Morning Market Update

Post Market news

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Thursday include: Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD), Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM), Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), Ebix Inc (NASDAQ:EBIX), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE:JBL), Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE:NLY), Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT), Wright Medical Group Inc (NASDAQ:WMGI), SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD), Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE:PIR) and Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS).

Market Levels:

US: Dow Futures: 14966.00 (-0.54%), S&P 500 Futures: 1612.20 (-0.71%), NASDAQ Futures: 2934.75 (-0.73%)
Europe: CAC: 3737.77 (-2.65%), DAX: 7981.13 (-2.63%), FTSE: 6202.12 (-2.31%)
Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4758.40 (-2.12%), China: 2084.02 (-2.85%), Hong Kong: 20382.87 (-2.96%), Japan: 13014.58 (-1.77%).
Metals: Gold: 1302.80 (-5.18%), Silver: 20.08 (-7.11%), Copper: 3.08 (-1.80%)
Energy: Crude Oil: 96.80 (-1.47%), Natural Gas: 3.90 (-1.69%)
Commodities: Corn: 5.62 (3.44%), Soya Bean: 12.93 (1.24%), Wheat: 7.04 (2.63%)
Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3210 (-0.64%), GBP/USD: 1.5473 (-0.07%), USD/JPY: 97.7000 (1.30%)
10-year US Treasury: 2.415% (0.063)

Market and Economic News Update:

U.S. stock-index futures decline: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a lower open on Thursday after data showed jobless claims jumped last week. Jobless claims increased 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 354,000 in the week ended June 15, according to the Labor Department. Economists were expecting a reading of 340,000 last week.

European markets sink: European markets are trading sharply lower amid fears of a possible scaling back of U.S. bond purchases and weak manufacturing data from China. On the economic front, the euro zone flash composite Purchasing Manager’s Index came in at 48.9 for June, topping expectations for a reading of 48.1. The CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) lost 2.7 percent to 3737.77, while the DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) shaved off 2.6 percent to 7981.13. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) gave up 2.3 percent to 6202.12. Banking stocks were hit hard in London trading following a Bank of England report that identified a 27.1 billion-pound ($41.96 billion) capital shortfall for the top five British banks. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) fell 2.6 percent.

Asian markets end deep in the red: Asian stocks plunged in Thursday trading, following data that showed a drop in Chinese manufacturing activity. China’s HSBC Flash Purchasing Manager’s Index fell to a 9-month low of 48.3 in June, providing further evidence of a deceleration in the Chinese economy. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) dropped 2.9 percent, to close at its lowest level in more than six months. Financial stocks extended losses after a further spike in Shanghai interbank lending rates. The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) retreated 1.7 percent, dragged by a sharp decline in exporters. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index slid more than 2 percent to close at 4758.40 points.

Stocks in News:

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares will be in focus on Thursday, as it hosts a press event at its headquarters, where it is widely expected to unveil video-sharing tools for its photo-sharing app, Instagram. AllThingsD reported that the new service would be similar to Twitter’s Vine, a video-sharing app that allows users to create and share brief video clips.

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD)

The drugstore chain swung to a fiscal first-quarter profit, but shares fell in trade after the company slashed its full-year earnings guidance. Rite Aid earned $89.7 million, or 9 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 1, in line with estimates. Sales fell 2.7 percent to $6.29 billion, while same-store sales dropped 2.5 percent during the quarter.

Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM)

Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), the world’s largest gold producer, and Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) tumbled in pre-market trading after gold prices plunged to levels last seen in September 2010. Gold fell after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank could begin slowing the pace of its bond-buying stimulus later this year.

Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU)

Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) reported third-quarter profit and sales that topped analysts’ estimates, as the company benefited from higher prices for its memory chips. The chipmaker posted earnings of 4 cents a share on sales of $2.32 billion, topping Street estimates for 2 cents a share on sales of $2.25 billion. Shares edged higher in early-hours trading.

Ebix Inc (NASDAQ:EBIX), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS)

Insurance software provider Ebix Inc (NASDAQ:EBIX) and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) have agreed to cancel their planned merger after U.S. regulators started an investigation into allegations of intentional misconduct at Ebix. Ebix shares plunged 30 percent in early trade, after closing at $19.72 on the NASDAQ on Wednesday.

Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE:JBL)

The contract electronics maker posted better than expected third quarter results, but forecast current quarter earnings below estimates, sending shares lower in pre-open trading. Excluding one-time items, earnings came in at 56 cents a share, 2 cents above the average analysts’ estimate, on revenue of $4.47 billion that also edged past expectations $4.40 billion. For the current quarter, the company expects to earn between 50 cents and 58 cents a share, compared to analysts’ projections for earnings of 59 cents a share.

Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE:NLY)

Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE:NLY) cut its quarterly dividend by 11 percent to 40 cents a share from 45 cents a share. The dividend is payable July 29 to shareholders of record July 1. Earlier in the week, rival mortgage REIT American Capital Agency Corp. (NASDAQ:AGNC) also slashed its quarterly dividend by 16 percent.

Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT)

The software company reported better than expected first quarter profit, helped by a double-digit growth in subscription revenue. Excluding one-time items, earnings stood at 32 cents a share, edging past expectations by a penny a share. Revenue increased 15 percent to $363.3 million, also beating estimates of $360 million. Shares gained in early-hours trading.

Wright Medical Group Inc (NASDAQ:WMGI)

Wright Medical Group Inc (NASDAQ:WMGI) has agreed to sell its OrthoRecon hip and knee implants business to a unit of China’s MicroPort Scientific Corporation (HKG:0853) for $290 million in cash. The medical device maker said proceeds from the sale will be used to fund growth opportunities for its Extremities and Biologics business.

SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD)

The oil and natural gas producer said Chairman and CEO Tom Ward will leave the company, and named current CFO James Bennett as its new chief executive. SandRidge has been under intense pressure from activist investors led by TPG-Axon Capital to replace Ward. Shares rallied in early trade.

Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE:PIR)

Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE:PIR) said fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 14 percent, helped by stronger sales and higher margins. The home-furnishings retailer reported a profit of $20.3 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $394.9 million, for the quarter ended June 1. Analysts were expecting a profit of 19 cents and revenue of $395 million. In addition, the company raised its earnings outlook for the year, sending shares higher in early morning trade.

Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS)

3D printer maker Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) has agreed to buy privately held MakerBot Industries LLC for about $403 million in an all-stock deal. Stratasys will issue about 4.8 million shares of its stock to MakerBot, the two companies said in a statement. Stratasys shares jumped 4 percent in pre-market trade following the announcement.

Economic Calendar for Thursday, June 20, 2013:

08:30 A.M. ET: Initial Jobless Claims (June 15)
08:30 A.M. ET: Continuing Jobless Claims (June 8)
08:58 A.M. ET: Markit Manufacturing PMI (June)
10:00 A.M. ET: Existing Home Sales Change (MoM) (May)
10:00 A.M. ET: Conference Board’s Leading Indicator (MoM) (May)
10:00 A.M. ET: Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey (June)
10:30 A.M. ET: EIA Natural Gas Report (June 14)
04:30 P.M. ET: Fed Balance Sheet
04:30 P.M. ET: Money Supply