Sentiment on Wall Street remains wavery, as reflected by the U.S. index futures, which point to a modestly lower opening on Thursday. With the Fed decision now behind, the markets look ahead to fresh trading cues. The New York session will witness the release of some market moving economic data, including the jobless claims, a regional manufacturing and existing home sales data, which could give some direction to the markets.
The Eurogroup and the Economic and Finance Ministers Council are scheduled to meet for 2 days beginning today in Luxembourg. Among the issues to be discussed in the meeting are Greece, financial assistance to Spain and the developments in other euro member nations such as Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland.
As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are receding 29 points, the S&P 500 futures are moving down 3.50 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are slipping 6.25 points.
U.S. stocks ended a lackluster session on Tuesday on a narrowly mixed note, as the Fed decision did not offer much relief.
On the economic front, the Labor Department is due to release its claims report for the week ended June 16th at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect claims to edge down to 383,000 in the recent reporting week from 386,000 in the previous week.
The National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on U.S. existing home sales for May at 10 am ET. Economists estimate existing home sales of 4.57 million for the month after sales rose 3.4 percent to 4.62 million units in April.
The results of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey are due out at 10 am ET. Economists expect the diffusion index of current activity to show a reading of 0.5 for June, an improvement from -5.8 in May.
The Conference Board is scheduled to release a report on the U.S. leading economic indicators index for May at 10 am ET. The consensus estimate calls for an unchanged reading for the month.
Additionally, the Federal House Finance Agency, or FHFA, is set to release its house price index for April at 10 am ET. Economists expect a 0.6 percent increase in the house price index compared to a 1.8 percent increase in March.
In corporate news, UPS (UPS) announced a recommended cash offer for TNT Express at an offer price of 9.50 euros per share. The company said it would commence the tender offer on June 22nd.
CLARCOR (CLC) reported second quarter earnings of 65 cents per share, up from 64 cents per share last year. Net sales fell 1 percent to $284.9 million. The results trailed expectations. The company reduced its earnings per share guidance to $2.50-$2.65 from $2.55-$2.70.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) reported first quarter earnings that were ahead of expectations, while its revenues were slightly shy of estimates. For the second quarter, the company expects earnings per share of 97 cents to $1.03 per share, while for the full year the company expects earnings to increase by a high single to low double digit percentage range. The second quarter guidance was below estimates.
Red Hat (RHT) announced first quarter non-GAAP earnings of 30 cents per share, up 25 percent year-over-year. Revenues rose 19 percent to $315 million. The results exceeded expectations.
Micron Technology (MU) reported a loss of 32 cents per share for its third quarter compared to a loss of 29 cents per share last year. The company's net sales climbed to $2.2 billion from $2 billion in the year-ago period. While the loss was wider than what analysts had estimates, the revenues exceeded expectations.
Most Asian markets closed lower, with the exception of Japan, which saw notable gains. The Fed disappointment along with apprehensions concerning a bond auction by Spain due later in the global trading day kept sentiment subdued. The retreat by commodities in the wake of rising risk aversion also impacted the markets.
Australia's All Ordinaries opened modestly lower and declined steadily throughout the session before closing down 43.10 points or 1.03 percent at 4,134. Energy and material stocks slumped, serving as drags on the index.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed at 19,265, down 253.78 points or 1.30 percent.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei 225 average hovered in positive territory throughout the session before closing up 71.76 points or 0.82 percent at 8,824. The weakening of the yen supported export stocks. Financial stocks also advanced notably.
New Zealand reported GDP growth of 1.1 percent in the March quarter based on the production approach. The growth much higher than what economists expected and was more broad based. Business services, manufacturing and agriculture contributed to the bulk of the upside.
The major European averages are pulling back in reaction to the Fed decision. Spain borrowing costs rose sharply at a government debt auction today, although it was able to raise 2.2 billion euros, ahead of the 1-2 billion euro-target. Demand was better than at an earlier auction.
Eurozone's private sector output shrank at the steepest pace in three years in June, a survey by Markit Economics showed. Meanwhile, U.K.'s retail sales volume, including automotive fuel, rose 1.4 percent month-over-month in May, reversing some of April's 2.1 percent drop. Economists had expected a more modest 1.2 percent drop.
by RTT Staff Writer
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