U.S. jobs data will guide the markets today and bad news from Motorola is rippling through global markets. An early look shows U.S. equities weaker ahead of the opening. European stocks are lower as commodity driven shares continue to sell off and most Asian markets closed with losses.
Non farm payrolls are expected to come in at about 100,000 but expectations right now are all over the map after ADP's preview data this week suggested there could be a decline. The jobs data is being watched by traders for signs about the strength of the U.S. economy.
BAD NEWS CALLING: Motorola late yesterday slashed its forecast for quarterly profits due to a shortfall at its mobile devices unit. Analysts say Motorola has been impacted by a pricing battle with rival Nokia and softer than expected sales of its slim Razr and Krazr phones. The news triggered a slide in the shares of rivals and cell phone suppliers and is affecting trading sentiment in the U.S. and Europe. Motorola's news took the markets by surprise and comes just several days ahead of the big Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas where the cell phone industry will show off its latest gadgets starting this weekend. Our Jim Goldman will be there.
OIL PRESSURE: Oil is under pressure again this morning after a stunning nine percent decline in the last two days. John Kilduff of Fimat tells us that if oil holds at $55 a barrel it could turn higher. If it doesn't hold, "look out below," Kilduff says.
COMMODITIES CURSE: The dip in oil and commodities has been a mixed blessing for stocks. Perhaps money looking for a new home has found its way into the stock market, but energy stocks and commodity based shares have been in the cross hairs of selling. Prudential today cut the E&P stocks to neutral. We'll keep an eye on this trend and what the sell off in oil and copper might be saying about the markets and global economy.
ANALYSTS ACTION :Lots of action coming from Wall Street research departments today. CSFB downgraded Nokia to neutral outperform from neutral based on concerns about pricing. Dell goes to underweight from neutral at JP Morgan. Lehman takes Exxon from overweight to equal weight.
Intel , flying high in the tech rally yesterday, was downgraded to underperform from neutral by CSFB this morning. CSFB reinstated coverage of Intel, Broadcom and Marvell and downgraded them all. The firm recommends semis long term and says the first quarter should be the fundamental bottom for semis.