U.S stock index futures signal a mixed open on Wall Street Friday following recent gains driven by somewhat encouraging economic data and the positive news flow from Europe.
As of 6:30 am ET, the Dow futures are down 2 points and the S&P 500 futures are slipping 0.90 points, while the Nasdaq 100 futures are moving up 4.75 points.
U.S. stocks advanced solidly on Thursday after showing trepidation in recent sessions over the likelihood of stimulus support from central banks and governments. The optimism stemmed from comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the European Central Bank's approach to defend the euro is in line with the ideology of the politicians in the region.
On the economic front, the preliminary report on consumer sentiment survey for August by Reuters and the University of Michigan is scheduled to be released at 9.55 am ET. The consumer sentiment index is expected to have edged down to 72 from 72.3 in the previous month.
The Conference Board is scheduled to release a report on the U.S. leading economic indicators index for July at 10 am ET. The consensus estimate calls for a 0.2 percent increase in the index following a 0.3 percent drop in June.
In corporate news, Gardner Denver (GDI) announced a restructuring initiative, which is expected to generate annualized pre-tax cost savings of $35-$40 million by 2016.
Brocade (BRCD) announced that its CEO Michael Klayko intends to resign once a successor is identified by the board. Separately, Brocade (BRCD) reported third quarter non-GAAP earnings of 14 cents per share and revenues of $555.3 million. The results exceeded estimates.
Aeropostale (ARO) reported a second quarter adjusted loss of 2 cents per share on net sales of $485.3 million, up 4 percent. For the third quarter, the company expects earnings of 25-30 cents per share. The results trailed estimates, while the guidance was also weak.
Gap (GPS) said its second quarter earnings rose to 49 cents per share from 35 cents per share last year, while revenues rose 6 percent to $3.58 billion. The company raised its 2012 earnings guidance to $1.95 to $2 per share. The results were ahead of estimates, while the guidance trailed estimate despite the upward revision.
DryShips (DRYS) reported a loss for its second quarter, which was in line with estimates, while its revenues missed estimates. Marvel Technology's (MRVL) second quarter results were below estimates.
The major Asian markets ended mostly higher, tracking the positive close on Wall Street overnight. Some earnings disappointment weighed on the Shanghai Composite Index, which fluctuated between gains and losses before ending marginally higher. The positive vibes generated by Merkel's solidarity with the European Central Bank and positive U.S. building permits data also added to the optimism among traders in the region.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average closed up 69.74 points or 0.77 percent at 9,163. Most stocks, barring defensive utility and pharma stocks, moved to the upside.
Australia's All Ordinaries closed 40.30 points or 0.93 percent higher at 4,394. Energy and consumer staple stocks were among the biggest gainers, while material stocks also rallied. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended at 20,116, up 153 points or 0.77 percent.
The major European averages opened higher and are holding above the unchanged line ahead of the release of the U.S. consumer sentiment reading.
In corporate news, Heineken is reportedly in discussions with Fraser & Neave for buying the rest of the stake it already does not own in Asia Pacific Breweries, with a sweetened $55 per share bid. Swiss Life reported a decline in its profits for its first-half.
by RTT Staff Writer
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