MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, April 16, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures lose traction on Google

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By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

MADRID (MarketWatch) -- Some faded enthusiasm over earnings weighed on U.S. stock futures on Friday, as investors readied for even more results such as those of Bank of America and General Electric, along with a handful of economic data.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13 points to 11,083, while those for the Nasdaq 100 fell 3.75 points to 2,031. Futures for the S&P 500 fell 2.7 points to 1,205.80.

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 /quotes/comstock/10y!i:comp (COMP 2,516, +10.83, +0.43%) also closed higher.

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But Friday's session was looking shaky as investors awaited earnings news from General Electric /quotes/comstock/13*!ge/quotes/nls/ge (GE 19.50, +0.15, +0.78%) and Bank of America /quotes/comstock/13*!bac/quotes/nls/bac (BAC 19.48, +0.08, +0.41%) , both due before the open.

Also out before the bell will be Gannett /quotes/comstock/13*!gci/quotes/nls/gci (GCI 18.14, +0.16, +0.89%) , Genuine Parts /quotes/comstock/13*!gpc/quotes/nls/gpc (GPC 45.42, +0.79, +1.77%) and Mattel /quotes/comstock/15*!mat/quotes/nls/mat (MAT 23.75, +0.43, +1.84%) .

Shares of search giant Google /quotes/comstock/15*!goog/quotes/nls/goog (GOOG 595.30, +6.30, +1.07%) could come under pressure and weigh on the overall market. Shares fell in the after hours trading as quarterly earnings came in higher than analysts projected, but company costs rose significantly in the period. Read more on Google results

Shares of chip maker Advanced Micro Devices /quotes/comstock/13*!amd/quotes/nls/amd (AMD 10.16, +0.27, +2.73%) could also see pressure, after falling in late trading despite better-than-expected results. Read more on AMD

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 were weaker, pulling back from 18-month highs, with losses led by technology stocks, and airlines weak as a cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland continued to disrupt air travel across Europe. See full story.

The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.3547, -0.0032, -0.2357%) 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.

The yield premium demanded by investors to hold 10-year Greek government bonds over German bunds widened to 4.11 percentage points against 4.06 percentage points Thursday.

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

Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid.


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