MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Monday, November 22, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures drop on debt worries

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By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures dropped Monday, as doubts surfaced about whether an international bailout for Ireland will be enough to restore financial stability in the euro zone.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\z10 (DJZ10 11,153, -26.00, -0.23%)  fell 34 points to 11,144.

Ireland to accept EU, IMF bailout

Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan recommends that Ireland seek an international bailout.

S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,194, -4.00, -0.33%) slipped 3.90 points to 1,194.30, and Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\z10 (NDZ10 2,132, -1.50, -0.07%) declined 4.75 points to 2,128.70.

Earlier, futures had risen on news that debt-laden Ireland formally applied late Sunday for financial assistance from its European partners. The move was welcomed by officials at the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, who said they are ready to provide support to Dublin.

However, the size and precise shape of the bailout remained unclear, with the details due to be nailed down in the coming days. Concerns remained about whether the sovereign-debt crisis will spread to other high-deficit nations such as Portugal and Spain. Read more about Portugal and Spain.

Exacerbating worries, Moody’s Investors Service said that a “multi-notch downgrade” of Ireland’s Aa2 rating is now the “most likely” outcome of a review of its sovereign-credit rating. Also, the Green Party, the junior partner in the Irish coalition government, called for January elections, further souring investor sentiment.

European stocks opened higher, but soon gave up gains and moved lower in afternoon trading. The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:STOXX600 268.01, -1.49, -0.55%)  fell 0.6%. The euro dropped 0.2% to $1.3639, erasing earlier gains.

“Some traders are, however, hoping that a scattering of corporate earnings could bring some seasonal cheer to the table, starting with Hewlett-Packard after the closing bell tonight,” said Will Hedden, sales trader at IG Index.

Technology giant Hewlett-Packard Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!hpq/quotes/nls/hpq (HPQ 42.49, +0.80, +1.92%)  is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $1.27 a share on revenue of $32.7 billion, while comments from new Chief Executive Leo Apotheker will be closely watched by analysts. Read more on what’s expected from H-P.

Tyson Foods Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!tsn/quotes/nls/tsn (TSN 15.64, +0.06, +0.39%)  said it swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit from a year-earlier loss. The company’s shares rose nearly 3% in premarket trading.

Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!gmcr/quotes/nls/gmcr (GMCR 30.26, -0.62, -2.01%)  gained 11% in premarket trading. The company said last week that it will restate financial statements for fiscal years 2007 to 2009 and the first three quarters of fiscal 2010 because of errors.

No major U.S. economic data are scheduled for release Monday.

Polya Lesova is chief of MarketWatch’s London bureau.

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