Equity futures are sharply lower this morning with the Dow Jones Industrial Average looking to open 230 points lower while the broader S&P500 index is looking to open close to 30 points lower. Moving Fast in pre-market in the pre-market session are shares of First Solar up 4.5%, as investors are increasingly bullish on the alternative energy sector. US Bancorp and Capital One Financial are both down over 9%. AIG shares are down over 8% as traders exit insurance related stocks to avoid Japanese earthquake exposure.
In corporate news, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) raised its quarterly dividend 50% to 12c per share. Toyota Motor (TM) dealers in the U.S. are concerned about the tight supply of Prius hybrids and the auto maker's ability to produce them following Japan's earthquake and tsunami.