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Wall Street Apprehensive About Economy's Course

Wall Street Apprehensive About Economy's Course
5/1/2012 6:20 AM ET

An uneasy mood prevails on Wall Street on Tuesday, as traders look ahead to a key manufacturing reading to get further clarity on the domestic economic outlook. Earlier in the day, a government report showed that the Chinese manufacturing sector expanded at a slower than expected pace in April, while the U.K. manufacturing sector experienced a slowdown in the rate of expansion. A few key earnings reports, including those from pharma giant Pfizer (PFE) and auto sales may also impact market sentiment.

As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are slipping 3 points, while the S&P 500 futures are slipping 1.30 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are slipping 4.75 points.

On the economic front, the results of the manufacturing survey of the Institute for Supply Management, which are based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide, are due out at 10 am ET. Economists expect the index to show a reading of 53 for April, a modest drop from 53.4 in March.

The Commerce Department's construction spending report to be released at 10 am ET is expected to show a 0.5 percent increase in March following a 1.1 percent decline in February.

Individual automakers are scheduled to release their monthly U.S. sales results for April. Economists expect domestic vehicle sales of 14.4 million for April, flat with last month.

Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker will speak at the Bloomberg Washington Summit.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Naryana Kocherlakota is scheduled to speak to the Indian Country Summit at Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington on the subject, "What's Different About Indian Country Economic Development" at 9:30 am ET. Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser is due to speak to the CFA Society of San Diego on the economic outlook, in San Diego at 2 pm ET.

San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams, Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart are all scheduled to make public speeches at the Milken Institute 2012 Global Conference, in Beverly Hills.

In corporate news, Jacobs Engineering (JEC) reported second quarter results that trailed estimates. The company revised its 2012 earnings guidance, which is currently below the consensus estimate.

Reinsurance Group of America's (RGA) earnings trailed estimates, while its revenues were above estimates. Wausau Paper (WPP) reported first quarter adjusted earnings from continuing operations and earnings that exceeded expectations. The company also announced the appointment of Sheri Lemmer as CFO, effective May 1st, 2012.

Integrated Device Technology (IDTI) announced the acquisition of PLX Technology (PLXT) for $330 million in cash and stock.

McKesson (MCK) reported better than expected fourth quarter earnings, while its full year earnings per share guidance surrounds the consensus estimate. Cognex (CGNX) reported first quarter results that came in ahead of estimate, while its second quarter revenue guidance was below estimates. The company also announced a 10 percent increase in its quarterly dividend to 11 cents per share.

PMC-Sierra's (PMCS) fourth quarter adjusted earnings exceeded estimates by a penny, while its net revenues were slightly shy of estimates.

WMS Industries (WMS) reported third quarter earnings that trailed estimates, while them company said it expects fourth quarter revenues to be modestly lower than in the year-ago period.

Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG), Big 5 Sports (BGFV), Broadcom (BRCM), CBOE Holdings (CBOE), Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Fiserv (FISV), Flextronics (FLEX), Gen Growth Properties (GGP), Genworth Financial (GNW), Jack Henry (JKHY), Kindred Healthcare (KND), Motorola Mobility (MMI), Peet's Coffee (PEET), Quest Software (QSFT), Time Warner Tcom (TWTC), TripAdvisor (TRIP), Unum Group (UNM) and Yamana Gold (AUY) are among the companies due to release their results after the markets close.

The Asian markets that were open for trading ended on a mixed note, with the Japanese market, which opened after yesterday's public holiday, retreated sharply, while the Australian, New Zealand and Indonesian markets closed higher. Most markets in the region remained closed on account of the Labor Day holiday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 average closed down 169.94 points or 1.78 percent at 9,351, as some weak earnings and a stronger yen weighed on stocks.

The Australian market received support from the stimulatory benevolence of the nation's central bank, which lowered the official cash rate by a bigger than expected 50 basis points, as it judged that growth is weakening and inflationary pressure is moderating. The All Ordinaries ended the day up 30.10 points or 0.67 percent at 4,497, with energy stocks leading the pack of gainers. The U.K. market is seeing modest gains on light volumes, as most markets were closed in observance of Labor Day. The market has been receiving support from solid earnings reports.

In corporate news, BP (BP) reported that its first quarter earnings declined due to lower production and asset sales. Imperial Tobacco reported higher first half earnings, benefiting from higher cigarette prices. Lloyds' reported a profit for its first quarter, which was higher than what was estimated by most analysts.

by RTT Staff Writer

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