Buzz Before Bell: Facebook and RIM Show Signs of Life

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares gained more than 4 percent on Monday, despite upcoming lockup expirations for the world’s largest social network. With two more expirations scheduled for November 14 and December 14, nearly 1.2 billion Facebook shares will become available for sale in the next six weeks, effectively doubling the company’s available stock, or float. By mid-December, the social network’s float is expected to be 1.9 billion shares. Shares are slightly under $20 during pre-market Tuesday trading.

Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) edged lower 3% in pre-market afternoon trading, and suffered a 2 percent decline during regular trading Monday. Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer, said that sales of the company’s new Surface tablet are “starting modestly” and declined to give an exact sales figure. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the leader in the tablet market, also traded slightly higher in late afternoon hours.

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Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) shares jumped 3 percent on Monday. The company announced that its BlackBerry 10 platform, accompanied by the first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones, would be introduced on January 30. “While it is clearly an uphill battle for RIM given the recent launch of the iPhone 5 device and the aggressive marketing dollars being pushed toward Windows 8, we view it as a modest positive that a date is now officially set for the launch of the new BB10 devices,” Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche wrote in a note to clients, according to Reuters.

Shares of J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) bounced nearly 1.5 percent in pre-market trading after plunging 13 percent on Monday. The retailer continues to struggle with its turnaround efforts led by Ron Johnson.  J.C. Penney was downgraded by Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) to underperform from neutral with a price target of $15.

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