, reportedly issued a document warning that a disorderly Greek default would hit the eurozone hard, to the tune of $1.3 trillion. Private creditors have a Thursday deadline for agreeing to a bond-swap component of Greece's bailout deal.
Asian stocks also finished lower, the second day in a row of losses in the region. Traders continued to fret about China's move Monday to slash its 2012 growth forecast.
There are no major U.S. economic reports on today's schedule.
Crude oil was down $0.54 per barrel in electronic trade, to $106.18.
Gold was trading lower, along with global equities early Tuesday. The precious metal shed $13.50, perched below $1,700, at $1,690.40 per ounce.
In earnings news, Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) is due to report fourth-quarter results before today's open. The retailer is seen earning $0.88 a share on sales of $1.61 billion. The shares rallied to a new high last week.
Recent IPO Pandora (P) is set to report its fourth-quarter earnings results after the close. The music service is expected to stream a loss of $0.02 per share on revenue of $83.06 million. The stock advanced 5.5% Monday following Stifel Nicolaus' upgrade.
In a deal that had been anticipated, General Motors (GM) is taking a 7% stake in Peugeot in a deal valued at $420 million. GM says the move should rev up its European business, which has been unprofitable. GM shares slipped $0.39, 1.5%, to $25.61 in the premarket.
Safeway (SWY) advanced $0.21, 0.95%, to $22.30 in early trade. The grocer issued a 2012 earnings view above Wall Street views.
Miner Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), whose shares gapped lower Monday on China's lower growth forecast, continued sliding early Tuesday. The stock dropped $0.83, or 2.05%, to $39.62 ahead of the open.
Lululemon Athletica (LULU), which rallied to a fresh high last week, was cut to Hold from Buy at Argus, which cited valuation. Shares of the yoga and athletic clothing retailer slipped $0.57, or 0.83%, to $68.25 in the premarket.
Biotech Amgen (AMGN) was slashed to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein. The analyst said increasing competition and share price valuation were behind the move.
JPMorgan downgraded drug maker Novartis (NVS) to Neutral from Overweight. The analyst said a break-up of the large-cap name would boost shareholder value. However, the bank also stated that such a move would be unlikely.