Wall Street's sentiment is evenly poised, as traders pause ahead of some catalysts, including a 2-day FOMC meeting that gets underway today, a U.S. housing data and efforts on in Greece to form a coalition government. The global economic picture is definitely not encouraging, with the latest survey results released by the Zew Institute showing that German economic sentiment deteriorated more than expected in June. That said, a Spanish auction passed off without much hiccups, offering some solace to the markets.
As of 6:18 am ET, the Dow futures are up 24 points and the S&P 500 futures are gaining 2.80 points, while the Nasdaq 100 futures are adding 10.00 points.
U.S. stocks closed Monday's session on a mixed note, with sentiment weighed down by fears concerning the debt storm brewing in the eurozone.
A 2-day FOMC meeting is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. The central bank will announce its decision and release its updated economic forecasts tomorrow. Additionally, Chairman Ben Bernanke will address a press briefing.
A report on housing starts and building permits is slated to be released at 8:30 am ET. Economists estimate housing starts for May to come in at 720,000, while building permits are expected to have improved to 736,000. In April, housing starts rose 2.6 percent to 717,000, while building permits fell 7 percent to 715,000.
Pulling forward its earnings release date, Oracle (ORCL) announced fourth quarter non-GAAP earnings of 82 cents per share on non-GAAP revenues of $11 billion, up 1 percent year-over-year. The results were ahead of estimates. The company also announced a new buyback program to repurchase up to $10 million shares.
Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) lowered its 2012 guidance, citing delays in terms of closing and shipping expected sales orders, primarily in its Brazilian and European bus market.
Pep Boys (PBY) announced the resignation of its CFO Ray Arthur, as he leaves to pursue another business opportunity.
J.C. Penney (JCP) announced the departure of its President Michael Francis, effective June 18th. The marketing and merchandising functions will now be taken care of by the CEO Ron Johnson.
Adobe Systems (ADBE), Jabil Circuit (JBL) and La-Z-Boy (LZB) are among the companies due to release their quarterly results after the markets close.
Asian stocks ended on a mixed note, with the Japanese, Australian, Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwanese markets ending lower, while the Singaporean, New Zealand, Malaysian, Indonesian and Indian market moved to the upside.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average closed down 65.15 points or 0.75 percent at 8,656. Most sectors, barring defensive pharma, utility and telecom stocks, declined. Dragged down by energy stocks, Australia's All Ordinaries closed at 4,167, down 16.50 points or 0.39 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed 11.14 points or 0.06 percent lower at 19,417.
In economic news, the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's June monetary policy meeting showed that the central bank is of the view that its decision to cut interest rates by 25 basis points was finely balanced. The board apparently weighed relatively strong domestic data against clear evidence showing softening in global conditions.
The European markets are seeing volatility amid the debt turmoil. Spain auctioned 12-month and 18-month T-bills and succeeded in raising debt slightly above the targeted amount. Though demand was better than at a May auction, borrowing costs were higher.
At the G20 meeting in Mexico, 12 countries, including BRICS nations, pledged financial support, which would raise the corpus of the IMF bailout fund by $456 billion.
On the economic front, French statistical agency INSEE released the results of its business sentiment survey, which showed that French business sentiment dipped 1 point to 92 in June. The decline was in line with expectations.
The Zew Institute's survey showed that German economic sentiment fell by 27.7 points to -16.9 in June, marking the steepest decline since October 1998. Economists had forecast a more modest decline to 2.3. The current economic situation index fell by 10.9 points to 33.2.
Inflation report released by the U.K. Office for National Statistics showed that the U.K.'s annual inflation eased to 2.8 percent due to the slowdown in the pace of price increases in food and non-alcoholic beverages. Economists expected inflation to remain unchanged at 3 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com