Friday, Aug 17, 2012
--Stock futures tread lower, but overseas gains help limit the downside
--Europe markets up on back of Germany's Merkel's comments on maintaining euro
--Preliminary August consumer sentiment, July leading indicators on tap
By Tomi Kilgore
NEW YORK--U.S. stock futures inched mostly lower, following a sharp rally in the previous session, but gains in overseas markets helped keep the downside supported ahead of consumer sentiment data.
About 90 minutes ahead of the open, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 10 points, or 0.1%, to 13215. The Dow rallied 85 points, or 0.7%, on Thursday to close at the highest level since May 2.
Standard & Poor's 500-stock index futures eased two points, or 0.1%, to 1411 while Nasdaq 100 futures edged up three points, or 0.1%, to 2767. Changes in stock futures don't always accurately predict stock moves after the opening bell.
A preliminary reading of the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for August is due out at 9:55 a.m. EDT. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires is for a slight decline to 72 from a final July reading of 72.3.
At 10 a.m., the Conference Board's index of leading indicators for July is seen rising 0.2% on the month after declining 0.3% in June.
In corporate news, shares of Facebook edged up 0.3% in premarket trading. The stock dropped 6.3% Thursday to close below $20 for the first time after the expiration of some lockup agreements made more shares available for sale.
European markets traded broadly higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.3%, as investors were encouraged by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's comments on Thursday that Germany was committed to maintaining the euro.
Merkel's comments overshadowed data showing that bad debts held by Spanish banks rose in June to the highest level on record. Spain's IBEX-35 stock index rallied 1.9%.
Asian markets were also mostly higher, with Japan's Nikkei Stock Average gaining 0.8% to close at the highest level in over three months China's Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1%.
Crude oil futures slipped 0.4% to $95.20 a barrel, after settling the previous session at a three-month high, while gold futures were unchanged at $1616.70 an ounce. The dollar gained ground against both the euro and the yen.
In other corporate news, Zynga climbed 1.7% after the social gaming company announced a partnership with Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia to bring some of Zynga's most popular games to Nokia's Asha Touch devices. Nokia's U.S.-listed shares rose 5.7%.
Gap gained 1.5% after the apparel retailer reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that were above the company's previously-provided expected range and raised its full-year outlook.
Also in the retail sector, Ann Inc. jumped 10% after the women's apparel seller's fiscal second-quarter earnings were well above analyst estimates as provided by FactSet, and its full-year outlook came in slightly above current projections.
Foot Locker ran up 6% after the athletic shoe retailer's fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue beat estimates, with gross margin increasing and merchandise inventory declining.
Elsewhere, Marvell Technology slumped 9.9% after the semiconductor maker's fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue fell short of analyst estimates, citing the slowdown in the macroeconomic environment.
-Write to Tomi Kilgore at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 17, 2012 08:07 ET (12:07 GMT)