Tuesday, April 12, 2011

US Stock Futures Drop On Japan Crisis, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) Eyed

US stock-index futures pointed to higher open on Monday as investors welcomed the government's last-minute budget deal.

At 8:31 am ET, the S&P 500 futures declined 6.10 points to 1,313.50. The Dow Jones Industrial average futures dropped 56 points to 12,265. The Nasdaq Composite futures slipped 11 points to 2,297.

Japan on Monday raised the severity rating of its nuclear crisis to the highest, matching the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, after increasing radiation prompted the government to widen the evacuation zone and aftershocks rocked the country.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that U.S. trade deficit narrowed by 2.6% in February to $45.8 billion Tuesday. Economists expected a deficit of $42.9 billion.

The Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. The report is a collection of the anecdotal observations about the state of the U.S. economy by the Federal Reserve's 12 regional banks.

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) on Tuesday announced that it will exit aspects of its consumer businesses and realign the remaining consumer business to support four of its five key company priorities -- core routing, switching and services; collaboration; architectures; and video. As part of its plan, Cisco will close down its Flip business and support current FlipShare customers and refocus Cisco's Home Networking business for greater profitability. In connection with the changes to the consumer business, it is anticipated that Cisco will recognize restructuring charges to its GAAP financial results, with an aggregate pre-tax impact not expected to exceed $300 million during the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2011. Cisco expects to cut 550 jobs under the plan.

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) on Monday reported that it swung to a first quarter profit of $308 million, or $0.27 per share, from a loss of $201 million, or $0.20 per share, in the year-ago period. Income from continuing operations attributable to Alcoa, as adjusted, for the first quarter was $317 million or $0.28 per share.Revenue rose 20% to $5.96 billion from $4.89 billion. Analysts, on average, expected the company to report earnings of $0.27 per share on revenue of $6.32 billion. Alcoa shares dropped more than 3% in Monday's pre-market trading.

European stocks retreated in afternoon trade. At 13:36 pm London Time, the UK FTSE dropped 60.34 points, or 1%, to 5,993.10. The German DAX and French CAC decreased 1.02% and 1.21% respectively.

Asian stocks finished lower. The Nikkei 225 fell 164.44 points, or 1.62%, to 9,555.26. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong slumped 326.70 points, or 1.34%, to 23,976.37.

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