MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, July 30, 2010

Indications: Stock futures fall further after U.S. GDP report

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By Polya Lesova and Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures pointed to opening losses for Wall Street on Friday after data showed the economy lost some momentum in the second quarter.

The Commerce Department reported U.S. real gross domestic product climbed 2.4% in the second quarter from an upwardly revised 3.7% in the first quarter.

Economists expected growth to slow a bit to a 2.5% rate in the second quarter, according to a MarketWatch survey. Read more about the GDP data.

Modestly lower ahead of the report, stock index futures slipped further in its wake.

S&P 500 futures were down 11.20 points to 1,085.70, and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 18.50 points to 1,838.75.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 92 points to 10,317.

Gold bugs get swatted

Is gold's rally over? MarketWatch's Money & Investing editor Jonathan Burton reports.

The Dow /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,466, -1.22, -0.01%) fell 0.3% Thursday, declining for a second session.

Asian stocks ended mostly lower Friday, with Japan's Nikkei Stock Average dropping 1.6%.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:SXXP 255.35, -0.91, -0.36%) fell 0.4% in afternoon trade after a flood of earnings reports from major French firms.

In addition to the GDP data, a report on business activity in the Chicago area will be released at 9:45 a.m. Eastern, to be followed by data on July consumer sentiment at 10 a.m.

On the corporate front, pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!mrk/quotes/nls/mrk (MRK 34.46, -0.60, -1.71%) said its second-quarter net profit fell 51% to $752.4 million, or 24 cents a share.

U.S.-listed shares of Alcatel-Lucent /quotes/comstock/13*!alu/quotes/nls/alu (ALU 2.98, +0.38, +14.62%) /quotes/comstock/24s!e:alu (FR:ALU 2.30, +0.23, +11.07%) rallied in premarket trade, as the telecom-equipment giant reported in-line underlying earnings for the second quarter and forecast a stronger second half. See more on Alcatel-Lucent.

Oil major Chevron Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!cvx/quotes/nls/cvx (CVX 76.21, +0.19, +0.25%) and power firm Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!peg/quotes/nls/peg (PEG 32.90, -0.92, -2.72%) also reported quarterly results before the market open.

Walt Disney Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!dis/quotes/nls/dis (DIS 33.69, -0.02, -0.06%) announced it has agreed to sell its Miramax Films business to Filmyard Holdings for more than $660 million.

Raft of earnings from France

Oil giant Total SA /quotes/comstock/13*!tot/quotes/nls/tot (TOT 50.63, +0.41, +0.82%) /quotes/comstock/24s!e:fp (FR:FP 38.71, +0.36, +0.94%) said second-quarter net profit soared 43% to 3.1 billion euros ($4.05 billion) and expressed confidence about the second half of the year. Read more on Total's results.

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Its shares gained 1.2% in Paris, outperforming the CAC-40 index /quotes/comstock/30t!i:px1 (FR:PX1 3,643, -8.77, -0.24%) , which dropped 0.6% in intraday trading.

Car maker Renault SA /quotes/comstock/24s!e:rno (FR:RNO 34.24, +0.59, +1.75%) swung to a first-half net profit, but warned about the uncertain economic outlook. See more on Renault's results.

French power firm Electricite de France SA /quotes/comstock/24s!e:edf (FR:EDF 32.62, +0.15, +0.46%) announced it has received a €6.9 billion offer from a Hong Kong-based consortium for its U.K. electricity distribution networks.

In London, shares of British Airways PLC /quotes/comstock/23s!a:bay (UK:BAY 219.60, +3.60, +1.67%) gained 1.3% after the airline said its fiscal first-quarter net loss widened to 122 million pounds ($190.5 million), but it was still ahead of consensus forecasts. The firm still expects to break even for the year on a pretax basis.

In the currency markets, the dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 81.59, -0.10, -0.12%) gained 0.2% to 81.806, while the euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (EURUSD 1.3045, -0.0033, -0.2523%) fell 0.5% to $1.3013.

Crude-oil futures dropped $1.30 to $77.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures gained $2.10 to $1,173.40 an ounce.

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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