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Wall Street Seeks Clarity From Housing Data


Wall Street mood has once again turned nervous, as indicated by the U.S. index futures, which point to a lower opening. Fears of a pullback have been lingering in the minds of traders for quite some time now, as the markets trade at overbought levels without any major correction. The recent rally has its foundation on solid macroeconomic data and continuation in the string of positive data points may prevent any major collapse and facilitate this slow and steady rally. Against this backdrop, a housing data due for the day, M&A announcements and commodity prices may serve as catalyst for the session.

As of 6:30 am ET, the Dow futures are receding 19 points and the S&P 500 Index futures are slipping 3.30 points, while the Nasdaq 100 futures are edging down 0.25 points.

The housing market is on the radar in the unfolding week, as several key housing reports are scheduled to be released during the week. Traders may closely track the National Association of Realtors' existing home sales report for February, the Commerce Department's new home sales and housing starts reports for February, the National Association of Homebuilders' housing market index for March and the Federal House Finance Agency's housing market index for January.

The jobless claims report and a few Fed speeches due for the week may also garner some attention. The Conference Board's leading indicators index for February and announcements concerning Treasury auctions of 2-year, 5-year and 7-year notes round up the economic events of the week.

The National Association of Homebuilders is scheduled to release the results of its March survey on homebuilders' confidence at 10 am ET. The index is expected to increase to 30 from the previous month's 29.

In corporate news, Apple (AAPL) said it would host a conference call at to discuss plans regarding its huge cash balance.

Adams Golf (ADGF) said it has agreed to be bought by Adidas for $10.80 per share in cash or $70 million in total.

Domino's Pizza (DPZ) said it has completed its recapitalization as planned by placing by certain of its subsidiaries of a $1.675 billion securitized debt facility. The plan also includes the declaration of a $3 per share special dividend.

TNT Express finally secured a deal to be bought by its U.S. rival UPS (UPS) for a sweetened offer price of 9.50 euros per share in cash or 5.16 billion euros in total.

Adobe Systems (ADBE) is due to report its quarterly results after the markets close. Analysts expect the company to report earnings of 57 cents per share, a penny lower than last year, and revenues of $1.05 billion, up 2.5 percent.

The major Asian markets closed on a mixed note, as traders remained cautiously optimistic about the global economic recovery.

The fragile hopes wavered after a government report showed that average property prices in 70 Chinese cities fell for the fifth straight month.

Japan's Nikkei 225 average advanced for the fifth straight session, although closing notably off the highs of the session. The key index closed up 12.16 points or 0.12 percent at 10,142, its highest level since March 11th, 2011, when it was hit by an earthquake. Financial and export stocks gained ground, while utility and resource stocks came under selling pressure.

Australia's All Ordinaries hovered in positive territory throughout the session before closing up 16.50 points or 0.38 percent at 4,381. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended at 21,115, down 202.56 points or 0.95 percent.

European stocks are seeing weakness after settling at 8-month highs in the previous week. The French CAC 40 Index is receding 0.77 percent compared to a 0.80 percent retreat by the German DAX Index, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down 0.47 percent.

U.K.-based software firm Misys announced an agreement to be bought by private equity firm Vista Partners for 350 pence per share in cash after walking away from a deal with rival Temenos.

Crude oil futures are seeing weakness but are still trading in the upper $106-a-barrel level and gold futures have also turned lower. The dollar is trading higher against most of its major counterparts.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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