The negative sentiment seen for the past couple of sessions seems to be lingering on Wall Street on Thursday, as traders look ahead to a key jobless claims report against the backdrop of a overbought market. Risk appetite has waned, as reflected by the retreat in risky assets. The euro is weaker despite hopes that the eurozone finance ministers will agree on beefing up the eurzone bailout fund. Commodities are also moving to the downside. Some key earnings along with the jobless claims report could hold the key for the market mood for the day.
As of 6:30 am ET, the Dow futures are slipping 30 points, the S&P 500 futures are moving down 3.50 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are receding 6 points.
U.S. stocks extended their losses on Wednesday amid the release of a mixed durable goods orders report.
On the economic front, the Labor Department is due to release its customary jobless claims report for the week ended March 24th at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect claims to edge up to 350,000 in the recent reporting week from 348,000 in the previous week.
Around the same time, the Bureau of Economic Analysis is due to release its final estimate of fourth quarter GDP. Economists expect the GDP estimate to be left unrevised at 3 percent.
The Kansas City Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the results of its manufacturing survey for February at 11 am ET.
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser will speak to the Rotary Club of Wilmington at 1 pm ET. He will also take questions from the audience and later, from the media.
Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker is due to speak to the UNC School of Law's Banking Institute and will take questions from the audience and the media, in Charlotte. The speech is scheduled for 6:45 pm ET.
In corporate news, Red Hat (RHT) announced that its board has authorized the repurchase of up to $300 million shares. The company reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings of 29 cents per share on revenues of $297.01 million. The results exceeded estimates.
Paychex (PAYX) reported third quarter earnings of 37 cents per share, in line with estimates. Revenues rose 7 percent to $569.5 million and also exceeded estimates. The company reaffirmed its 2012 guidance.
Resource Connection (RECN) reported third quarter earnings that exceeded estimates, while revenues were slightly shy of estimates.
Mosaic's (MOS) third quarter profits and revenues declined from the year-ago. The company also warned of compressed margins for the rest of the year and also cut its capital spending outlook for 2012.
Research In Motion (RIMM), Tibco Software (TIBX) and Xyratex (XRTX) are among the companies due to release their quarterly results after the markets open.
Illumina (ILMN) recommended its shareholders not to take any action at this time in response to Roche's sweetened $51 per share cash offer.
Most Asian stocks retreated yet again, as the mood was rendered uncertain following the lackluster nature of the recently released domestic and overseas economic data.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average languished below the unchanged line throughout the session before closing down 67.78 points or 0.67 percent at 10,115. Australia's All Ordinaries ended down 9.50 points or 0.21 percent at 4,422. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell a steeper 276.03 points or 1.32 percent before ending at 20,609.
Sentiment is downbeat in Europe, as the averages in the region are down for a third straight session.
by RTT Staff Writer
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