stocks to watch

Morning Market News  

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Wednesday include: Health Management Associates Inc (NYSE:HMA), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT), Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO), The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK), Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST), ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN), Realogy Holdings Corp (NYSE:RLGY), IDEX Corporation (NYSE:IEX), W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) and Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ACTS).

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow Futures: 14643.00 (0.23%), S&P 500 Futures: 1566.50 (0.21%), NASDAQ Futures: 2807.75 (0.37%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3714.64 (1.18%), DAX: 7727.37 (1.16%), FTSE: 6365.66 (0.82%)
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4968.00 (-0.18%), China: 2226.13 (0.02%), Hong Kong: 22034.56 (0.75%), India: 5558.70 (1.16%), Japan: 13288.13 (0.72%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1577.90 (-0.55%), Silver: 27.65 (-0.83%), Copper: 3.42 (-0.62%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 93.70 (-0.53%), Natural Gas: 4.06 (1.12%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 6.45 (1.54%), Soya Bean: 13.93 (1.20%), Wheat: 7.09 (-0.66%)
•    Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3100 (0.13%), GBP/USD: 1.5317 (-0.04%), USD/JPY: 99.3500 (0.33%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.772% (0.021)

Market and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures rise: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Wednesday as investors await the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting from March at 2 P.M. New York time. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) will report results after the closing bell.

European markets rally: European markets extended gains into a third straight session on Wednesday, after the Italian treasury raised its targeted 11 billion euros ($14.36 billion) at an auction on Wednesday, helping boost investor sentiment further. The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) surged 1.2 percent to 7727.37 points, the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) gained 0.8 percent to 6365.66 and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) added 1.2 percent to 3714.64 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) was up 1.4 percent.

Asian markets end mostly higher: Asian markets closed higher on Wednesday after Chinese imports rose by a better-than-forecast 14.1 percent in March. Export growth slowed to 10 percent from the year-ago period. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) finished 0.72 percent higher, helped by a weaker yen, while the HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HIS) closed up 0.8 percent. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) ended flat after a choppy trading session. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index had a lackluster trading day, closing 0.2 percent lower. The benchmark Indian 30-share BSE SENSITIVE (INDEXBOM:SENSEX) index rallied 1 percent to close at 18414.45 points.

Stocks to Watch

Health Management Associates Inc (NYSE:HMA)

Health care facilities operator Health Management Associates Inc (NYSE:HMA) said it expects first quarter earnings of between 12 cents a share and 13 cents a share on revenue of $1.48 billion to $1.77 billion, disappointing Wall Street analysts who expected the company to report earnings of 24 cents a share on sales of $1.77 billion. Health Management Associates Inc (NYSE:HMA) forecast full-year net income of 86 to 95 cents per share on revenue of $6.8 billion to $7 billion, and said admissions at hospitals open at least a year could fall as much as 3 percent from last year. Shares of Health Management Associates Inc (NYSE:HMA) tanked in early morning trade. Rival hospital operators HCA Holdings Inc (NYSE:HCA) and Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC) were also trading lower in early morning trade.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) will begin testing mobile Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) ads for its Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact car, a year after it announced it would stop advertising on the social-networking giant citing effectiveness of the ads. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) said the test ads running on mobile versions of Facebook is part of a broader mobile-marketing effort. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) had dropped Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) as an advertising resource in May 2012, a few days before the world’s largest social-networking service conducted its initial public offering. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) shares were flat in early trade.

PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT)

Warehouse club operator PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT) reported second quarter earnings of 82 cents a share, topping expectations by 5 cents a share. Sales came in at $607.4 million, beating estimates for $606 million. PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT) shares rose $2.79, or 2.8 percent, to $83.00 in pre-market trading. San Diego-based PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT) operates 30 warehouse clubs in 12 countries and one U.S. territory.

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO)

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO) said fiscal second-quarter net income rose to $140.1 million, or $1.21 a share, from $136.4 million, or $1.15 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had projected earnings of $1.22 a share. Net sales increased to $2.89 billion from $2.46 billion, a year earlier. Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO) said it expects fiscal 2013 earnings per share of between $3.73 and $3.93, and said comparable store sales should rise between 3 percent and 4 percent. Analysts expect the retailer to post earnings of $3.98 per share for fiscal 2013. Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO) shares plunged closed to 5 percent in New York morning trade.

The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)

Private-equity giant The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) is in talks with several tech companies about potentially joining its bid to take Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) private, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The report did not name the companies that The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) is soliciting. The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) had last month said it was preparing to offer more than $14.25 a share for Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), as part of a plan that would allow shareholders to retain some of their stock in a portion of the computer maker that would remain public. The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) closed Tuesday at $20.39 a share.

Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ)

Wine and spirits maker Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) said fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 21 percent as higher taxes and increased expenses offset better than expected revenue. Earnings excluding items came in at 47 cents a share, 2 cents better than the average analysts’ estimate. Net sales increased 11 percent at $695.9 million, also topping expectations for $667 million. Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) forecast current-year adjusted earnings of between $2.55 and $2.85 a share, compared with analysts’ estimates of $2.78 a share. Shares of Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) closed Tuesday at $48.63 and were flat pre-market.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)’s investigational compound palbociclib has received breakthrough therapy designation from the U.S. FDA for the potential treatment of patients with breast cancer. Shares of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) edged up 23 cents to $29.11 in recent pre-market trading.

The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK)

The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK) has increased its quarterly dividend by 15 percent to 15 cents a share from 13 cents a share, payable on May 7 to shareholders of record as of April 29. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK) said the dividend increase and a previously announced $1.35 billion share repurchase program are part of the capital plan submitted to the Federal Reserve last month. Shares of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK) were largely unchanged in early-hours trading.

Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST)

Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) reported quarterly profit, in-line with estimates, and doubled its quarterly dividend to 20 cents a share from 10 cents a share. Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) said first quarter earnings rose 8.8 percent to $109 million, or 37 cents a share, from $100.2 million, or 34 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales grew 4.9 percent to $806.3 million. Analysts were expecting the wholesale distributor of industrial and construction supplies to report per-share earnings of 37 cents on revenue of $818 million. Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) shares closed Tuesday at $50.88 and were down close to 3 percent in the pre-market session.

ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN)

ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) said first-quarter earnings fell 39 percent to $7.89 million, or 13 cents a share, from $13 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, earnings dropped to 17 cents from 25 cents. Sales grew 6.1 percent to $143 million. Analysts were expecting ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) to post per-share earnings of 8 cents a share on revenue of $140 million. The networking and communications equipment company, which has posted declining profits for over a year, said it will maintain tight cost controls to get through the challenging macro-economic environment. Shares of ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) closed Tuesday at $19.71 and surged 11 percent in pre-market trading.

Realogy Holdings Corp (NYSE:RLGY)

New Jersey-based real estate and relocation service provider Realogy Holdings Corp (NYSE:RLGY) said it expects to post sales of between $950 million and $960 million in the first quarter, below analysts’ forecasts for $988 million. Realogy Holdings Corp (NYSE:RLGY), backed by private-equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (APO), also announced a secondary common stock offering. Shares of Realogy Holdings Corp (NYSE:RLGY) dropped sharply in extended-hours trading.

IDEX Corporation (NYSE:IEX)

Applied solutions company IDEX Corporation (NYSE:IEX) has raised its quarterly dividend by 15 percent to 23 cents per share from 20 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on April 30, 2013 to shareholders of record on April 19, 2013. Shares of IDEX Corporation (NYSE:IEX) closed at $51.96 on Tuesday and were inactive in pre-market trading.

W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA)

Specialty chemical company W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) slashed its earnings view for the current year, and said preliminary earnings for the first quarter were below Street expectations. The company said “weaker than expected” conditions in Europe were affecting sales growth across its business segments. W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) shares closed Tuesday at $75.95 and were inactive in recent pre-market trading.

Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ACTS)

Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACTS) raised its first-quarter revenue outlook citing stronger-than-expected sales of its newest chipset for tablets. Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACTS) said it now expects to report first quarter revenue in the range of $16.0 to $16.5 million, up from a prior forecast of $12 million to $13 million. The Chinese company will post quarterly numbers next month. Shares of Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACTS) closed at $2.64 on Tuesday.

Economic Calendar for Wednesday, April 10, 2013:

07:00 A.M. ET:    MBA Purchase Applications (Week ending Friday, April 05)
08:30 A.M. ET:    Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota speaks.
10:30 A.M. ET:    EIA Petroleum Status Report (Week ending Friday, April 05)
01:00 P.M. ET:    Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher speaks.
01:00 P.M. ET:    10-Year Note Auction
02:00 P.M. ET:    FOMC Minutes
02:00 P.M. ET:    Monthly Budget Statement (Mar)