MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, April 16, 2010

Indications: Stock futures edge back on Google; B. of A. climbs

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software Alert Email Print

By Barbara Kollmeyer & Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

MADRID (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures slipped Friday after six straight gains, as worries over tech-sector strength following Google and Advanced Micro Devices results offset better-than-expected results from Bank of America and General Electric.

Though off the worst levels of the morning, S&P 500 futures fell 1.8 points to 1,206.70 and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 4 points to 2,030.70.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 9 points.

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Earnings were in the spotlight, as shares of Google /quotes/comstock/15*!goog/quotes/nls/goog (GOOG 595.30, +6.30, +1.07%) dropped over 4% in premarket trade on worries over growing costs at the Internet search giant. Read more on Google results

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices /quotes/comstock/13*!amd/quotes/nls/amd (AMD 10.16, +0.27, +2.73%) also fell sharply, losing nearly 5%. Despite better-than-forecast first-quarter results, the Intel rival said sales will be flat to down 5% in the second quarter.

Bank of America /quotes/comstock/13*!bac/quotes/nls/bac (BAC 19.48, +0.08, +0.41%) rose over 3% after reporting a stronger-than-forecast $3.2 billion profit.

General Electric /quotes/comstock/13*!ge/quotes/nls/ge (GE 19.50, +0.15, +0.78%) edged up 1%. Its quarterly earnings beat forecasts, although revenue missed estimates, as the bellwether said it is eyeing further restructuring. See GE story.

Economic data on the calendar includes housing starts for March, due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern and consumer sentiment for April, due at 10 a.m. Eastern.

European shares wavered between gains and losses as airspace in Northern Europe was shut for a second day. See full story.

The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.3512, -0.0067, -0.4934%) was weaker against the dollar on continued worries over Greece's fiscal problems. Greek bonds plunged Thursday as the country requested talks over potential aid. Officials from the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund will travel to Athens Monday to discuss policies that could be put in place if Greece asks for assistance. See related story

Greece isn't expected to request the aid package at the meeting of euro-zone finance ministers on Friday, according to Jean-Claude Juncker, who is chairman of the Eurogroup.

In Hong Kong, Chinese property stocks fell, after an announcement late Thursday that some say amounts to a policy shift, significantly tightening the supply of credit for home purchases and requiring cities to make much more land available for mass-market housing.

"These tightening measures mark the true turning point of property-related policies and the property sector of this cycle," wrote Ting Lu, a Merrill economist based in Hong Kong. See more on China property stocks

Stocks on Wall Street rose to fresh 2010 highs on Thursday, bolstered by a number of economic reports and an upbeat forecast from United Parcel Service. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 21.46 points, or 0.2%, at 11,144.57, a fresh closing high for the year. The S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index also closed higher.

Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.


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