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Thursday, January 7, 2010

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Indications: U.S. stock futures remain off after jobless data

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

By Barbara Kollmeyer & Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures on Thursday retained modest losses in offering only limited reaction to slightly better-than-anticipated weekly jobless claims data and December sales results from a slew of retailers.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 24 points to 10,492, while those for the Nasdaq 100 fell 2 points to 1,876.5. Futures for the S&P 500 dropped 2.4 points to 1,130.60.

The Labor Department reported initial claims for state unemployment benefits last week rose 1,000 to 434,000, less than expected. The report comes ahead of Friday's key nonfarm payrolls and unemployment data for December.

"While the firing trends remain subdued, more people are still claiming benefits because they haven't found new jobs yet," said Peter Bookvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.

The ADP employment report released Wednesday revealed a loss of 84,000 jobs in the private sector in December, the 23rd decline in a row, but the fewest jobs lost since March 2008.

TODAY'S INTERNATIONAL MARKET STORIES

Global Dow

• MarketWatch Topics: The Dubai Crisis • Asia Markets | Europe Markets | LatAm Markets • Canadian Markets | Israel Stocks | London • U.S.: Market Snapshot | After Hours

Tools• Latin American/Canadian indexes • European indexes | Asian indexes

More on the Markets • Bond Report | Oil News | Earnings Watch • Currencies | U.S. Economic Calendar

/conga/story/misc/international.html 45984

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch are looking for the government report to say payrolls rose 15,000, the first gain in two years.

Analysts are expecting last-minute shopping and post-holiday bargain hunting will result in positive surprises for U.S. retailers on Thursday. A clutch of retailers released December same-store results ahead of the market open. Among those, Target Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!tgt/quotes/nls/tgt (TGT 49.66, +0.93, +1.91%) said December sales at same-stores open at least a year rose 1.8%, better than the 0.2% fall expected by analysts. Costco Wholesale /quotes/comstock/15*!cost/quotes/nls/cost (COST 60.00, +0.77, +1.30%) , said December same-store sales rose 9%; Limited Brands /quotes/comstock/13*!ltd/quotes/nls/ltd (LTD 19.07, +0.39, +2.09%) , said sales fell 2%; Pier 1 Imports /quotes/comstock/13*!pir/quotes/nls/pir (PIR 5.48, -0.07, -1.26%) said sales rose 8.6% and Stage Stores /quotes/comstock/13*!ssi/quotes/nls/ssi (SSI 12.26, -0.17, -1.37%) said sales fell 2.2%.

"Bargain-hungry consumers that had postponed shopping [hoping] for deals returned to the stores" and also surfaced online, said Morgan Stanley analyst Michelle Clark. They "realized the widespread discounting that characterized 2008 holiday was not to be in 2009. Waiting was no longer an option."

Staying on the retail theme, shares of Bed Bath & Beyond /quotes/comstock/15*!bbby/quotes/nls/bbby (BBBY 39.23, +0.56, +1.45%) were up 8.3% in preopen. The company said late Wednesday that profit for the fiscal third quarter jumped 71%, with earnings handily beating estimates.

Shares of Lennar Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!len/quotes/nls/len (LEN 13.70, +0.15, +1.11%) were up 7.2% in preopen. The builder said it swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $35.6 million from a loss of $811 million in the prior-year quarter.

Shares of Bank of America /quotes/comstock/13*!bac/quotes/nls/bac (BAC 16.39, +0.19, +1.17%) rose 1.8% in preopen trade after it was lifted to outperform from neutral by Credit Suisse which said current risk/reward is attractive, as it's the cheapest large-cap bank.

Alcoa /quotes/comstock/13*!aa/quotes/nls/aa (AA 16.97, +0.84, +5.21%) however fell 1.9% after it was cut to hold from buy at Citi which kept its $17 a share target on the aluminum producer.

In Europe, telecommunications and firms and German retailers were dragging Europe stocks lower in midday trade. Meanwhile, the Bank of England kept interest rates at historically low levels and didn't adjust its bond-buying program at its meeting Thursday.

Asia markets fell, with China's Shanghai Composite finishing down nearly 2% after the People's Bank of China made a move that raised fears interest rate rises could come sooner than expected.

The dollar rose 0.8% against the yen to 93.07 yen, lifted by comments from Japan's newly appointed top finance minister, Naoto Kan, aimed at talking down the Japanese currency. The dollar was also higher against then euro and the British pound.

Commodities futures were mostly lower, with crude oil futures down 45 cents to $82.73 a barrel, while gold was down $4.9 to $1,131.60 an ounce.

U.S. stocks nearly stalled at the finish on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy-setting meeting pointed to continuing concern about the housing market. The Fed minutes also indicated that recent signs of an improving economy haven't swayed member opinion that recovery will be gradual and inflation will remain tame.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.66 points, while the S&P 500 added less than a point, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 7.62 points.

Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.


NYSE Arca Morning Update - 08:30:00 ET

NYSE Arca Morning Update for Thursday, Jan 7, 2010 :

STOCKS TRADING ON NYSE Arca AT A PRICE 15% OR MORE AWAY FROM
THE PREVIOUS TRADE DAY'S CONSOLIDATED CLOSE PRICE (AS OF 08:30:00 ET)

Stock Wednesday's Close Current Price Pct Change Current NYSE ARCA Vol
MGIC $2.36 $1.86 (21.0%) 27,460


10 MOST ACTIVE STOCKS ON NYSE ARCA AS OF 08:30:00 ET

BASED ON DOLLARS TRADED: | BASED ON SHARES TRADED:
Stock $ Volume Price PctChg | Stock Share Vol Price PctChg
SPY $71,419,192 $113.38 ( 0.3%) | C 4,134,327 $3.67 0.9%
BAC $30,009,702 $16.60 1.3% | BAC 1,807,984 $16.60 1.3%
C $15,156,897 $3.67 0.9% | ONT 1,544,719 $0.74 25.8%
GLD $13,717,310 $110.77 ( 0.7%) | BZH 675,269 $5.14 7.3%
EEM $8,817,461 $42.79 ( 0.8%) | SPY 630,045 $113.38 ( 0.3%)
QQQQ $8,501,755 $46.12 ( 0.1%) | GNVC 277,915 $1.60 14.3%
AAPL $5,866,001 $211.38 0.2% | ANX 274,929 $0.33 0.0%
BZH $3,354,734 $5.14 7.3% | EEM 205,721 $42.79 ( 0.8%)
SDS $3,248,123 $33.85 0.7% | QQQQ 184,494 $46.12 ( 0.1%)
EWZ $2,911,702 $76.73 ( 1.4%) | LYG 174,602 $3.65 1.7%


Price changes may be affected by symbol splits and dividends.

Consolidated close price is the last print (excluding prints with trade
conditions) prior to 4PM ET.

This information is also updated on our web page every morning at 8:35ET:
http://www.tradearca.com/data/volume/daily_update.asp

This material is for informational purposes only.
NYSE Euronext and its affiliates ("NYSE Arca") are not soliciting any action based upon it.
This material is not to be construed as an offer to buy or sell any security in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation would be illegal.
Any opinions expressed in this material are NYSE Arca opinions only.
NYSE Arca undertakes no obligation to update any of the information contained in this material in light of new information or future events.
THIS MATERIAL IS PROVIDED BY NYSE ARCA "AS IS" AND WITHOUT WARRANTIES EXPRESS OR IMPLIED.
NYSE ARCA DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES INCLUDING THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY, TITLE, AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AS TO THIS MATERIAL.
IN NO EVENT SHALL NYSE ARCA BE LIABLE FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOST PROFITS, TRADING LOSSES AND DAMAGES THAT MAY RESULT FROM THE USE
OF THIS MATERIAL, ANY DELAY OR INTERRUPTION OF SERVICE OR OMISSIONS OR INACCURACIES IN THE MATERIAL) WITH RESPECT TO THIS MATERIAL.

Copyright [2010] by NYSE Euronext. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution prohibited without prior express consent.

Indications: U.S. stock futures lower with retailers in focus

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

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

MADRID (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a softer start for Wall Street on Thursday, with weaker overseas markets setting the tone, while investors await key December sales results from retailers.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 42 points to 10,474, while those for the Nasdaq 100 fell 7.25 points to 1,871.21. Futures for the S&P 500 dropped 5.4 points to 1,127.70.

U.S. stocks nearly stalled at the finish on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy-setting meeting pointed to continuing concern about the housing market. The Fed minutes also indicated that recent signs of an improving economy haven't swayed member opinion that recovery will be gradual and inflation will remain tame.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.66 points, while the S&P 500 added less than a point, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 7.62 points.

Ahead of Friday's heavy roster of economic data, including the all-important nonfarm payroll figure for December, weekly jobless claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The ADP employment report released Wednesday revealed a loss of 84,000 jobs in the private sector in December, the 23rd decline in a row, but the fewest jobs lost since March 2008.

TODAY'S INTERNATIONAL MARKET STORIES

Global Dow

• MarketWatch Topics: The Dubai Crisis • Asia Markets | Europe Markets | LatAm Markets • Canadian Markets | Israel Stocks | London • U.S.: Market Snapshot | After Hours

Tools• Latin American/Canadian indexes • European indexes | Asian indexes

More on the Markets • Bond Report | Oil News | Earnings Watch • Currencies | U.S. Economic Calendar

/conga/story/misc/international.html 45984

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch are looking for the government report to say payrolls rose 15,000, the first gain in two years.

Meanwhile, analysts are expecting last-minute shopping and post-holiday bargain hunting will result in positive surprises for U.S. retailers on Thursday. Among the first to report was Costco Wholesale /quotes/comstock/15*!cost/quotes/nls/cost (COST 60.00, +0.77, +1.30%) , which said December same-store sales rose 9%.

"Bargain-hungry consumers that had postponed shopping [hoping] for deals returned to the stores" and also surfaced online, said Morgan Stanley analyst Michelle Clark. They "realized the widespread discounting that characterized 2008 holiday was not to be in 2009. Waiting was no longer an option."

Outside of retailers, stocks in focus for Thursday include Kraft Foods /quotes/comstock/13*!kft/quotes/nls/kft (KFT 28.97, +0.20, +0.70%) and Hershey /quotes/comstock/13*!hsy/quotes/nls/hsy (HSY 36.85, -0.32, -0.86%) . The Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday that Cadbury /quotes/comstock/13*!cby/quotes/nls/cby (CBY 49.77, +0.04, +0.08%) board members have quietly reached out to Hershey to encourage a rival offer in their effort to resist a hostile takeover from Kraft.

In Europe, automakers paced an early dip, though U.K. supermarket chain J Sainsbury climbed on stronger-than-forecast sales. London markets are awaiting an interest-rate decision from the Bank of England at 7 a.m. Eastern. Policymakers aren't expected to make a change to monetary policy, including the central bank's money-creating asset-purchase plan.

Asia markets fell, with China's Shanghai Composite finishing down nearly 2% after the People's Bank of China made a move that raised fears interest rate rises could come sooner than expected.

The dollar rose 0.6% against the yen to 92.90 yen, lifted by comments from Japan's newly appointed top finance minister, Naoto Kan, aimed at talking down the Japanese currency. The dollar was also higher against then euro and the British pound.

Commodities futures were mostly lower, with crude oil futures down 67 cents to $82.50 a barrel, while gold was down $5.40 to $1,131.10 an ounce.

Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid.


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