Wall Street On Track For Positive Start Amid Positive Global Manufacturing Data

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - Early indications suggest that Wall Street stocks may see some strength despite the surrounding economic and geopolitical uncertainties. Manufacturing activity data from China and private sector activity data from the eurozone came in better than expected, allaying concerns that the global economy is slipping into a period of sub-par growth. The domestic markets may also focus on some key earnings reports and economic data on jobless claims and new home sales.

At 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are rising 25 points, the S&P 500 futures are adding 2 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are moving up 10 points.

U.S. stocks reacted to a batch of mixed earnings reports on Wednesday before closing mixed.

On the economic front, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its jobless claims report for the week ended July 19 at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect claims to rise to 310,000 from 302,000 in the previous week.

Markit is due to release the results of its preliminary manufacturing survey for the U.S. at 9:45 am ET. The consensus estimate calls for a modest uptick in the index to 57.6 in July from 57.5 in June.

The Commerce Department is set to release its new home sales report for June at 10 am ET. Economists expect new home sales to come in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 475,000 units compared to 504,000 units in May.

The Kansas City Federal Reserve is due to release the results of its regional manufacturing survey at 11 am ET. Economists expect the manufacturing index to remain unchanged at 6 in July. The Treasury is set to make announcements concerning the Treasury auction of 2-year, 5-year and 7-year notes at 11 am ET.

In corporate news, Qualcomm's (QCOM) third quarter adjusted earnings and revenues beat estimates. The company's fourth quarter earnings guidance was weak. Facebook ( FB ) a strong increase in its second quarter earnings and revenues on strong mobile ad growth.

CA Technologies (CA) reported first quarter earnings that were ahead of estimates, while its revenues were shy of estimates. The company lowered its 2015 guidance. F5 Networks ( FFIV ) reported third quarter earnings and revenues that exceeded estimates. The company also issued positive guidance for the fourth quarter.

AT&T's (T) second quarter results were below estimates. The company maintained its 2014 revenue growth guidance in the 5 percent range and adjusted earnings growth at the low end of the mid-single digit range.

Altera ( ALTR ), Amazon ( AMZN ), Baidu.com (BIDU), BJ Restaurants (BJRI), Flextronics ( FLEX ), Ingram Micro (IM), KLA-Tencor (KLAC), Maxim Integrated (MXIM), NETGEAR (NTGR), NetSuite (N), Pandora Media (P), Qlogic (QLGC), RF Micro Devices (RFMD), Riverbed Technology (RVBD), Starbucks (SBUX), Swift Transportation (SWFT), Verisign (VRSN) and Visa (V) are among the companies due to release their quarterly results after the close of trading.

The Asian markets closed mixed, with the Japanese and South Korean markets declining, while most other major markets in the region advanced. Even as geopolitical worries remained, traders took heart from a Chinese manufacturing reading that came in above estimates.

The Nikkei 225 average ended down 44.14 points or 0.29 percent at 15,284. Export stocks continued to trade mixed. Australia's All Ordinaries hovered mostly above the unchanged line before ending 9.80 points or 0.18 percent higher at 5,577. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 169.63 points or 0.71 percent before closing at 24,142 and China's Shanghai Composite closed at 2,105 following a 26.57 point or 1.28 percent rally.

On the economic front, the results of a survey by Markit and HSBC showed that manufacturing activity in China picked up pace in July. The manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to 52 in July from 50.7 in June, ahead of the reading of 51 expected by economists.

Among other economic events from the region, South Korea reported a bigger than expected year-over-year GDP growth of 3.6 percent for the second quarter. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised the official cash rate to 0.25 percentage points to 3.5 percent, although it suggested that more rate hikes might not be in the offing in the near term.

European stocks have moved mostly higher after a lackluster start amid profit taking following two sessions of advances. Traders digested some domestic corporate earnings and focused on the developments in the standoff between Russia and the rest of the world over Ukraine.

In corporate news, Swiss drug maker Roche reported a decline in its first half earnings, dragged by currency impact. BASF reported slightly soft second quarter results but maintained its outlook for the year. Unilever reported a slowdown in its sales and earnings growth, while it also cautioned of a slowdown in the emerging markets. Nokia's (NOK) second quarter earnings were better than expected.

On the economic front, the results of Markit's private sector activity survey showed that a pick-up in the pace of expansion by the sector. The composite purchasing managers' index for the eurozone rose to 54 in July from 52.8 in June, while economists expected a reading of 52.8. The service sector PMI was also better than expected at 54.4, while the manufacturing PMI edged up to 51.9. A report released by the U.K. Office for National Statistics showed that retail sales in the U.K. rose 0.1 percent month-over-month in June compared to the 0.3 percent increase expected by economists. Annually, retail sales were up 3.6 percent.

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Referenced Stocks: ALTR , AMZN , FB , FFIV , FLEX

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