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Stock Futures Fall Ahead of Bank Earnings, Bernanke; Apple Drops

Stocks in this article: ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC AAPL UPS RIG JPM FB HPQ ORCL

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a lower open on Wall Street Monday as investors looked ahead to a flood of bank earnings later this week and as Apple (AAPL) shares plunged.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were falling 23 points, or 13.43 points below fair value, at 13,410. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 2.50 points, or 1.95 points below fair value, at 1464. Futures for the Nasdaq were down 17.25 points, or 15.56 points below fair value, at 2726.

Apple shares were tumbling more than 2% in premarket trading on reports that the tech giant has cut orders for components for the iPhone 5 due to weaker-than-expected demand, people familiar with the situation told The Wall Street Journal.

Major bank releases later this week include JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) on Wednesday, and Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) on Thursday.

JPMorgan Chase's (JPM) board is expected to dock the 2012 bonuses of CEO Jamie Dimon and another top executive because of the "London Whale" trading debacle, the Journal reported, citing people close to the company.

JPMorgan shares were down 0.67% in premarket trading.

"What we're really focused on is the banking institutions and what is the quality of their earnings, what is the quality of their revenues," said Keith Bliss, Cuttone director of sales and marketing.

He said two things are "vastly important" when looking at these companies. One is net interest margin. "Right now it's been shrinking for the big banks primarily because of the low interest rate environment and the flat yield curve that we've had for the last two years."

"The other is the loan-to-deposit ratio," Bliss said. Most banks, to make money, want to be at a 100% loan-to-deposit ratio. "Most of them are riding in the 70% category right now, which means they want to lend the money out, but they're just not finding good quality borrowers," he explained.

Bliss said that it's expected that the insurers will be weak as they're going to have to pay out their claims on Hurricane Sandy, which are substantial.

Major U.S. stock averages were little changed during a volatile session on Friday as financial stocks were big drag after Wells Fargo (WFC) kicked off bank earnings with mixed results.

A number of Federal Reserve officials were expected to speak Monday. At 4:30 p.m. EST, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is slated to speak at the University of Michigan with Ford School Dean Susan Collins on monetary policy and the U.S. economy.

"Fed Chairman Bernanke is speaking on the longer term challenges for the U.S. economy," said Paul Donovan, global economist at UBS. "There are quite a few of these. The fiscal position remains very much in focus, and this is likely to be where markets keep their attention."

At 11:55 a.m., San Francisco Fed President John Williams is scheduled to give a keynote speech on the economic outlook to an industry strategy symposium in California.

Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart is expected to speak at 12:40 p.m. on the economic outlook to the Rotary Club of Atlanta.

No major U.S. economic releases were expected for Monday.

European markets were giving up earlier gains as investors waited for the momentum to pick-up for earnings season. The FTSE 100 in London was off 0.08%, while the DAX in Germany was up 0.36%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 0.64% after the China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Guo Shuqing said the country could significantly raise the quota for foreign investment in Chinese equity markets.

Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.

Gold for February delivery Monday was adding $12.40 to $1,673 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while February crude oil futures were rising 36 cents at $93.92 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 7/32, diluting the yield to 1.845%. The dollar was up 0.06%, according to the U.S. dollar index .

United Parcel Service (UPS) has withdrawn its €5.2 billion ($7 billion) takeover of TNT Express after it learned that European regulators would block the deal.

UPS shares were up incrementally.

Transocean (RIG) disclosed that activist investor Carl Icahn acquired a 1.56% stake in the offshore rig contractor and is looking to boost that holding, Reuters reported.

Shares were popping more than 3%.

Facebook (FB) shares were rising 1.5% as the stock was upgraded to buy from hold by analysts at Deutsche Bank, who were impressed by the revenue boost the company is getting from mobile newsfeed ads.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) shares were jumping more than 2% after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to neutral from underweight and raised its price target to $21 from $15.

Oracle (ORCL) shares were slipping 0.89% as the company released an emergency update to its Java software over the weekend amid worries about bugs posing security risks.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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