MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Indications: Stock futures waver ahead of earnings, Beige Book

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By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- Stock futures straddled the flatline on Wednesday, as investors awaited earnings from Boeing Co. and ConocoPhillips, as well as the Federal Reserve's latest view on regional economic conditions, to give the market more direction after the previous day's choppy session.

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Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6 points to 10,500. S&P 500 futures were nearly flat at 1,111.80 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 3 points to 1,889.50.

The Dow /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,538, +12.26, +0.12%) closed up 0.1% on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 index /quotes/comstock/21z!i1:in\x (SPX 1,114, -1.17, -0.10%) and the Nasdaq Composite /quotes/comstock/10y!i:comp (COMP 2,288, -8.18, -0.36%) finished with small losses.

Investors will receive another raft of earnings reports on Wednesday. Oil major ConocoPhillips /quotes/comstock/13*!cop/quotes/nls/cop (COP 54.44, +0.01, +0.02%) is expected to report earnings of $1.55 a share and revenue of $47.2 billion for the second quarter. Boeing /quotes/comstock/13*!ba/quotes/nls/ba (BA 68.62, -0.23, -0.33%) is projected to report earnings of $1.04 a share and revenue of $16.4 billion.

Other companies reporting results before the market opens include Comcast Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!cmcsa/quotes/nls/cmcsa (CMCSA 19.33, -0.14, -0.72%) , Sprint Nextel Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!s/quotes/nls/s (S 4.83, -0.22, -4.36%) and Newmont Mining Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!nem/quotes/nls/nem (NEM 55.78, -2.32, -3.99%) .

In addition to earnings, traders will focus on U.S. durable-goods orders for June, which the Commerce Department will report at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

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 257.43, -0.68, -0.26%) gained 0.2%, rising for a seventh session. See more on Europe Markets.

Shares of Infineon Technologies AG /quotes/comstock/11i!ifnny (IFNNY 6.59, +0.01, +0.15%) /quotes/comstock/11e!fifx (DE:IFX 5.15, +0.08, +1.54%) advanced 2.1% 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 23.55, -1.33, -5.33%) fell 3.6%. 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 32.02, -0.56, -1.72%) , 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 1.8% in Amsterdam.

On the deals front, Spain's Telefonica /quotes/comstock/13*!tef/quotes/nls/tef (TEF 66.05, +0.32, +0.49%) /quotes/comstock/06x!ctef (ES:TEF 16.99, +0.10, +0.59%) said it had reached a preliminary agreement with Portugal Telecom /quotes/comstock/13*!pt/quotes/nls/pt (PT 10.74, +0.22, +2.09%) over the latter's stake in Brazilian mobile operator Vivo Participacoes /quotes/comstock/13*!viv/quotes/nls/viv (VIV 26.10, +0.12, +0.46%) .

Shares of Telefonica rose around 1% in Madrid, while Portugal Telecom was suspended in Lisbon. Read more on the deal.

The currency markets traded in recent ranges. The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.2990, -0.0011, -0.0846%) was little changed at $1.3003, while the dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 82.14, -0.04, -0.05%) edged lower to 82.103.

September oil futures traded flat at $77.47 a barrel 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 today.

Polya Lesova is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in Frankfurt.

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