MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Indications: Stock futures down after durable goods

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By Polya Lesova and Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures tossed aside tentative gains Wednesday after the government reported an unexpected drop in orders for U.S.-made durable goods in June, offsetting quarterly results.

Stock index futures fell modestly after the Commerce Department said orders fell 1% last month, far short of the 1% gain anticipated by analysts.

"If you look at reaction in the futures market, it's not much of one considering the soft patch in the economic data stream was very prevalent for data coming out for the month of May, and here in June we're having a continuation," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Jefferies & Co.

"But, we're bumping up against much better corporate news; earnings have been spectacular," Hogan added.

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Up 1 point ahead of the Commerce Department report, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were lately off 35 points at 10,459. S&P 500 futures were down 3.4 points at 1,107.50. Nasdaq 100 futures fell 5.75 points to 1,880.75.

The Dow /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,528, -9.61, -0.09%) closed up 0.1% on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 index /quotes/comstock/21z!i1:in\x (SPX 1,112, -1.41, -0.13%) and the Nasdaq Composite /quotes/comstock/10y!i:comp (COMP 2,289, +0.33, +0.01%) finished with small losses.

Another raft of earnings reports began pouring in on Wednesday. Boeing /quotes/comstock/13*!ba/quotes/nls/ba (BA 67.64, -0.98, -1.43%) affirmed its 2010 outlook as its quarterly net income and revenue fell on lower commercial deliveries.

Oil major ConocoPhillips /quotes/comstock/13*!cop/quotes/nls/cop (COP 54.63, +0.19, +0.35%) said its second-quarter net income climbed sharply on the sale of units. It plans to raise an additional $3.4 billion by the end of the year as part of a plan to divest its 20% stake in Russian oil giant Lukoil.

Newmont Mining Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!nem/quotes/nls/nem (NEM 55.33, -0.45, -0.81%) said second-quarter net income rose to $382 million, or 77 cents a share against expectations for 84 cents.

Shares of Sprint Nextel Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!s/quotes/nls/s (S 4.88, +0.05, +1.04%) rose 10% in pre-open trade. The firm reported a second-quarter diluted loss per share of 25 cents, which includes a non-cash $302 million increase in valuation allowance on deferred tax assets. The pro forma diluted loss per share was 15 cents, while analysts expected a loss of 19 cents a share.

Comcast Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!cmcsa/quotes/nls/cmcsa (CMCSA 19.46, +0.13, +0.67%) said second-quarter net income fell 8.6% and revenue rose 5.7%.

In the afternoon, the Fed will release its Beige Book on regional economic conditions.

European shares gain

The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:SXXP 257.52, -0.59, -0.23%) fell 0.2%, breaking a multi-session winning streak. See more on Europe Markets.

Shares of Infineon Technologies AG /quotes/comstock/11i!ifnny (IFNNY 6.69, +0.10, +1.52%) /quotes/comstock/11e!fifx (DE:IFX 5.16, +0.09, +1.70%) advanced 1.5% after the German chip maker raised its full-year revenue and investment outlook. It also reported a return to fiscal third-quarter net profit and a 59% surge in revenue.

In France, shares of car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen /quotes/comstock/24s!e:ug (FR:UG 23.76, -1.12, -4.48%) fell 5.5%. The firm returned to profitability in the first half, but said it expected more difficult market conditions for the remainder of the year in Europe. Read more on Peugeot.

ArcelorMittal /quotes/comstock/13*!mt/quotes/nls/mt (MT 31.66, -0.36, -1.13%) , the world's biggest steel maker, reported a second-quarter net profit of $1.7 billion, compared to a loss of $792 million in the same period a year earlier. However, the firm warned that earnings in the coming months will be hit by a slowdown in demand from China. Its shares fell 1.3% in Amsterdam.

On the deals front, Spain's Telefonica /quotes/comstock/13*!tef/quotes/nls/tef (TEF 66.39, +0.34, +0.51%) /quotes/comstock/06x!ctef (ES:TEF 17.02, +0.13, +0.77%) said it will pay €7.5 billion ($10 billion) for Portugal Telecom's /quotes/comstock/13*!pt/quotes/nls/pt (PT 11.17, +0.43, +4.00%) stake in Brazilian mobile operator Vivo Participacoes /quotes/comstock/13*!viv/quotes/nls/viv (VIV 27.20, +1.10, +4.21%) .

Separately, Portugal Telecom said it would take a 23% stake in Brazil's Tele Norte Leste Participacoes, known as Oi Telemar. In a move seen as satisfying shareholders and Portugal's government, Portugal Telecom said it would invest 8.4 billion Brazilian reais ($4.75 billion), and have a "relevant role" in the management of Telemar Participacoes and its subsidiaries. Read more on the deal.

The currency markets traded in recent ranges. The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.3012, +0.0011, +0.0846%) was little changed at $1.2975, while the dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 82.01, -0.18, -0.21%) edged lower to 82.164.

September oil futures fell 92 cents to $76.58 a barrel in electronic trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange ahead of the release of government data on petroleum inventories.

In Washington, the U.S. Treasury will sell $37 billion in 5-year notes later Wednesday.

Polya Lesova is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in Frankfurt. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

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