Defiant Wall Street continues to put a brave face even in the wake of economic adversities, as indicated by the index futures, which point to a higher open. Earlier in the global trading day, sentiment was pepped up by dovish minutes released by the Bank of Japan for its July meeting and positive GDP numbers from Germany and France. The market mood could largely hinge on the U.S. retail sales report for July and earnings due to be released by retailers, including Home Depot (HD).
As of 6:30 am ET, the Dow futures are adding 27 points, the S&P 500 futures are rising 3 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are moving up 4.75 points.
U.S. stocks extended its lackluster run on Monday due to very little catalysts to provide direction for the markets.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department is set to release its retail sales report for July at 8:30 am ET. For July, economists estimate a 0.3 percent increase in retail sales and a 0.4 percent increase in retail sales that exclude autos. In June, retail sales fell by 0.5 percent.
The U.S. Labor Department is scheduled to release its report on the producer price index for July around the same time. Economists expect the headline index and the core producer price index for July to have risen by 0.2 percent each. The headline index had risen by 0.1 percent in June.
The Commerce Department is scheduled to release its business inventories report for June at 10 am ET. The report is expected to show a 0.2 percent increase in business inventories for the month.
In corporate news, Teleflex (TFX) announced a deal to acquire substantially all assets of LMA International for 343.5 million Singapore dollars in cash or $276 million. LMA had revenues of $123.9 million in fiscal year ended December 31st, 2011.
Pfizer (PFE) said it has entered into an agreement with AstraZeneca (AZN) to buy the over-the-counter rights for NEXIUM, a prescription drug approved to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, for $250 million.
Coinstar (CSTR) announced that its president and COO Gregg Kaplan will leave the company to pursue other opportunities. Monster Beverage (MNST) said its board has increased its stock buyback authorization by $250 million.
Groupon (GRPN) reported second quarter adjusted earnings of 8 cents per share, ahead of the 3 cents per share consensus estimate. However, revenues were below estimates. The company's third quarter revenue guidance surrounded the consensus estimate.
Bob Evans (BOBE), Jack Henry (JKHY), JDS Uniphase (JDSU), Myriad Genetics (MYGN) and Photronics (PLAB) are among the companies due to report their quarterly results after the markets close.
The major Asian markets closed higher following the declines of the previous two sessions, although the sentiment was cautious amid the economic uncertainties. The minutes of the Bank of Japan's July meeting engendered optimism and strengthened stimulus hopes. Positive GDP data from some major European nations gave a late-session boost.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average hovered in positive throughout the session, although finishing off the highs at 8,930, up 44.73 points or 0.50 percent. Australia's All Ordinaries closed up 7.90 points or 0.18 percent at 4,317. Healthcare stocks rallied strongly, while the financial space witnessed some weakness. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed at 20.292, up 210.32 points or 1.05 percent.
On the economic front, the minutes of the Bank of Japan's July meeting, when the central bank tweaked around with its asset purchase program, showed that members were wary of the developments overseas and were of the view that no option should be ruled out in advance.
The European markets are also advancing, as traders digest GDP data from some of the nations in the region and a slew of mixed earnings.
In corporate news, German utility RWE reported recurrent net income of 1.67 billion euros for the 6 month-period, with the metric coming in below estimates of most analysts. The company also announced plans to eliminate 2,400 positions. Travel operator, TUI reported higher underlying EBITA for its third quarter. German drug maker Merck KgaA reported better than expected second quarter sales and profits.
Denmark's container shipping company AP Moller-Maersk reported a 2 percent drop in second quarter profits, yet said it expects 2012 performance to be better than last year.
Among economic data, Eurostat reported a 0.2 percent contraction for the euro area, contrasting expectations for 0.2 percent growth. Meanwhile, boosted by consumer spending and net exports, Germany's economy grew a better than expected 0.3 percent sequentially in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the French economy stagnated compared to expectations for a 0.1 percent contraction.
A separate report released by Eurostat showed a 0.6 percent drop in industrial output for June. A survey by Zew Institute showed that its index measuring German economic sentiment declined to -25.5 in August from -19.6 in July.
U.K.'s annual inflation rose 2.6 percent in July, according to estimates released by the Office for National Statistics. Economists expected inflation to ease to 2.3 percent from 2.4 percent in June.
by RTT Staff Writer
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