By RTT News,
December 12, 2013, 06:35:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Wall Street looks set for another lackluster start, with the major U.S. index futures pointing to a lower open. After a lack of any major cues failed to provide markets a direction, a few key economic data are due in the session. The weekly jobless claims and retail sales data have the potential to sway the markets in one particular direction depending on how they pan out. Earlier in the global trading day, Asian stocks closed lower, while the European markets are also seeing weakness.
At 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are receding 16 points, the S&P 500 futures are down 2 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are declining 1.75 points.
U.S. stocks were non-responsive to the budget deal and instead chose to focus on monetary policy uncertainties on Wednesday.
On the economic front, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its jobless claims report for the week ended November 7th at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect jobless claims to decline to 298,000 from 325,000 in the previous week. The Labor Department will also release its report on export and import prices at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect a 0.3 percent month-over-month drop in export prices, while import prices may have declined a steeper 0.8 percent.
Also at 8:30, the Commerce Department is due to release its retail sales report for November. The consensus estimates call for retail sales growth of 0.6 percent month-over-month. Excluding autos, retail sales growth is estimated at 0.3 percent. The Commerce Department will also release its business inventories report for October at 10 am ET. Economists expect a 0.3 percent month-over-month increase in business inventories for the month.
The Treasury is set to make announcements concerning the auctions of 2-year, 5-year and 7-year notes at 11 am ET. At 1 pm ET, the Treasury is due to announce the results of its auction of 30-year bonds.
In corporate news, Men's Wearhouse ( MW ) reported third quarter results that exceeded estimates and its guidance was in line. Coldwater Creek ( CWTR ) reported a third quarter adjusted loss of 79 cents per share on net sales of $120.74 million, down from $147.25 million last year.
Oxford Industries (OXM) reported third quarter results that missed expectations, while its full year guidance was in line.
Nordson (NDSN) reported fourth quarter earnings that trailed expectations, while its sales were ahead of estimates. The company's fourth quarter earnings guidance was also weak. Standard & Poor's announced that Facebook ( FB ) will replace Williams Companies (WMB) in the S&P 100, and Teradyne (TER) in the S&P 500 after the close of trading on December 20.
Hilton Worldwide announced the pricing of the initial public offering of 117.64 million shares of its common stock at $20 per share. The company's shares are expected to begin trading on the NYSE on December 12th under the ticker symbol HLT.
Adobe Systems ( ADBE ), Quiksilver (ZQK) and Restoration Hardware (RH) are among the companies due to release their quarterly results after the close of trading.
The Asian markets retreated yet again, as the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. monetary policy remained unresolved. However, the New Zealand market bucked the downtrend with a modest gain.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average ended up 173.24 points or 1.12 percent at 15,342. A majority of stocks declined in the session, led by Nitto Denko, which slumped close to 20 percent. Sumitomo Chemical, Konica Minolta, Kuraray and Yahoo Japan also fell sharply. Australia's All Ordinaries closed 40.30 points or 0.79 percent lower at 5,069. Material stocks fell the most, while financial and healthcare stocks also retreated sharply. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed at 23,218, down 120.12 points or 0.51 percent, and China's Shanghai Composite Index ended 1.37 points or 0.06 percent lower at 2,203.
On the economic front, a report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that the unemployment rate in Australia edged up to 5.8 percent in November from 5.7 percent in October. The rate came in line with expectations. The Australian economy added more jobs than had been expected, while the participation rate remained unchanged.
The results of a survey by the Melbourne Institute showed that inflation expectations rose to 2.1 percent in December from 1.9 percent in November, falling with the Reserve Bank of Australia's target range of 2-3 percent.
European stocks opened lower and are continuing to see weakness ahead of some key U.S. economic data.
In corporate news, German department store Metro reported adjusted EBIT for 728 million euros fir the shortened business year and also said it sees slight absolute sales growth for its new financial year ending September 30th, 2014.
On the economic front, annual consumer price inflation measured in harmonized terms was at 0.8 percent in November, in line with expectations. On a monthly basis, the harmonized index of consumer prices were up 0.1 percent, compared to expectations for an unchanged reading.
Industrial production in the euro area decreased at a notably faster pace in October, defying expectations for a modest increase, statistical office Eurostat said. Industrial output fell a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent month-over-month in October, after dropping an upwardly revised 0.2 percent in the previous month. Economists had forecast production to grow 0.3 percent.
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