MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, August 13, 2010

Indications: Stock futures flatten after U.S. data

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By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures traded flat Friday, nearly erasing their losses, after data showed that retail sales and consumer prices rose in July.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were unchanged at 10,271. S&P 500 futures dropped 1.20 points to 1,078, and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 4 points to 1,823.20.

Sales at U.S. retailers increased 0.4% in July to a seasonally adjusted $362.7 billion, according to the Commerce Department. This was the first increase after two consecutive monthly declines. Read about retail sales.

Also, the index for U.S. consumer prices rose 0.3% in July, the largest gain since August 2009, the Labor Department reported.

Survey: pessimism grows over recovery

After the market opens, the University of Michigan's preliminary consumer-confidence reading for August will be released.

The Dow /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,322, +1.67, +0.02%) ended down 0.6% Thursday, as an unexpected increase in U.S. weekly jobless claims reignited worries over economic growth.

Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, is scheduled to speak at 11:30 a.m. Eastern.

"Given that he remains the only dissenter of the Fed's current monetary policy, we wonder whether he will give us some insights into his thoughts ahead of the [Federal Open Market Committee] minutes that we look forward to in about three weeks' time," Deutsche Bank strategists said in a note to clients.

On the corporate front, shares of Dynergy Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!dyn/quotes/nls/dyn (DYN 4.50, +1.72, +61.87%) soared 62% in premarket trading after the Blackstone Group /quotes/comstock/13*!bx/quotes/nls/bx (BX 10.61, -0.40, -3.63%) said it'll acquire the firm for $4.50 a share in cash in a deal valued at $4.7 billion, including debt.

Shares of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!jcp/quotes/nls/jcp (JCP 19.99, -0.81, -3.89%) gained 1% in premarket trading after the firm reported results. Read about J.C. Penney's earnings.

U.S.-listed shares of Delhaize Group /quotes/comstock/24s!e:delb (BE:DELB 51.75, -6.53, -11.20%) /quotes/comstock/13*!deg/quotes/nls/deg (DEG 66.20, -8.49, -11.37%) tumbled 8% in premarket trading after the Belgian supermarket operator slashed its forecast for operating growth, citing the volatile economic and competitive environment in the southeastern U.S.

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In Europe, data showed that gross domestic product in the 16-nation euro zone expanded 1% in the second quarter compared with the first three months of the year. GDP grew 1.7% compared with the second quarter of 2009.

Economists had forecast a 0.7% quarterly rise and a year-on-year expansion of 1.4%.

Particularly notable was Germany's report that its second-quarter GDP rose 2.2%, the fastest quarterly pace since reunification. The performance was well above market expectations of 1.4% growth. Read more on Germany's economy.

European shares gave up strong early gains. The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:SXXP 255.56, +0.63, +0.25%) fell 0.5% in afternoon trading.

Asian stocks ended mostly higher.

Meanwhile, shares of German steel maker ThyssenKrupp AG /quotes/comstock/11e!ftka (DE:TKA 23.20, +0.35, +1.51%) gained 0.7% after the company swung to a fiscal third-quarter profit and raised its full-year earnings outlook.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 82.95, +0.31, +0.38%) , which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was flat at 82.683.

The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (EURUSD 1.2753, -0.0075, -0.5847%) fell 0.3% to $1.2799.

In the commodity markets, oil futures gained 16 cents to $75.90 a barrel, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries raised its outlook for oil demand growth in 2010.

Polya Lesova is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.

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