MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Indications: U.S. futures slip after data, earnings

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software

By Polya Lesova and Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures retained modest losses Thursday after jobless-claims data and earnings reports from corporate giants including Merck & Co. and Dow Chemical Co.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 415,000 last week, fewer than expected. The prior week’s count was revised higher to 457,000. Read more about jobless claims.

“With this data not telling us anything new with respect to firings, we’ll wait until tomorrow’s January payroll figure to get new information on net hirings,” said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.

The government also said U.S. business productivity climbed a seasonally adjusted 2.6% in the fourth quarter, compared with expectations of a 2.2% increase projected by analysts polled by MarketWatch.

Down about 20 points before the data, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\h11 (DJH11 12,012, 0.00, 0.00%)  lately fell 15 points to 11,970, and S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\h11 (SPH11 1,303, -0.10, -0.01%)  edged down 2.7 points to 1,297.3.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\h11 (NDH11 2,322, +2.00, +0.09%)  declined 6 points to 2,313.75.

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On Wednesday, the blue-chip Dow index /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 12,062, +20.29, +0.17%)  closed nearly unchanged, holding just above the psychologically key 12,000 level.

“There is one important thing to establish. The Egyptian tensions do not seem to have that much of an effect on the [equity] markets,” said Christian Tegllund Blaabjerg, chief equity strategist at Saxo Bank.

The situation in Egypt deteriorated further Thursday, with violence escalating on the streets of Cairo between supporters and opponents of President Hosni Mubarak.

“Violence has increased significantly over the last few days, and markets haven’t dropped,” Blaabjerg said. “It’s all about earnings really more than anything else.”

At 10 a.m. Eastern, the ISM report on January service-sector activity as well as data on December factory orders will be released.

Sugar hits 30-year high

Michael Casey explains what caused sugar prices to skyrocket to a 30-year high Wednesday.

On the corporate front, U.S. retailers are reporting same-store sales for January.

Drug giant Merck /quotes/comstock/13*!mrk/quotes/nls/mrk (MRK 32.90, -0.92, -2.72%) said it swung to a fourth-quarter loss from a profit in the year-ago period, while sales rose.

Shares of Dow Chemical /quotes/comstock/13*!dow/quotes/nls/dow (DOW 36.74, +0.10, +0.27%)   rose in premarket trade after the company reported a surge in quarterly profit.

ECB holds steady

European stock markets were lower following a string of earnings reports. Shares of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!rds.a/quotes/nls/rds.a (RDS.A 71.25, -2.18, -2.97%)   /quotes/comstock/23s!e:rdsa (UK:RDSA 2,200, -67.50, -2.98%)  slumped more than 3% in London trade after the company’s adjusted fourth-quarter profit came in below market expectations.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:STOXX600 285.00, +0.41, +0.14%)  edged down 0.3% in intraday trading. See Europe Markets.

Asian markets were mixed overnight, with Japanese stocks posting losses. Numerous markets in the region, including those in China and Hong Kong, were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays. Read Asia Markets.

Also Thursday, the European Central Bank left its key lending rate unchanged at a record low 1%. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said the rise in January inflation to an annual rate of 2.4% from 2.2% in December was broadly anticipated, with price pressures reflecting rising costs for energy and commodities.

Trichet, in his monthly news conference in Frankfurt, said price developments warranted close monitoring but said the developments haven’t changed the ECB’s expectations for inflation to remain in line with price stability. Read more about the ECB.

The euro extended a loss versus the dollar to trade at $1.3698, down 0.8% from Wednesday.

Polya Lesova is chief of MarketWatch’s London bureau. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

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NYSE Arca Morning Update - 08:30:00 ET

NYSE Arca Morning Update for Thursday, Feb 3, 2011 :

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
DSCI $6.67 $10.50 57.4% 3,000
SFLY $34.34 $41.89 22.0% 2,705
SGI $10.91 $13.01 19.2% 1,900
GMCR $32.98 $38.34 16.3% 91,521


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 $119105769 $130.10 ( 0.3%) | NOK 1,356,774 $11.25 ( 0.9%)
CVI $16,611,057 $17.02 ( 2.2%) | CVI 975,785 $17.02 ( 2.2%)
NOK $15,278,806 $11.25 ( 0.9%) | SPY 915,120 $130.10 ( 0.3%)
BHP $10,286,189 $93.18 0.0% | C 453,828 $4.84 ( 0.1%)
EEM $7,972,477 $46.58 0.0% | MRK 225,568 $32.66 ( 3.4%)
MRK $7,476,385 $32.66 ( 3.4%) | RDN 205,875 $6.72 ( 8.6%)
GLD $6,864,999 $129.91 ( 0.4%) | SIRI 190,762 $1.78 2.9%
SSO $6,464,752 $51.25 ( 0.6%) | PCX 179,921 $26.71 ( 5.1%)
BJ $6,253,558 $48.75 13.4% | EEM 170,702 $46.58 0.0%
QQQQ $5,825,700 $56.78 ( 0.3%) | OTIV 169,093 $3.00 ( 4.2%)


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 [2011] by NYSE Euronext. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution prohibited without prior express consent.

Indications: U.S. futures steady ahead of earnings, data

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software

By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures straddled the flat line Thursday, as investors awaited jobless-claims data and earnings reports from corporate giants Merck & Co. and Dow Chemical Co.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\h11 (DJH11 11,992, +7.00, +0.06%)  gained 9 points to 11,994 and S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\h11 (SPH11 1,300, +0.30, +0.02%)  were nearly flat at 1,300.60.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\h11 (NDH11 2,318, -1.75, -0.08%)  fell 0.75 to 2,319.

The blue-chip Dow index /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 12,042, +1.81, +0.02%)  closed nearly unchanged Wednesday, holding just above the psychologically key 12,000 level.

“There is one important thing to establish. The Egyptian tensions do not seem to have that much of an effect on the [equity] markets,” said Christian Tegllund Blaabjerg, chief equity strategist at Saxo Bank.

The situation in Egypt deteriorated further Thursday, with violence escalating on the streets of Cairo between supporters and opponents of President Hosni Mubarak.

“Violence has increased significantly over the last few days and markets haven’t dropped,” Blaabjerg said. “It’s all about earnings really more than anything else.”

The economic and corporate calendar is very busy Thursday.

Data on weekly jobless claims and fourth-quarter productivity are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. After the market opens, at 10 a.m. Eastern, the ISM report on service sector activity in January as well as factory orders for December will be released.

Sugar hits 30-year high

Michael Casey explains what caused sugar prices to skyrocket to a 30-year high Wednesday.

On the corporate front, U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!wmt/quotes/nls/wmt (WMT 55.86, -0.47, -0.83%) are due to report same-store sales for January.

In addition, numerous companies will release earnings reports, including drug giant Merck /quotes/comstock/13*!mrk/quotes/nls/mrk (MRK 33.82, -0.18, -0.53%) , media group New York Times Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!nyt/quotes/nls/nyt (NYT 10.74, +0.38, +3.67%) , Dow Chemical /quotes/comstock/13*!dow/quotes/nls/dow (DOW 36.64, +0.28, +0.77%)  and food firm Kellogg Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!k/quotes/nls/k (K 50.36, +0.16, +0.32%) .

The market is “waiting for some news to pull it another leg higher,” Blaabjerg said. “If these earnings come out [relatively strong] as we expect, and the initial jobless claims are marginally better, then you are going to see a big upswing in markets.”

ECB meeting on tap

European stock markets were mostly lower following a string of earnings reports. Shares of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!rds.a/quotes/nls/rds.a (RDS.A 73.43, +0.08, +0.11%)   /quotes/comstock/23s!e:rdsa (UK:RDSA 2,201, -66.50, -2.93%)  slumped more than 3% in London trade after its adjusted fourth-quarter profit came in below market expectations.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:STOXX600 284.28, -0.31, -0.11%)  edged down in intraday trading. See Europe Markets.

Later in the day, the European Central Bank is expected to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged. Attention will then turn to ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet’s press conference.

“It’s unlikely that he will surprise markets in the way he did last month but he’s likely to confidently keep up the anti-inflation rhetoric,” Deutsche Bank said in a note.

The euro slipped 0.2% to $1.3784. The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 77.21, +0.05, +0.06%) , which measures the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, was little changed at 77.148.

In the commodity markets, oil futures rose 61 cents to $91.47 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex.

Gold futures were nearly flat at $1,331.70 an ounce.

Asian markets were mixed overnight, with Japanese stocks posting losses. Numerous markets in the region, including those in China and Hong Kong, were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays. Asia Markets.

Polya Lesova is chief of MarketWatch’s London bureau.

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