Basel Deadline is Extended and Amazon Gets a Vote of Confidence: Morning Buzzers

In the absence of major domestic news, stock futures were down on Monday morning. Earnings season shifts into gear tomorrow after the bell, and investors may be hesitant to move before the seasonal frenzy of activity begins.

At 9:10 a.m.: S&P: -0.17%, Nasdaq: -0.16%, Dow: -0.13%.

Here’s what’s buzzing in the pre-marketElectronic Arts

Investors are apparently taking a downgrade on Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) from Sterne Agee to heart. The firm changed its rating on the stock from “Buy” to “Neutral,” citing aggressive fiscal 2013 Street expectations, premium valuation, and reduced title expectation. Shares were off as much as 5.1 percent in the pre-market.

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Shares of MetroPCS Communications (NYSE:PCS) also faced some selling pressure in the pre-market, falling as much as 2.4 percent after releasing fourth quarter subscriber results. The company logged a net loss of 93,000 subscribers, and currently sits at about 8.9 million subscribers.

An analyst at JPMorgan cut his rating on Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) from “Neutral” to “Underweight,” unsurprisingly triggering a pre-market slump for the semiconductor company. Shares were off as much as 2.75 percent on fears that 2013 equipment spending in the industry would be soft. The analyst’s new price target is $10, which compares to the stock’s Friday closing price of $11.81 per share.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) enjoyed a boost of nearly 2 percent in the pre-market after Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Devitt moved his rating on the stock from “Equal Weight” to “Overweight” with a price target of $325, 25 percent above Friday’s closing price.

The New York Times reports that over a dozen banks are closing in on a $10 billion settlement that will resolve claims of foreclosure abuse. Among the banks expected to sign on to the deal are JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC). The settlement fee will come on top of as much as $1.5 billion in costs associated with the review program. The deal could be announced as early as Monday.

Also in banking news, global regulators have given lenders up to four more years to meet new international liquidity coverage ratio requirements. Meeting in Basel, Switzerland, over the weekend, officials decided that extending the deadline for full compliance to 2019 would help ward off what financial institutions feared could be another credit crunch.

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