Wall Street's resilience hasn't deserted it, as reflected by the U.S. index futures, which point to a marginally higher open on Monday. The modicum of optimism reflects the positive sentiment generated by reports that suggested that the European Central Bank is close to buying bonds, which sent Spanish bond yields lower. Domestic corporate tidings are mixed, with some deal news likely to give a lift even as home improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW) reporting weak results. Given the lack of any major economic catalysts, trading could tow in line with recent trend.
As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are up 2 points, the S&P 500 futures are adding 1.60 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are moving up 2.75 points.
U.S. stocks advanced yet again in the week ended August 17th, with the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 Index higher for the sixth straight week, as late-week optimism generated over the euro zone debt crisis, some positive earnings and mixed economic data kept traders invested in stocks.
After a week, which saw mostly positive economic data, traders head into another week, which has a few key economic data that could unravel further the strength of the domestic economic recovery. The unfolding week's economic calendar has a trio of housing reports on new home sales, existing home sales and house prices, which have the potential to move the markets.
Traders may also focus on the weekly jobless claims report the Commerce Department's durable goods orders report for July and the minutes of the latest FOMC minutes. Some Fed speeches and announcements concerning the Treasury auction of 2-year, 5-year and 7-year notes round up the economic events of the week.
In corporate news CME Group (CME) announced that it is in the process of applying to the U.K.'s FSA to create a London-based derivates exchange. The company expects CME Europe to initially begin trading foreign exchange futures products and commence operation by mid-2013, pending regulatory approval.
Best Buy (BBY) announced that its board offered an opportunity to founder Richard Shulze to conduct due diligence and pursue his expressed interest in acquiring outstanding shares in the company. The company also stated that Schulze, has however, declined to participate. Reports also suggest the company has appointed Hubert Joly as CEO
Mentor Graphics (MENT) said it has filed another patent infringement suit against EVE in a U.S. district court, alleging that EVE products violated Mentor's patent rights entitled "Regionally Time Multiplexed System."
Lowe's reported second quarter results that trailed expectations, while its full year earnings guidance was also below estimates.
Aetna (AET) agreed to buy Coventry Health Care (CVH) for $7.3 billion, including the assumption of Coventry debt.
The major Asian markets closed on a mixed note, with the Australian, Chinese, Hong Kong, South Korean and Taiwanese markets closing lower, while the New Zealand, Japanese, Indonesian and Indian market firmed up. The Malaysian and Singaporean markets were closed for a holiday. The lackluster sentiment reflected continued uncertainty surrounding the economic horizon.
Australia's All Ordinaries languished below the unchanged line for the better part of the session before closing down 1.90 points or 0.04 percent at 4,392. Financial, material, telecom and consumer discretionary stocks were among the worst decliners.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed at 20,104, down 11.80 points or 0.06 percent.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei 225 average opened higher and moved sideways until late afternoon. After squandering all its gains, the index rose yet again, but closed off its highs at 9,171, up 8.66 points or 0.09 percent.
Most export stocks advanced, while financial, real estate, auto and utility stocks moved to the downside. Yokogawa Electric and Toho Zinc led the gainers, with advances of over 3 percent each. Pioneer, Ube Industries, Unitika and Hokuetsu Paper all gainer over 2 percent.
European stocks are currently mixed, with the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index rising, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is trading flat with a negative bias. The mood is cautious as reports suggested that Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker, who also heads the Eurogroup, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande this week to seek an extension for the nation's reforms.
Meanwhile, Germany's Spiegel magazine reported Sunday that the European Central Bank is considering setting limits on yields of Eurozone sovereign bonds. The central bank will intervene and buy the bonds if their interest rates exceed a pre-determined threshold above German bonds. The report also suggested that the European Central Bank will take a decision on the proposal at its governing council meeting in September.
A Eurostat report showed that the euro area's construction output fell 0.5 percent month-over-month in June compared to a 0.2 percent drop in May. Annually, output was down 2.8 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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