Doubts regarding the ability of the EU nations to tackle the debt bull by its horn has reemerged, as indicated by the U.S. index futures, which point to a flat start. After a housing data gave a lift to the markets yesterday, the markets prepare to receive another - pending homes sales to be precise this time around. Homebuilder Lennar (LEN) reported forecast beating second quarter results, accentuating the build up of momentum in the housing market.
Additionally, U.S. durables goods orders and a meeting between leaders of Germany and France may also keep traders on the tenterhooks. Safe haven dollar has been strengthening and commodities are seeing weakness.
As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are down 5 points, while the S&P 500 futures are adding 0.50 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are nearly flat.
U.S. stocks rebounded on Tuesday, as bargain hunting taking advantage of a positive house prices data and a rebound in oil prices supported sentiment.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department is set to release its durable goods orders report at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect a 0.4 percent increase in durable goods orders for May. Excluding transportation, orders may have risen 0.8 percent.
Data on Pending Home Sales released by the National Association of Realtors, is due out at 10 AM ET. The index is expected to have risen 1.2 percent in May after declining 5.5 percent in April.
The Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly petroleum inventory report for the week ended June 22nd at 10:30 am ET. The API inventory report released late Tuesday showed that crude oil inventories rose by 507,000 barrels in the week ended June 22nd.
In corporate news, O' Reilly Automotive (ORLY) lowered its second quarter comparable store sales guidance to 2-2.5 percent from 3-5%. The company also lowered its second quarter earnings guidance to the lower end of its previously announced guidance range of $1.13-$1.17 per share.
Guess (GES) announced that its board has authorized a new $500 million stock buyback program. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) announced board authorization of buying back an addition $3 billion worth of shares.
Lennar reported second quarter earnings of $2.06 per share, including a deferred tax asset valuation allowance of $1.85 per share, compared to earnings of 7 cents per share last year. Revenues climbed about 22 percent to $930.16 million. The results exceeded estimates.
H&R Block (HRB) reported fourth quarter income from continuing operations of $2.01 per share on revenues of $2 billion, down 1.7 percent year-over-year. Analysts' estimates, which typically exclude one-time items, called for earnings of $2.05 per share on revenues of $2.01 billion.
Casella Waster (CWST), Herman Miller (MLHR), Paychex (PAYX) and Progress Software (PRGS) are among the companies due to report their quarterly results after the markets close.
The major Asian markets rebounded from a 4-session slid, encouraged by the positive overseas cues and the rumors that China may announce more stimulus measures to reinvigorate domestic growth.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average closed near the day's high at 8,731, up 66.50 points or 0.77 percent. Most stocks, with the exception of some defensive stocks, advanced, as the yen's weakening supported most export-dependent stocks.
Australia's All Ordinaries advanced steadily over the course of the session before closing 27.70 points or 0.68 percent higher at 4,084. Consumer staple stocks led the gains, with financial and healthcare stocks also lending support. On the other hand, material stocks came under selling pressure.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the day up 195.11 points or 1.03 percent at 19,177.
On the economic front, New Zealand reported a trade surplus of 301 million New Zealand dollars for May compared to the surplus of 335 million New Zealand dollars in April. The surplus was more than what economists expected.
The major European markets are higher as well. In corporate news, Standard Chartered said it expects profit before tax for the first-half to grow at a high single digit rate, below its performance in recent years, as the company grapples with the weakening of Asian currencies against the dollar. Meanwhile, the company also confirmed its outlook for the full year.
French statistical agency INSEE said it expects domestic unemployment rate to continue to rise, given the slacker growth. The agency expects the jobless rate to come in at 10.3 percent in the fourth quarter.
After German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly said that there will be no shared total liability in the European Monetary Union as long as she is alive, Merkel and her French counterpart Francois Hollande are set to meet today to discuss the EU summit beginning Thursday, the international situation and future Franco-German exchanges.
Italy raised 9 billion euros from the issue of 6-month Treasury bills, in line with the target, although at yields higher than at a late-May auction. Meanwhile, demand was slightly better than at the earlier auction.
by RTT Staff Writer
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