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Pre-Market Primer: Apple Inc. Announcements Don't Move the Needle; Bank of Japan Stays the Course


Germany's top court is looking into the constitutionality of some of the ECB's policies.

Global markets are heading down this morning as the Bank of Japan declined to offer more monetary stimulus.

With a mostly silent economic calendar, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are down 0.75% at 15,114 before the opening bell. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures sank 0.19% to 1,627.30 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures fell 0.85% to 2,961.75. Oil and gold futures are both off considerably this morning.

The Bank of Japan left its stimulus program unchanged in its latest meeting. This led to a 1.5% fall in the Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:.NI225) and a 1.73% strengthening of the yen against the dollar. The yen now trades for 97.05 to the greenback. The central bank noted the recent uptick in the economy, especially exports and increasing inflation expectations, as reason to stay the course and double the monetary base over the course of two years.

Markets are mostly down in Europe. Germany's constitutional court is hearing a case on the legality of OMT, the European Central Bank's promise to buy the bonds of any eurozone country that promises to enact economic reforms. OMT is credited with the decline of Italian and Spanish borrowing costs, even though the ECB has yet to buy the country's bonds.

Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) developer conference continues into its second day today. Yesterday, the company announced a refresh of the Mac OSX operating system and its mobile phone and tablet interface and a new pro desktop. Those updates will be available in the fall. The new MacBook Air laptops are already on sale. It also unveiled an Internet streaming radio service to compete with Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P). The announcements did little to the stock, which declined slightly yesterday. Apple continues to decline in pre-market trading. Despite Cupertino's formidable competition, Pandora shares rose yesterday and continue to point north this morning.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) announced earnings that beat the street, but shares are off 14% this morning on news that CEO Christine Day will resign. The luxury athletic wear company has yet to find and name a successor.

Softbank Corp (TYO:9984) sweetened its contested bid for Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). The Japanese telecom raised its bid by $1.5 billion to $21.6 billion and increased the cash portion of the deal. Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) is also vying for Sprint. Sprint shares rose 3.9% before the bell on the news.

Corinthian Colleges Inc. (NASDAQ:COCO) shares fell 20% in the pre-market after the Securities and Exchanges Commission opened an investigation into the for-profit's student data. The Department of Education requires for-profit schools to derive no more than 90% of revenue from federal student aid.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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