Market Happenings for Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Pre-market, futures are mixed. Gainers this morning include AVP, FTR, ESRX, ANF and KSS while losers include NOV, AMZN, STJ, ADSK and STI.

The Market

Investors will have some new economic data to digest Tuesday, with reports on auto sales, factory orders and the latest Fed minutes scheduled for release.

U.S. stocks ended higher yesterday after a manufacturing report showed prices rising less than expected, signaling that inflation may not be a near-term concern.

Last week saw several disappointing reports on housing and durable goods, which caused investors to pull back a bit.

Great attention will be paid later this week to the all-important jobs report for March, which is due out Friday. However, U.S. stock markets will be closed in observance of Good Friday, and bond markets will close early.

European stocks were slightly lower in midday trading while Asian markets ended mixed.

Avon Products (AVP) shares were up 1.3% in pre-market trading, following on gains of more than 17% Monday, after the company rejected a $10 billion purchase offer from beauty company Coty Inc..

Daily deals site Groupon (GRPN) also remains in the spotlight following a report in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal saying that the Securities and Exchange Commission is probing its revision of its first set of results as a publicly traded company. Groupon shares fell nearly 17% yesterday after the company announced late Friday that it was revising its fourth-quarter income and sales lower, thanks to a higher rate of customers asking for refunds. Groupon also revealed that its auditor had discovered a deficiency in its financial statement close process, which covers the steps companies go through at the end of each quarter to ensure that all of their financial transactions have been accurately recorded and reported. Bad times for Groupon.

The national average gasoline price today is unchanged and is sitting at $3.925 per gallon.

Earnings Reports

Earnings reports (confirmed releases): CMVT-Comverse Technology (earnings consensus $0.17), ISCA-International Speedway (0.39), TISI-Team Inc. (0.19), CONN-Conn’s (0.29), MIND-Mitcham Industries (0.52).

Financial Calendar

0745 ET ICSC (Int’l Council of Shopping Centers) weekly retailer sales.

0855 ET Redbook weekly retailer sales.

1000 ET Feb factory orders expected +1.5%, Jan -1.0%.

1130 ET Weekly 4-week and monthly 1-year T-bill auctions.

1400 ET Minutes of the Mar 13 FOMC meeting.

1605 ET San Francisco President John Williams presents an economic briefing at a University of San Diego symposium simulating an FOMC meeting.

1700 ET Mar total vehicle sales expected 14.60 million, Feb 15.03 million. Mar domestic vehicle sales expected 11.30 million, Feb 11.70 million.

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