US stock futures are up more than 1% this morning, erasing yesterday’s entire gap down. When stocks opened down nearly 3% yesterday, many investors feared it was the beginning of a harsh downward spiral. The sovereign debt crisis in Europe continues to deteriorate, with Italy the latest country to face strikes and protests due to necessary austerity measures.
The defeat of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party in her hometown suggested the people had grown tired of bailouts and the EU, two institutions that are seen as crucial for the stabilization of the global economy. However, a German court ruling that Euro bailouts are constitutional boosted European markets.
However, stocks rallied immediately off the open yesterday and never looked back. Tech leaders led the way, with the Nasdaq finishing down only 0.3%. Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) went green early in the afternoon and continued to explode into the close. These two stocks looked destined for new highs sooner rather than later.
Building material stocks also posted huge gains ahead of President Obama’s proposal of a $300 job creation bill. Stocks like Vulcan Materials Company (VMC) +18%, Texas Industries, Inc. (TXI)+12%, and Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (MLM) +10% gained serious momentum, and it will be interesting to see whether they now hold higher. It could end up being a buy the rumor, sell the news type of scenario depending on the details of the bill and its likelihood of passage through Congress.
The troubled banking sector hardly participated in the bounce-back yesterday, being that it is a major source of our problems still, 2 1/2 years on from the “bottom” of the financial crisis. European banks like Deutsche Bank AG (DB) and UBS AG (UBS) fell off a cliff due to speculation over the weekend about the possibility of major bank failures.
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) is not immune to such talk either. Despite a $5 billion investment from Warren Buffett and the $3 billion sale of half its stake in China Construction Bank, there is talk the company may need to sell-off Merrill Lynch to further reinforce its capital base. However, BAC is up nearly 3% pre-market after announcing a management shake-up, including the departure of two senior executives and the appointment of co-COO’s.
Yahoo! (YHOO) is also in focus this morning after the board ousted CEO Carol Bartz, replacing her in the interim with CFO Tim Morse. Investors welcomed the change, which will include a broad strategic review of the company’s business model. The stock is up nearly 6% pre-market.
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) is another big pre-market mover, up 6% after the company substantially raised fiscal year guidance for 2013. On the economic data front, look out for the Fed’s Beige Book, a summary of economy conditions, at 2pm ET.
Gold fell hard overnight after yesterday’s reversal, with the GLD down more than 2% this morning. Profit takers are coming into the metal after a big-run, and it seems that negative news reached a fever pitch for now. You must also always beware of margin hikes in the metals if you are long.
*DISCLOSURE: Scott Redler is long AAPL, SPY, QQQ