MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Indications: Stock futures turn higher after ADP jobs data

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By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- Stock futures turned higher on Wednesday after data showed that U.S. private-sector employment increased in July, rekindling hopes of a strong economic recovery.

Down 25 points before the data, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 20 points to 10,614 in recent trading. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 6.25 points to 1,899.20 and S&P 500 futures added 2 points to 1,120.30.

U.S. private-sector firm employment rose 42,000 in July, according to the ADP report released. July's rise in private employment was the sixth consecutive monthly gain.

The survey comes ahead of the closely watched nonfarm payrolls data due on Friday.

Traders are still awaiting the release of the ISM non-manufacturing index for July, which is due at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

The Dow industrials ended down 0.4% on Tuesday, hurt by disappointing earnings and economic reports.

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European stocks reduced their losses after the ADP data, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:SXXP 261.60, -0.46, -0.18%) down 0.3% in intraday trading. In Japan, shares ended sharply lower, as the rising yen hurt export firms.

Shares of Toyota Motor Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!tm/quotes/nls/tm (TM 72.77, +0.73, +1.01%) finished lower ahead of the company's announcement that it swung to a fiscal first-quarter net profit. The car giant also raised its outlook for the full year.

Among U.S. companies in focus, Time Warner Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!twx/quotes/nls/twx (TWX 32.36, -0.17, -0.52%) said second-quarter net income rose to $562 million, or 49 cents a share, from $524 million, or 43 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Wall Street analysts expected earnings of 45 cents a share.

AOL Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!aol/quotes/nls/aol (AOL 21.12, -0.09, -0.42%) posted a second-quarter loss of $1.1 billion, or $9.89 a share, after taking a $1.4 billion goodwill impairment charge.

U.S.-listed shares of Allied Irish Banks PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!aib/quotes/nls/aib (AIB 2.69, +0.07, +2.67%) /quotes/comstock/30b!aib (IE:AIB 0.94, -0.05, -4.86%) tumbled 8.6% in pre-market trade after the lender reported a deeper first-half net loss.

Lloyds, SocGen report earnings

Oil giant BP PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 40.00, +0.58, +1.47%) /quotes/comstock/23s!a:bp. (UK:BP. 413.80, -1.85, -0.45%) said its damaged Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico has reached a so-called static condition, a key step towards permanently stemming the flow of oil. Shares of BP fell 1.2% in London.

Shares of Lloyds Banking Group /quotes/comstock/13*!lyg/quotes/nls/lyg (LYG 4.60, +0.03, +0.66%) /quotes/comstock/23s!a:lloy (UK:LLOY 74.96, +3.04, +4.23%) gained 3.1% after it reported better-than-expected earnings for the first half. Read more.

Gold futures rose to trade just below $1,200 an ounce, buoyed by strong investment demand and news that China has liberalized its domestic gold market. See story on gold

Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained $10.50, or 1%, to $1,198.00 an ounce in electronic trading on Globex.

September oil futures also turned higher to trade at $82.59 a barrel on Globex ahead of government data on petroleum inventories.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 80.68, +0.08, +0.10%) , which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, was flat at 80.612.

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

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