MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures stumble on China jitters

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By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures slumped Tuesday, with worries over Chinese and global economic growth in the spotlight ahead of the release of key indicators later in the week.

S&P 500 futures fell 13.5 points to 1,057.40 and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 25.75 points to 1,810.20. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 114 points.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended with mild losses Monday, after leaders of the world's 20 top economies pledged to rein in spending to counter mounting debt burdens. The Bank for International Settlements also made the case for austerity.

Worries on Tuesday were focused on China, which has barely any outstanding debt, as the Conference Board sharply revised lower its April leading economic indicator for the country. The Shanghai Composite lost 4.3%, with the move by the Agricultural Bank of China to cut the price range for the local portion of its estimated $23 billion initial public offering also weighing on Chinese equities.

The Conference Board's U.S. confidence gauge for June is due for release around 10 a.m. Eastern, with markets expecting a slight decline.

"We expect consumer confidence to remain at a higher level than in the first quarter and increase further in the coming months as momentum in the labor market recovery builds," said economists from Barclays Capital.

The S&P/Case-Shiller April home price index is due for release at 9 a.m.

Traders may also be positioning ahead of Thursday's expiration of a 442 billion euro one-year tender from the European Central Bank and the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report on Friday.

Unlike AgBank, Tesla Motors increased its IPO price, pricing its offering at $17 a share.

Micron Technology /quotes/comstock/15*!mu/quotes/nls/mu (MU 10.02, +0.56, +5.92%) lost 6% in early premarket trade. The chipmaker late Monday reported stronger-than-forecast earnings and sales but also projected flat shipments in a key segment.

Emerson /quotes/comstock/13*!emr/quotes/nls/emr (EMR 44.85, -0.04, -0.09%) raised its all-cash offer for Britain's Chloride to $1.5 billion, trumping an offer made by ABB /quotes/comstock/13*!abb/quotes/nls/abb (ABB 18.25, -0.03, -0.16%) .

Overseas, foreign stock markets were also weaker after the China tumble. The Nikkei 225 lost 1.3% in Tokyo and the FTSE 100 retreated 2.1% in London.

Oil futures skidded $1.53 a barrel, and gold futures dipped $2 an ounce.

Bonds rose, with yields on 10-year Treasury bonds falling 5 basis points to 2.97%. The euro sank below the $1.22 level.

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.


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