Stock futures are lower this morning, kicking off a major week
of economic data and a Federal Reserve meeting.
Before the opening bell, major US indices pointed to a lower open.
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were down 0.19% to 15,469 while futures
contracts on the
(INDEXSP:.INX) sank 0.24% to 1,682.60 and
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures fell 0.20% to 3,064.25.
After trading hours start, some data on US housing and
manufacturing will be released. Pending home sales, a leading
indicator that counts home sales where the contract is signed but
not finalized, is expected to point to a slowdown in June. The
index is likely to have declined by 1.4% after rising 6.7% in May.
The Dallas Fed's Texas manufacturing survey is forecast to slow by
0.1 point to 6.4.
(INDEXNIKKEI:.NI225) fell 3.32% as the yen strengthened to 97.86 to
the dollar and reports suggest that a proposed sales tax will be
delayed. European stocks are also in the red despite some
encouraging data. Italy's manufacturing and mining survey rose for
a third straight month in July to 91.7, the highest level since
November 2011. The UK's retail sales survey jumped 16 points to 17
this month. CBI Distributive Trades said that the heat wave spurred
sales of summer clothes.
Later this week, the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and
Bank of England all meet for interest rate and monetary policy
discussions. On Wednesday, US GDP will be recalculated to come into
line with international standards including research &
development and pension income as a part of the economy. This might
result in as much as a 3% upward revision. Several other key data
points will be released as well, topping off the week with the
all-important Employment Situation. The BLS is expected to report
that the US added 185,000 jobs in July.
In company news, two deals caused stocks to move this morning.
) agreed to merge with France's
(EPA:PUB) to form the world's largest advertising firm. The
resulting company will have a market cap of $35 billion.The
Wall Street Journal
that the merged company could hold more clout to compete with
Web-based advertisers such as
). Omnicon's shares are up 3.8% in pre-market trading.
Shares of Irish pharmaceutical company
) rose 7.17% after agreeing to be bought by US rival
) for $8.6 billion.
) announced plans to add 5,000 workers for its fulfillment centers
and 2,000 customer service workers