- Pre-Market Indications

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Indications: Stock futures pare decline after economic reports

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

By Steve Goldstein & Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures edged lower Tuesday after Alcoa Inc. kicked off earnings season with an unimpressive result, with investor sentiment lifted a little after economic data on import prices and the trade deficit.

S&P 500 futures were flat at 1,192.6 and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 1.5 points to 1,991. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3 points.


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U.S. stocks ended higher Monday for the third straight session, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rising by 0.2% each and the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing above the 11,000 level. A number of deals and the outlines of a potential Greek rescue package were supportive for stocks.

Alcoa /quotes/comstock/13*!aa/quotes/nls/aa (AA 14.20, -0.37, -2.54%) after markets closed on Monday reported a $201 million first-quarter loss on weaker-than-forecast revenue. See First Take on Alcoa results.

Alcoa shares dipped 1.4% in premarket trade.

Intel Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!intc/quotes/nls/intc (INTC 22.56, +0.02, +0.09%) is the next heavyweight to report, with the world's largest chip maker slated to report after the close of trade Tuesday.

Overseas, Indian software giant Infosys Technologies /quotes/comstock/15*!infy/quotes/nls/infy (INFY 61.98, +0.55, +0.90%) reported a 1% drop in profit during the three months through March but projected fiscal-year revenue to grow between 16% and 18%. French luxury-goods giant LVMH Moet Hennessy reported a stronger-than-forecast 11% revenue rise during the first quarter.

Lenders Regions Financial /quotes/comstock/13*!rf/quotes/nls/rf (RF 8.42, -0.33, -3.72%) and KeyCorp /quotes/comstock/13*!key/quotes/nls/key (KEY 7.96, -0.39, -4.62%) fell in premarket trade after UBS downgraded them to sell.

On the economics front, the government reported the trade deficit widened in February, while import prices gained 0.7% in March.

"With the slowly improving U.S. economy and U.S. consumers beginning to spend again, whether due to pent up demand or something more, the U.S. trade deficit is back near its highest level since Dec '08," said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.

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Greece was able to sell 26-week and 52-week bills at big bid-to-cover rates but with yields of 4.55% and 4.85%, respectively.

Asian stocks dropped Tuesday as technology shares fell ahead of the Intel report, with the Nikkei 225 dropping 0.8% and other markets also finishing lower.

In Europe, losses were extended after the Greek bill auction, and the euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.3580, -0.0006, -0.0442%) was trading below $1.36. See Greece story.

Oil futures traded below $84 a barrel, and platinum and silver futures dropped sharply.

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

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