MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures pause after strong 2010 start

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By Steve Goldstein & Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures on Tuesday retreated only slightly from the year's initial advance ahead of data on pending home and car sales.

S&P 500 futures fell fractionally to 1,128.50 and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 2.25 points to 1,884.5. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 2 points to 10,517.

U.S. stocks rallied Monday to start the trading year, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 156 points, the S&P 500 gaining 16 points and the Nasdaq Composite jumping 39 points.

Strong manufacturing surveys across the globe and comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Vice Chairman Donald Kohn contributed to the advance.

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Tuesday sees the release of factory orders and pending home sales for November, as well as U.S. car sales data for December. Edmunds.com is targeting total sales for the year to come to just over 10 million cars and trucks, which would mark the industry's worst level in almost thirty years.

Google Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!goog/quotes/nls/goog (GOOG 624.49, -2.26, -0.36%) will be in the spotlight as it's holding a media day for what many believe to be the introduction of its own phone that runs on the Android operating system it makes.

Nestle SA /quotes/comstock/11i!nsrgy (NSRG.Y 48.10, -1.44, -2.91%) formally took itself out of the running for U.K. chocolate maker Cadbury Plc /quotes/comstock/13*!cby/quotes/nls/cby (CBY 49.80, -1.85, -3.58%) , saying it would buy the frozen pizza business of Kraft Foods Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!kft/quotes/nls/kft (KFT 28.27, +0.84, +3.06%) instead.

Separately, Berkshire Hathaway /quotes/comstock/13*!brk.a/quotes/nls/brk.a (BRK.A 99,660, +60.31, +0.06%) , the holding company controlled by billionaire Warren Buffett, said it has voted "no" on Kraft's proposal to authorize the issuance of up to 370 million shares to facilitate the acquisition of Cadbury. Berkshire said that the share-issuance would give Kraft "a blank check" to change its offer to Cadbury from the deal presented to shareholders.

In premarket trade, shares of Kraft gained 2.4%, while Cadbury fell 3.3%.

Apple /quotes/comstock/15*!aapl/quotes/nls/aapl (AAPL 215.15, +1.14, +0.53%) is set to announce that it's buying mobile advertising firm Quattro Wireless for $275 million, according to a report on All Things Digital, and is due to sell a multimedia tablet in March, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Mesa Air /quotes/comstock/15*!mesa/quotes/nls/mesa (MESA 0.06, -0.06, -52.06%) tumbled 61% after filing for bankruptcy protection.

Asia markets gained after the rally in the U.S. and Europe, with the Nikkei 225 rising 0.3% and the Hang Seng gaining 2.1%.

The FTSE 100 rose 0.4% in London.

Gold futures rose $9 an ounce, while the dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 77.51, -0.02, -0.02%) slipped 0.2%.

Oil futures were little moved, while yields on 10-year Treasury bonds fell 2 basis points to 3.81%.

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.


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