US stock futures were slightly lower today as investors await
speeches from Fed members and Angela Merkel works to build a new
coalition government in Germany.
Merkel's Christian Democratic Union handily won this weekend's
election with the largest share of the vote since 1990. One
coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democrats were wiped out
since they failed to garner 5% of the vote. This might force Merkel
to forge an alliance with a more left-leaning party such as the
Social Democrats or Greens to form a government. At midday in
(INDEXDB:DAX) index was down 0.23%.
Other European markets also declined slightly amidst flash
composite PMI readings. In the eurozone, the preliminary reading of
the September index rose to a 27-month high of 52.1 from 51.7 in
August, beating expectations, mostly thanks to improved services
conditions. (Readings over 50 signal expansion in the service and
manufacturing sectors.) Manufacturing unexpectedly showed a slower
rate of expansion. German composite PMI fell to 51.3 from 51.8 and
France fell to 49.5 from 49.7.
Chinese shares rose today as manufacturing activity reached a
six-month high. HSBC's flash PMI climbed to 51.2 from 50.1, thanks
to both domestic and export demand.
Still to come later this morning is Markit's US flash manufacturing
PMI, which is expected to improve to 54 from August's 53.1.
Before the opening bell,
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were off 0.13% at 15,383 while futures
contracts on the
(INDEXSP:.INX) sank 0.18% to 1,699.30.
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures fell 0.10% to 3,213.25.
Gold prices fell 0.77% to $1,322.50/ounce as the dollar
strengthened and both
) warned that gold's gains after last week's Fed announcement will
not last long.
Three Federal Reserve presidents -- Atlanta's Dennis Lockhart (who
is not currently a voting FOMC member), New York's William Dudley,
and Dallas' Richard Fisher-- will deliver speeches today that might
clarify the central bank's thinking on the decision not to cut back
on quantitative easing this month.
) shares were down 2.3% after the
reported that the bank's trading revenues fell sharply, which could
seriously hurt overall earnings. Citigroup has a high exposure to
emerging markets, which have fared poorly since the May
announcement that the Fed will cut back on asset purchases.
) sank 6.5% this morning, following a 17% drop on Friday after the
Canadian smartphone maker warned that revenue for the second fiscal
quarter will be far below expectations. Jeffries Group also lowered
its recommendation on the shares to hold from buy, and nearly
halved its 12-month price target to $8 per share from $15.
Meanwhile, co-founder Mike Lazaridis is reportedly working with
private equity firms to put in a bid for his old company. Lazaridis
was co-CEO with Jim Balsillie until last year and remains one of
BlackBerry's biggest shareholders.
) advanced 0.83% after the conglomerate secured three contracts
with Sonelgaz, Algeria's state-owned utility company, to make 26
gas turbines for six power plants. The deal is reportedly worth
Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville
Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.