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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Indications: Stock futures decline as Greek worries resurface

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By Simon Kennedy, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock market futures fell Thursday after a further warning over the state of Greece's economy, with the telecom sector also in the spotlight after a major merger and downbeat results from Nokia and Qualcomm.

S&P 500 futures fell 7.1 points to 1,193.30 and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 13 points to 2,012.50. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 42 points.

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The drop in futures came after the Eurostat statistics agency criticized the quality of Greece's budget data and said the debt-ridden country's deficit may be revised higher by as much as half a percentage point from an already high 13.6%. See story on Greece's budget data.

The news sent the gap between Greek and German government bonds to a fresh record high. The euro also moved lower, dropping 0.2% against the dollar to stand at $1.3362.

On the economic calendar Thursday, investors await the latest weekly jobless claims data and a reading on U.S. producer prices for March, both of which are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, followed by data on sales of existing homes after the Wall Street open.

TODAY'S INTERNATIONAL MARKET STORIES

Global Dow

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

Tools• Latin American/Canadian indexes • European indexes | Asian indexes

More on the Markets • Bond Report | Oil News | Earnings Watch • Currencies | U.S. Economic Calendar

Earnings • Nokia net nearly triples, lags view on light sales • Nestle sales climb over 4%, topping estimates • ABB's shares fall as net profit drops 29% • Credit Suisse profit edges up, inflows improve

/conga/story/misc/international.html 72124

Among companies in focus, Nokia /quotes/comstock/13*!nok/quotes/nls/nok (NOK 14.95, -0.22, -1.45%) shares lost nearly 13% in premarket trade as the handset maker's near tripling of profit missed analyst estimates due to light revenue growth.

Qualcomm /quotes/comstock/15*!qcom/quotes/nls/qcom (QCOM 42.63, -0.66, -1.52%) dropped nearly 9% after the wireless chipmaker's fiscal third-quarter forecast also came up shy of market expectations.

But Qwest Communications /quotes/comstock/13*!q/quotes/nls/q (Q 5.24, +0.06, +1.16%) climbed close to 8% after reaching a deal to buy be bought by CenturyLink /quotes/comstock/13*!ctl/quotes/nls/ctl (CTL 36.20, -0.31, -0.85%) for about $11 billion in stock.

Of other movers, shares of eBay Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!ebay/quotes/nls/ebay (EBAY 26.29, -0.11, -0.42%) dropped about 8% as the online auctioneer forecast second-quarter earnings and revenue below market expectations. See story on eBay earnings.

Further earnings reports due after markets close include Microsoft Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!msft/quotes/nls/msft (MSFT 31.33, -0.03, -0.09%) and American Express /quotes/comstock/13*!axp/quotes/nls/axp (AXP 45.99, -0.21, -0.45%) , both Dow industrials components.

The announcement of further worries over Greece also caused European markets to turn lower Thursday.

U.S. stocks closed modestly higher on Wednesday, helped by strong earnings from Apple Inc and Boeing Co. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.2% and the Dow industrials rose 0.1%, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.1% as health-care, energy and financial stocks moved lower.

Simon Kennedy is the City correspondent for MarketWatch in London.


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