US stock futures are turned down Tuesday morning and now point to a lower open on Wall St. Last night futures were a bit under pressure after Moody’s Investors Service cut the sovereign debt rating of several European countries. Spain’s rating was cut by two notches while Portugal and Italy saw their trimmed one notch. However, strong investor sentiment from Germany helped to spark a market turnaround, and futures were slightly higher later on this morning.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will likely remain at the forefront of the action today due to more news about a possible new addition to its product line-up (sort-of). After the iPod we saw the iPod mini and then shuffle. There has been talk of a smaller, cheaper iPhone. Now, Dow Jones Newswires is reporting that the company is testing a new, smaller, cheaper version of its popular iPad tablet. The screen would reportedly be about 8 inches. AAPL is higher overnight, but off pre-market highs.
Earnings season is winding down, but there are still a few notable reports this week. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSEArca:GT) swung to a profit from a loss in the year-ago quarter, but sees slower growth in the future due to weakness across multiple markets. The stock is only marginally lower this morning.
The economic calendar today includes January retail sales and January import prices, both due at 8:30 ET. Also, at 10am ET, Treasury Secretary Geithner will testify before the Senate Finance Committee about President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal 2013.
Boeing (NYSEArca:BA) is higher this morning after reporting that it has signed its largest-ever airplane order contract with Indonesia’s Lion Air. The deal, worth $22.4 billion, is for 230 planes – 201 737 MAXs and 29 next-generation 737-900 ERs.
While investors anxiety has shifted away from Greece for the time-being, the Euro zone will now have to tackle how to bring the country’s debt load down significantly. The goal is to bring debt-to-GDP down to 120%–from current levels of about 160%–by 2020. It is a tall task given that the Greek economy shrank by 7% in the fourth quarter amid deep austerity cuts, the largest drop of the recession.
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