Trader Talk

Traders Bewitched On Friday

This post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum

With no significant economic data and few earnings reports released today, futures are modestly higher on this quadruple witching Friday. While volume and volatility have continued to be seasonally light, traders expect a little pop at the open on the expiration day of stock and index futures and options.

Despite the small rise this morning, stocks will likely end the week lower, snapping for straight weeks of gains.

Commodity stockscontinue to regain momentum this morning, rising 2 percent to 3 percent pre-open as most commodities are up slightly. Still, the sector remains one of the laggards this week, falling about 6 percent so far.

A handful a stock stories today:

Shares of CarMax rise 8 percent in pre-market trading after its Q1 results handily beat expectations. Some good news – gross profit for used vehicles rose to $2,001 per unit, from $1,742 per vehicle in the prior quarter. Additionally, while the used car retailer’s same-store sales remained weak (down 17 percent) during the quarter, CEO Tom Folliard noted some sequential improvement in customer traffic from the prior quarter.

Research in Motionis set for a fairly flat open, despite beating estimates in the first quarter. The Blackberry device maker saw revenues surge 53 percent as it added 3.8 million new subscriber accounts. Earnings and revenue guidance for the second quarter comes inline with expectations, with margins expected to be about 43 percent-44 percent.

Citigroup is up 5 percent pre-open after Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove initiated coverage of the stock with a“Buy” rating and a $4 price target. Bove stated that the bank is too important to fail, as it “would cause harm” and “sizable financial losses throughout the system” if a failure were to occur.

E*Trade Financial trades down 6 percent as it priced its big 435 million share stock offering at $1.10 per share– significantly lower than yesterday’s closing price of $1.43. This secondary offering is part of the electronic brokerage’s $1.2 billion capital raising plan that it announced earlier this week.

Regions Financial is up 3 percent pre-open. The regional bank announced that it will complete the $2.5 billion capital raise required by the government’s stress tests by this coming Monday. The capital has been raised through stock offerings and the sale of its Visa shares and other securities.



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