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U.S. Stock Futures Gain Ground Ahead of Retail Sales, Inflation Data

Date : 11/14/2012 @ 7:10PM
Source : Dow Jones News

U.S. Stock Futures Gain Ground Ahead of Retail Sales, Inflation Data

--Stock futures nudge higher ahead of retail sales, inflation data

--Europe declines on back of weak euro zone, U.K. data

--Cisco Systems shares rally after 1Q results top expectations; Facebook slips as lockups expire

--October retail sales seen slipping 0.2%; PPI expected to rise 0.2%

 
   By Tomi Kilgore 
 

NEW YORK--U.S. stock futures edged higher, bouncing from multimonth lows hit in the previous session, with better-than-expected results from Cisco Systems helping give sentiment a lift ahead of retail sales and wholesale inflation data.

About 90 minutes ahead of the open, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 31 points, or 0.2%, to 12748. The Dow fell 59 points, or 0.5%, to close Tuesday at the lowest level since July 25.

Standard & Poor's 500-stock index futures tacked on four points, or 0.3%, to 1375 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 11 points, or 0.4%, to 2571. Changes in stock futures don't always accurately predict stock moves after the opening bell.

Data on retail sales for October is due out at 8:30 a.m. EST. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires is for a monthly decline of 0.2%, and a rise of 0.2% when excluding autos. Also at 8:30 a.m., the producer price index for October is seen rising 0.2% on the month, or increasing 0.1% when excluding the food and energy components.

Business inventories in September, due out at 10 a.m., are expected to rise 0.6%.

In corporate news, shares of Dow component Cisco Systems rallied 7.3% in premarket trading after the network-equipment maker reported fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded analyst expectations, boosted by strength in its services business.

Facebook fell 1.1% as lockup expirations make about 804 million shares available for trade, which nearly doubles the amount of the public float.

European markets declined, with the Stoxx Europe 600 down 0.5%, on the back of downbeat economic data out of the euro zone and the U.K.

Euro-zone industrial production for September fell 2.5%, the largest monthly decline since January 2009. Among the euro-zone countries, gross domestic product in Portugal fell 0.8% in the third quarter, the eighth-straight quarter of contraction, and Greece's third-quarter GDP fell 7.2% after contracting 6.3% in the second quarter.

The Bank of England said inflation rose an annual 2.7% in October, up from 2.2% in September, and well above the target rate of 2%. BOE Governor Mervyn King said the higher inflation prompted the central bank to freeze its bond-buying stimulus program in November. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 slipped 0.6%.

On the bright side, Italy auctioned off the maximum targeted amount of government bonds, with yields coming in lower than at previous auctions.

Asian markets nudged higher, bouncing from a recent string of losses, with the conclusion of China's 18th Party Congress helping remove some uncertainty. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average inched up less than 0.1%, but snapped a seven-session losing streak, and China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.4%.

China's Central Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday to endorse a new Politburo Standing Committee, and is widely expected to announce that Vice President Xi Jinping will succeed President Hu Jintao as party chief.

Front-month crude oil futures ticked up 0.2% to $85.51 a barrel, while gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,722 an ounce. The dollar lost ground against the euro but rallied against the yen.

In other corporate news, Abercrombie & Fitch shot up 29% after the teen apparel retailer reported fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue that were above analyst forecasts, helped by strong international and direct-to-consumer sales growth, and provided a full-year earnings outlook that was well above current projections.

Zynga gained 1.4% after the social games maker said its chief financial officer, David Wehner, was leaving the company to pursue a senior finance position at Facebook. The company named also affirmed its 2012 financial outlook.

Mosaic slumped 6.1% after the fertilizer company lowered its current quarter volume and price outlook, citing a decline in international crop nutrient market demand.

Staples climbed 5.3% after the office supply retailer topped fiscal third-quarter earnings estimates, and said it expected full-year earnings to rise above year-ago levels compared with current forecasts for a slight decline.

Iamgold shed 8.1% after the gold and mineral miner's third-quarter earnings and revenue missed forecasts, amid lower gold sales, and lowered its capital expenditure outlook for 2013 as a result of delayed approval of a sulphide project.

Write to Tomi Kilgore at tomi.kilgore@dowjones.com



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