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Wall Street Perturbed By European Political Developments

Wall Street Perturbed By European Political Developments

Political developments in Europe appear to be weighing on Wall Street on Monday, as indicated by the U.S. index futures, which point to a moderately lower opening on Wall Street. In the absence of any major catalysts, the markets may sulk over the disconcerting developments in Europe. The French and Greek election results are likely to be considered as a setback to the progress achieved thus far on the European debt crisis. Traders may also take some cues from a Fed speech and a couple of noteworthy earnings scheduled for the day.

As of 6:30 am ET, the Dow futures are receding 65 points, the S&P 500 futures are slipping 7.50 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are declining 14.50 points.

U.S. stocks reversed course in the week ended May 4th, as insipid economic data sapped risk appetite and generated selling pressure in the market. The commodity, financial and technology spaces were the worst hit.

Main Street would witness a lull in the unfolding week, as the week's calendar is interspersed by very few economic events that have the potential to move the markets. The weekly jobless claims report, the Commerce Department's trade balance report for March, preliminary reading of the Reuters and the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for May and a slew of Fed speeches are among the important events scheduled for the week.

The Federal Reserve's consumer credit report for March, the Commerce Department's wholesale inventories report for March, the import and export price indexes for April, the Labor Department's producer price inflation report for April and the Treasury auctions of 3-year, 10-year and 30-year bonds round up the economic events of the week.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to release its monthly consumer credit report at 3 pm ET. Consumer credit for March is expected to show an increase of $9.8 billion after increasing by $8.7 billion in February.

Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker is due to speak to business and government executives and community leaders on "Technology, Unemployment and Workforce Development in a Rapidly Changing World," in Greensboro, North Carolina at 6 pm ET.

In corporate news, Phillip Morris (PM) announced the appointment of Jacek Olczak, currently president, European Union, as CFO effective August 1st, 2012. The move follows the decision by incumbent CFO Hermann Waldemer to take early retirement.

ADTRAN (ADTN) announced that it has completed the acquisition of the Nokia Siemens fixed line broadband access business.

AIG (AIG) said the Treasury has priced an offering of 163.93 million shares of its common stock at an IPO pricing of $30.50 per share.

General Dynamics (GD) recommended that its shareholders reject a mini-tender offer by TRC Capital to purchase up to 2 million of its shares for $66.95 per share.

Westlake (WLK) announced that it has withdrawn its proposal to buy all outstanding shares of Georgia Gulf (GGC) and also announced its intention to liquidate its holding in Georgia Gulf as market conditions permit.

Electronic Arts (ERTS), Fuel-Tech (FTEK), Pitney Bowes (PBI), Rackspace (RAX) and Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) are some of the companies due to release their results after the markets close.

The major Asian markets plunged sharply after the second round of the French presidential elections confirmed the majority of socialist Francois Hollande. Hollande is opposed to austerity measures and extending bailout financing to troubles eurozone nations.

Additionally, the results of the Greek parliamentary elections pointed to a hung parliament, with no single party getting adequate votes to form a government.

Japan's Nikkei 225 average fell 261.11 points or 2.78 percent before closing at 9,119 and Australia's All Ordinaries ended down 97.80 points or 2.19 percent at 4,361. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed 549.35 points or 2.61 percent lower at 20,537.

The Chinese Shanghai Composite Index ended unchanged, while India's Sensex bucked the downtrend, closing moderately higher.

The European markets are also weaker, although they have come off their early lows. The French CAC 40 Index is sliding 0.30 percent compared to a 0.95 percent slippage by the German DAX Index.

In economic news, the results of a survey by Sentix showed that a deterioration in investor sentiment in May. The sentix investor sentiment index fell to -24.5 in May from -14.7 in April. Meanwhile, German factory orders rose by more than expected in March, with orders rising 2.2 percent month-over-month compared to expectations for a 0.5 percent increase.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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