MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Indications: U.S. stock futures edge higher

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By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures edged higher Tuesday as Wall Street got a glimpse of the impact of trouble overseas on corporate profits after Halliburton Co. trimmed its first-quarter earnings forecast.

The oilfield-services company /quotes/comstock/13*!hal/quotes/nls/hal (HAL 48.78, +0.88, +1.84%)  said late Monday that turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East would pare its first-quarter profit by as much as 4 cents a share.

Kodak's moment

Rex Crum says that a favorable trade commission ruling against Apple and RIM may just help Kodak from going the way of Kodachrome.

Investors received more upbeat results from Lennar Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!len/quotes/nls/len (LEN 19.14, -0.61, -3.09%) , as the home builder reported a surprise first-quarter profit. Read more about Lennar’s results.

And Dow component and home-improvement retailer Home Depot Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!hd/quotes/nls/hd (HD 37.74, +1.09, +2.96%)  said late Monday that it would buy back $1 billion in shares. Read more about Home Depot.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\m11 (DJM11 12,215, +101.00, +0.83%)  rose 32 points to 12,146, and Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\m11 (SPM11 1,314, +11.30, +0.87%)  added 3.80 points to 1,306.

Another Dow component, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!wmt/quotes/nls/wmt (WMT 52.20, +0.01, +0.02%) ,  will ask the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday to reject the case of female workers who contend the world’s largest retailer paid and promoted them less than their male counterparts.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\m11 (NDM11 2,319, +22.75, +0.99%)  gained 5.25 points to 2,301.

Shares making significant moves ahead of the bell included Apollo Group Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!apol/quotes/nls/apol (APOL 40.29, -2.07, -4.88%) , its shares falling 9.5% after the for-profit educator said new enrollment declined 45% in the second quarter. Read more about Apollo.

Economic indicators Tuesday included the Case-Shiller home-price index, which showed home prices falling a non-seasonally adjusted 1% in January.

Data on March consumer confidence are scheduled for later in the day.

“Beginning today, economic data will start to reflect the late-February spike in oil prices and the human and economic reverberations of the March 11 Japanese earthquake, so we can thus start the process of better quantifying the impacts,” wrote Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak, in an emailed note.

In electronic trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures fell 79 cents to $103.19 a barrel. Read about oil prices.

On Monday, a late turn halted a three-day advance for U.S. equities after mixed corporate and economic news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 12,283, +84.92, +0.70%)  lost 22.71 points, or 0.2%, to end at 12,197.88.

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

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