By RTT News,
August 21, 2014, 06:30:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Wall Street looks set to start Thursday's session higher even as traders digest weak Chinese manufacturing data and mixed private sector activity data from the eurozone. Global cues are mixed, with Asian stocks ending mixed, while the European markets are advancing. Positive financial results from Hewlett-Packard and a deal news in the tech space could provide some buoyancy to the tech space. Traders may also focus on some key economic data on jobless claims, existing home sales and manufacturing activity and news out of Jackson Hole, where economists and financial experts converge for the annual symposium hosted by the Kansas City Federal Reserve.
At 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are rising 37 points, the S&P 500 futures are gaining 4 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are moving up 5.25 points.
U.S. stocks closed mixed on Wednesday amid the release of disappointing corporate tidings and the FOMC minutes that struck a hawkish tone.
On the economic front, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its jobless claims report for the week ended August 16 at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect claims to have declined to 300,000 from 311,000 in the previous week. Markit is due to release the results of its preliminary U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers' survey for August at 9:45 am ET.
The National Association of Realtors will release its existing home sales report for July at 10 am ET. The consensus estimate calls for existing home sales to come in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 million units compared to a 5.04 million rate in June. Around the same time, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the results of its regional manufacturing survey. Economists expect the diffusion business activity index to decline to 20 in August from 23.9 in July.
Also at 10 am ET, the Conference Board is due to release its leading economic indicators index for the U.S. The consensus estimate calls for a 0.6 percent month-over-month increase in the index.
In corporate news, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) reported in line earnings for its third quarter and above consensus revenues. The company's full year earnings guidance was in line with estimates. International Rectifier (IRF) announced a deal to be bought by Infineon Technologies (IFNNY) for $3 billion in cash. The company also announced fourth quarter results that came in ahead of estimates.
Synopsys (SNPS) reported better than expected third quarter results and issued in line guidance for the full year. However, the company's fourth quarter guidance was weak. Semtech's (SMTC) second quarter results were also better than expected and its third quarter adjusted earnings guidance was in line, while its revenue guidance for the quarter was lackluster.
L Brands (LB) also reported better than expected second quarter results and raised its earnings guidance for the full year. CACI International (CAI) reported fourth quarter earnings and revenues that were ahead of expectations. The company's full year guidance was in line.
Aeropostale ( ARO ), Brocade (BRCD), Gamestop (GME), Gap (GPS), Intuit (INTU), Marvell (MRVL), Mentor Graphics (MENT), Nordson (NDSN), Ross Stores (ROST), Salesforce.com ( CRM ), ScanSource (SCSC) and Tuesday Morning (TUES) are among the companies due to release their quarterly results after the close of trading.
The Asian markets closed on a mixed note, as the positive sentiment generated by Wall Street's resilience overnight was offset by weak Chinese manufacturing data. The Japanese, Australian, Indian and New Zealand markets advanced, while the rest of the major markets ended lower.
The Japanese market continued to be the beneficiary of a weaker yen, with the Nikkei 225 average remained solidly higher throughout the session. The index ended up 131.75 points or 0.85 percent at 15,586, advancing for the eighth straight session. Australia's All Ordinaries ended up merely 4.80 points or 0.09 percent at 5,634. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended down 165.66 points or 0.66 percent at 24,994 and China's Shanghai Composite Index closed at 2,231, down 9.75 points or 0.44 percent.
On the economic front, the results of a preliminary survey by HSBC and Markit showed that their index measuring manufacturing activity in China fell 1.4 points to 50.3 in August. Economists had expected a reading of 51.5.
European stocks rebounded following yesterday's retreat, as traders digested domestic private sector activity data.
In corporate news, Air Berlin reversed to a profit in its second quarter and also unveiled restructuring plans. Germany'sGEA Group announced the elimination of 1,000 positions as part of a restructuring exercise and also announced a new group structure. Dutch supermarket chain Ahold reported a decline in its sales and profits for its second quarter. Meanwhile, copper miner Kazakhmys reversed to a profit in its first half.
On the economic front, private sector activity in the eurozone slowed more than expected in August, with the composite purchasing managers' index slipping to 52.8 from 53.8 in July. The index was expected to drop to 53.4. The manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to a 13-month low of 50.8 and the service sector purchasing managers' index eased 0.7 points to 53.5.
Meanwhile, U.K. Office for National Statistics reported that U.K. retail sales rose a less than expected 0.1 percent month-over-month and 2.6 percent year-over-year.
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