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Monday, February 8, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures point higher after G7 meeting

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By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures pointed slightly lower Monday amid relative calm over European finances and the lack of any sparks at a weekend meeting of top finance ministers.

S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21z!i1:in\x (SPX 1,066, +3.08, +0.29%) fell 3 points to 1,056.8 and Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/10y!i:comp (COMP 2,141, +15.69, +0.74%) were down 5.25 points at 1,739.75. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (INDU 10,012, +10.05, +0.10%) fell 26 points.

G-7 Nations to Forgive Haitian Debts

G-7 finance ministers at a meeting in Canada committed to "strong reforms" and agreed to forgive Haitian debts. Video courtesy of Reuters.

U.S. stocks fell last week, the fourth period in a row that's happened in the worst losing run since the four weeks ending July 10. The S&P 500 fell 0.7% last week though it rose 0.3% on Friday.

Over the weekend, leaders from the Group of Seven, meeting near the Arctic Circle, said the global economy has improved as they left it to Europe to solve problems over the budget deficit of Greece and other euro-zone members that rattled markets last week.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in an interview with ABC the U.S. would "never lose" its AAA rating. Geithner said the U.S. will rein in the deficit once the labor market recovers.

TODAY'S INTERNATIONAL MARKET STORIES

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• MarketWatch Topics: Greece • Asia Markets | Europe Markets | LatAm Markets • Canadian Markets | Israel Stocks | London • U.S.: Market Snapshot | After Hours

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The credit-default swaps of Greece and Spain tightened on Monday -- meaning traders in that market see a smaller chance of default -- while European equities were mostly lower. The hard-hit PSI 20 index /quotes/comstock/30t!i:psi20 (XX:PSI20 7,400, +58.05, +0.79%) in Portugal rose 0.3% while stocks in Greece fell. See Europe Markets.

In commodity markets, gold futures rose by roughly $14 an ounce, while oil edged slightly lower. The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 80.34, -0.11, -0.14%) rose 0.1%.

Monday's earnings announcements included CVS Caremark /quotes/comstock/13*!cvs/quotes/nls/cvs (CVS 31.07, -0.08, -0.26%) , which reported an 11% rise in net profit to $1.05 billion, or 74 cents a share. Adjusted earnings were 79 cents a share, including a 1 cent tax benefit, and were slightly ahead of the 77 cents-a-share consensus forecast. Shares in CVS were up 4% in pre-market trading.

Shares in toy maker Hasbro /quotes/comstock/13*!has/quotes/nls/has (HAS 30.80, -0.46, -1.47%) were up 3.3% in pre-market trading after it reported a 77% jump in fourth-quarter profit to $165.6 million, or $1.09 a share, comfortably exceeding the 81 cents consensus forecast.

SAP /quotes/comstock/13*!sap/quotes/nls/sap (SAP 45.96, -0.29, -0.63%) fell 2.5% in pre-market trading after announcing that Leo Apotheker unexpectedly quit as chief executive. The business software giant will return to a Co-CEO structure with existing board members Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe getting those roles. See SAP story.

CIT /quotes/comstock/13*!cit/quotes/nls/cit (CIT 30.75, +0.30, +0.99%) will also be in the spotlight after naming ex-Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain as its leader. See CIT story.

Asian equities were mostly weaker Monday, with the Nikkei 225 falling 1% in Tokyo.

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.


1 comment:

  1. In and of itself a Greek bankruptcy or bond default should -in theory- not affect the Euro as such very much, Greece being maybe 3% of the total. However, just as a Californian bankruptcy would reflect badly on the "state of the Union" as a whole so would the default of on EU country, coupled with the rising interest rates and thus further destabilisation of the remaining over-leveraged member states, make investors wonder when sovereign default across the board is likely. Thus they wouldn't commit themseves to bonds of longer maturity and that's the beginning of the end.

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