Plus   Neg

Wall Street Poised For Lackluster Opening


U.S. stock futures point to a lackluster opening Wednesday morning as traders await a slew of economic data and earnings for further direction as doubts whether the $1 trillion package will be sufficient for solving problems across Europe eased further.

As of 6.15 a.m ET, the Dow futures were up 6.00 points, the S&P 500 futures were up by 0.70 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures were up by 0.50 points.

On economic front, the trade gap data for March will be released at 8.30. a.m. ET. Economists expect that the trade gap, which measures the difference between imports and exports of both tangible goods and services, widened to $40 billion during the month, after having widened to $39.7 billion in the previous month.

At 10.30 a.m. ET, the customary weekly oil inventory report will be released by the Energy Industry Administration, which will provide direction for the crude oil prices in the oil market.

The Treasury Department will release the Treasury Budget for April at 2.00 p.m. ET. Economists project a deficit of $20 billion in Treasury Budget for April.

Before the markets open for trading, Cache (CACH), Helen of Troy (HELE), Kelly Services (KELYA), Macy's (M) and Stealthgas (GASS) are among the major companies that would be reporting quarterly earnings.

Cisco Systems (CSCO), CPI International (CPII), Enersys (ENS), Jack in the Box (JACK), Spartan Stores (SPTN), Stanley Furniture (STLY), and Whole Foods (WFMI) are among the major companies that report results after the market close.

Earlier in the day, Deutsche Telekom AG (DT) reported a profit for the first quarter compared to a loss last year, as growth in emerging economies continued during the quarter. Meanwhile, the group's U.S. wireless operation, T-Mobile USA, reported an increase in net income for the first quarter, but witnessed a drop in customer numbers due to intense competitive environment and an industry-wide downturn. For the first quarter, Deutsche Telekom reported net profit of 767 million euros or 0.18 euros per share, compared to a loss of 1.12 billion euros or 0.26 euros per share in the previous year.

Dutch financial services company ING Groep NV (ING) reported a profit for the first quarter compared to a loss last year, as market conditions improved and volume growth remained healthy in both Banking and Insurance operations. The company recorded lower loan loss provisions in the just concluded quarter and the results were helped by a hefty gain. However, the bancassurer issued a cautious outlook.

Traders will also react to the earnings/announcements made after the markets closed for trading in the previous session.

Diversified media and entertainment company Walt Disney Co. (DIS) said that its second quarter profit rose 55% from last year, helped by the box office success of "Alice in Wonderland" as well as fewer restructuring and impairment charges. The company's quarterly earnings per share also came in above analysts' expectations as did its quarterly revenue. The company reported net income for the second quarter of $953 million or $0.48 per share, compared to $613 million or $0.33 per share for the year-ago quarter.

Video-game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS) reported profit for the fourth quarter over a net loss last year, helped by strong sales of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Mass Effect 2, Dante's Inferno, as well as its digital businesses. Quarterly adjusted earnings came in well ahead of analysts' expectations, as did revenues. Looking ahead, the company reaffirmed its forecast for the first quarter, and non-GAAP estimates for fiscal year 2011.

Oil Light sweet crude oil for June delivery is presently quoted at $75.98 a barrel, down $0.39 a barrel from its previous close of $76.37 a barrel in New York on Tuesday.

Dollar The U.S. dollar is presently gaining against the yen and the pound, but showing choppy trading against the euro.

World Markets Mixed trading was witnessed across the markets in Asia as concerns about the debt crisis in Euro region has eased off considerably. Positive clues from Wall Street, where the major indices ended in negative territory but well off the lows following late recovery, also lifted market sentiment. While the markets in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India and Indonesia managed to end in positive territory with marginal gains, the markets in Japan, South Korea and and Taiwan ended in negative territory with minor losses. The markets across Europe are presently trading in positive territory but well off their highs, led by banks.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Follow RTT