Stock market news

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Friday include: Research In Motion Limited (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM), Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), Nike, Inc. (NYSE:NKE), Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK), Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA), Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT), Edison International (NYSE:EIX), Tibco Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX), Crane Co. (NYSE:CR) and Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS).

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow Futures: 13088.00 (-1.35%), S&P 500 Futures: 1420.40 (-1.40%), NASDAQ Futures: 2646.75 (-1.61%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3643.79 (-0.63%), DAX: 7607.83 (-0.84%), FTSE: 5914.32 (-0.74%)
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4623.60 (-0.23%), China: 2153.31 (-0.70%), Hong Kong: 22506.29 (-0.68%), India: 5847.70 (-1.16%), Japan: 9940.06 (-1.00%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1650.50 (0.28%), Silver: 29.88 (0.68%), Copper: 3.54 (0.21%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 89.04 (-1.21%), Natural Gas: 3.49 (0.72%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 7.01 (-1.00%), Soya Bean: 14.18 (-1.97%), Wheat: 7.95 (-2.04%)
•    Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3198 (-0.35%), GBP/USD: 1.6225 (-0.33%), USD/JPY: 84.0100 (-0.45%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.739% (-0.058)

Market and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures tumble: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a sharply lower open on Friday after a Republican proposal aimed at offering a solution to the U.S. “fiscal cliff” failed to garner enough support, deepening the threat of a recession in the country. On the economic front, personal income increased 0.6 percent last month, while spending rose 0.4 percent. Economists were expecting income to rise by 0.3 percent and spending to increase by 0.4 percent. Meanwhile, durable orders rose 0.7 percent in November, compared to expectations for a growth of 0.5 percent.

European markets fall: European markets fell from a 19-month high amid concerns that budget talks in U.S. will fail. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) lost 0.8 percent to 7607.83, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) dipped 0.7 percent to 5914.32 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) fell 0.6 percent to 3643.79 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was down 0.6 percent

Asian markets end lower: Asian markets closed lower on Friday, with the NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) down 0.99 percent at 9,940. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) shed 0.7 percent on the day and down 0.4 percent on the week at 22,506.3, while the SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) fell 0.7 percent on Friday but inched up 0.1 percent this week. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index closed 10.5 points lower at 4,623.6. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index finished 1.1 percent lower.

Stocks to Watch

Research In Motion Limited (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Limited (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM) posted a third quarter loss of 22 cents a share, excluding one-time items, on revenue of $2.7 billion, beating expectations for a loss of 35 cents a share on sales of $2.66 billion. Research In Motion Limited (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM) said it had 79 million subscribers last quarter, compared to 80 million in the prior quarter, and it shipped 6.9 million BlackBerry phones, down from 7.4 million in the same period last year. Shares of Research In Motion Limited (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM) plunged 10 percent in pre-market trading on Friday.

Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG)

Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) said first-quarter profit fell to $413 million, or 43 cents a share, from $554 million, or 63 cents a share, in the same period last year. Adjusted profit dipped to 58 cents a share from 71 cents a share in the year-ago period, while net sales declined 4.6 percent to $17.32 billion from $18.16 billion, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) to earn 70 cents a share on sales of $17.43 billion. Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) had lost a large number of customers earlier this year due to a major contract dispute with Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX). Shares of Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) fell 2.4 percent to $36.65 in pre-market trading.

Nike, Inc. (NYSE:NKE)

Sports apparel retailer Nike, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) reported second quarter adjusted earnings of $1.14 cents a share on revenue of $6 billion, topping estimates for a gain of $1.00 a share on sales of $5.99 billion. Orders for Nike, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) shoes and apparel scheduled for delivery from December 2012 through April 2013 rose 6 percent from the year-ago period, to $9.3 billion. Inventories for the period increased 9 percent, compared to the 35 percent rise it saw last year. Nike, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) shares were trading up at $102.55 before the opening bell.

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK), Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA)

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK) has agreed to acquire fellow casino operator Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA) for about $869 million in cash in an effort to diversify its geographic presence. Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK) will pay $26.50 for each Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA) share, a 20 percent premium to its Thursday close. The deal is expected to close by the third quarter of 2013, and Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc (NYSE:PNK) said it has obtained the necessary financing for the transaction. Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASCA) shares were trading slightly below the offer price in pre-market trading.

Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU)

Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) posted first quarter loss of 27 cents a share on revenue of $1.83 billion, trailing expectations for a loss of 20 cents a share on sales of $2.01 billion. The latest numbers mark the sixth straight quarterly loss for Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU). The chip maker continued to struggle against a slump in demand for personal computers and falling prices for memory chips. Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) said computer-memory chip prices declined 11 percent on average from the prior quarter. Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) shares slipped 4 percent in early trade.

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT)

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) reported third quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 29 cents a share, matching expectations. Revenue came in at $344 million, beating Street estimates for $338 million. Additionally, Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) said it will acquire cloud software company ManageIQ Inc for $104 million in cash. Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) shares jumped in morning trade.

Edison International (NYSE:EIX)

Utilities company Edison International (NYSE:EIX) has raised its quarterly dividend by 4 percent to 33.75 cents a share from 32.5 cents a share. The dividend is payable on January 31 to shareholders of record December 31. The company, last month, reported lower than expected quarterly earnings, but revenue topped estimates. Edison International (NYSE:EIX) said this was ninth straight year in which it had increased its dividend. Shares of Edison International (NYSE:EIX) were inactive in pre-market.

Tibco Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX)

Enterprise software vendor Tibco Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX) posted fourth quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 42 cents a share, topping expectations by 3 cents a share. Revenue edged 2.4 percent higher to $296.5 million, slightly short of expectations. Tibco Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX) also projected better-than-expected current quarter licensing revenue. Shares of Tibco Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX) rallied 3 percent before the open.

Crane Co. (NYSE:CR)

Crane Co. (NYSE:CR) has agreed to acquire privately held MEI Conlux Holdings Inc. and its Japanese affiliate for about $820 million in an effort to strengthen its existing payment solutions business. Crane Co. (NYSE:CR) will buy the maker of unattended payment systems from private equity firms Bain Capital and Advantage Partners. The company will fund the deal using cash and additional debt, and expects to complete the transaction in the second quarter of 2013. Crane Co. (NYSE:CR) also forecast 2013 earnings of $4.05 to $4.20 a share on core sales growth of 2 percent to 4 percent, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.13 a share on 4 percent revenue growth.

Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS)

Uniform provider Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) reported second quarter earnings of 63 cents a share, topping expectations by a penny a share. Revenue for the quarter grew 4 percent to $1.06 billion from $1.02 billion, in line with estimates. Rental uniform, which represents a bulk of its revenue, grew 4.6 percent year-on-year, while other services revenues increased 2.8 percent. Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) also provided a better than expected full-year 2013 revenue guidance. Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) shares were down in early trade.

Economic Calendar for Friday, December 21, 2012:

08:30 A.M. ET:    Durable Goods Orders (November)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Durable Goods Orders ex Transportation (November)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Gross Domestic Product (MoM) (October)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Gross Domestic Product (YoY) (October)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Chicago Fed National Activity Index (November)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Personal Income (MoM) (November)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Personal Spending (November)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Core Personal Consumption Expenditure – Price Index (MoM) (Nov)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Core Personal Consumption Expenditure – Prices Index (YoY) (Nov)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Personal Consumption Expenditures – Price Index (MoM) (Nov)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Personal Consumption Expenditures – Price Index (YoY) (Nov)
09:55 A.M. ET:    Reuters/Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (December)
10:00 A.M. ET:    American Petroleum Institute Monthly Report (December)
11:00 A.M. ET:    Kansas Fed manufacturing activity (December)