- Pre-Market Indications

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures hesitate ahead of open

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software Alert Email Print

By Polya Lesova and Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures on Wednesday trimmed their gains as weak retail-sales data competed with better-than-expected earnings from companies including microchip giant Intel Corp.

Stock futures pulled mostly lower as investors digested the government report of a 0.5% decline in U.S. retail sales last month, along with a 1.3% drop in U.S. import prices.

Futures on the technology-laden Nasdaq 100 climbed 3 points, or 0.2%, to 1,845.5.

S&P 500 futures fell 2.7 points to 1,087 and futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 10 points to 10,278.

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The Dow rose 1.4% on Tuesday as strong earnings from aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!aa/quotes/nls/aa (AA 10.91, -0.09, -0.82%) buoyed sentiment.

Intel /quotes/comstock/15*!intc/quotes/nls/intc (INTC 21.36, +0.35, +1.67%) said late Tuesday it swung to a second-quarter profit, with sales soaring 34% and beating estimates. The company's chief executive expressed optimism about the global economic recovery. Read more on Intel.

Also in the tech space, chip-equipment maker ASML Holding N.V. /quotes/comstock/15*!asml/quotes/nls/asml (ASML 31.94, +0.67, +2.14%) reported stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings. Read the MarketWatch piece on ASML.

The Intel news helped Asian shares post broad-based gains as Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 2.7%. However, European equities traded mostly lower apart from the technology sector, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:SXXP 255.92, -0.07, -0.03%) down 0.7% in afternoon trade.

German prosecutors said Wednesday they have searched 13 Credit Suisse offices as part of a probe into whether the bank's employees helped clients evade taxes. Shares of Credit Suisse /quotes/comstock/13*!cs/quotes/nls/cs (CS 43.01, -0.37, -0.85%) /quotes/comstock/06p!csgn-otc (CH:CSGN 45.42, -0.28, -0.61%) dropped 1.5% in Zurich trading.

FOMC minutes ahead

The Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m. will report minutes from its June 23 meeting.

"It will be a quiet day for reporting as markets get ready for J.P. Morgan's /quotes/comstock/13*!jpm/quotes/nls/jpm (JPM 40.35, -0.13, -0.32%) results on Thursday," strategists at Deutsche Bank said in a note to clients. Hotel operator Marriott International Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!mar/quotes/nls/mar (MAR 32.16, +0.29, +0.91%) will report quarterly results later on Wednesday.

In early economic news, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that last week the number of mortgage-loan applications for home purchases dropped to its lowest level in 14 years. Read more.

In Washington, the Treasury will sell $13 billion in 30-year bonds at 1 p.m.

In the commodity markets, August crude-oil futures dropped 59 cents to $76.56 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, giving back some of their gains after rallying nearly 3% in the previous session.

The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday an unexpected increase of 1.7 million barrels in crude inventories. The Energy Information Administration will release its more closely watched data at 10:30 a.m. Analysts polled by Platts expect a 2.6-million-barrel reduction in commercial crude supplies.

Gold futures edged down $5.20 to $1,208.30 an ounce in electronic trading.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 83.33, -0.31, -0.37%) , which tracks the currency's performance against a basket of other currencies, edged up to 83.664.

The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.2736, -0.0002, -0.0157%) edged lower to $1.2688.

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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