MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures edge up as dollar falls again

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By Simon Kennedy, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock-market futures edged up Thursday ahead of data on jobless claims and producer prices, while the dollar continued to retreat and Yahoo Inc. shares surged following a report of a possible bid.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\z10 (DJZ10 11,054, +10.00, +0.09%)  rose 8 points to 11,052 and S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,176, +1.60, +0.14%)  climbed 1.10 points to 1,175.40.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\z10 (NDZ10 2,061, +4.50, +0.22%)  were up 1.50 points at 2,057.50.

The gains for futures came after U.S. markets posted their fourth successive rise on Wednesday, following upbeat reports from several industry giants. The Dow index /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 11,096, +75.68, +0.69%)  closed up nearly 76 points, or 0.7%.

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The biggest earnings news Thursday will come from Internet-search giant Google Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!goog/quotes/nls/goog (GOOG 543.30, +1.91, +0.35%)  after markets close. Analysts are expecting the company to report a profit of $6.70 a share in the third quarter.

Rival Yahoo Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!yhoo/quotes/nls/yhoo (YHOO 15.25, +0.82, +5.68%)  was up over 10% in premarket trading after The Wall Street Journal reported that AOL Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!aol/quotes/nls/aol (AOL 25.12, +0.79, +3.25%)  and several private-equity firms are considering a possible takeover bid.

The potential deal could involve Yahoo selling off its roughly 40% stake in Chinese Internet giant Alibaba and other assets, the report said. See story on the possible move for Yahoo.

Other companies set to announce results include Advanced Micro Devices Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!amd/quotes/nls/amd (AMD 7.22, -0.08, -1.10%)  , which is seen reporting quarterly earnings of 6 cents a share, also after the closing bell.

Ahead of those earnings reports, much of the focus will be on data. Weekly jobless-claims figures are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, along with the producer-price index for September and trade-balance data for August.

The dollar was sharply weaker ahead of the data, amid growing expectations that more quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve is just around the corner and following surprise tightening measures from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The euro rose 0.6% to $1.4060 and the dollar fell 0.7% to 81.149 yen.

“Momentum remains one-sided against the dollar as a new wave of selling overnight triggered by [Singapore] pushed the greenback through key support levels,” said Lloyds TSB economist Kenneth Broux in a note to clients.

“Asset markets in general are transfixed by what the Fed will do next and until we hear from [Ben] Bernanke directly tomorrow in his speech on monetary policy, we see no imminent turnaround in positive risk trends as U.S. corporates make a promising start to third-quarter earnings,” he added.

Gold extended gains, with the December futures contract rising as high as $1,388.10 an ounce in electronic trading.

Meanwhile, shares in Apollo Group Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!apol/quotes/nls/apol (APOL 49.50, -0.48, -0.96%)  are set to come under pressure after the company late Wednesday said it was withdrawing its business outlook for 2011.

European stocks were mixed, while Asian markets finished with strong gains. The French CAC 40 index /quotes/comstock/30t!i:px1 (FR:PX1 3,835, +6.41, +0.17%)  slipped 0.1% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 Average closed up 1.9%.

Simon Kennedy is the City correspondent for MarketWatch in London.

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