Wall Street's Worries Return With Force

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - With the FOMC decision of yesterday not giving a decisive clue to the markets, the mood on Wall Street has turned sour. The major U.S. index futures point to a lower opening on Thursday after Asian stocks closed mixed, and as the European markets have turned jittery. The risks posed by sanctions on Russian have come to haunt to companies, with markets and operations in the nation. The domestic markets may also keep an eye on the domestic earnings flow and economic data on jobless claims and the manufacturing sector.

At 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are slipping 101 points, the S&P 500 futures are receding 13.50 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are moving down 27.25 points.

U.S. stocks ended Wednesday's session mixed amid the release of strong second quarter GDP data and the FOMC decision.

On the economic front, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its jobless claims report for the week ended July 26th at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect claims to have risen to 305,000 from 284,000 in the previous week. Also at 8:30, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its employment cost index for the second quarter. The consensus estimate calls for a 0.5 percent sequential increase in the employment cost index for the quarter, quicker than the 0.3 percent increase in the first quarter.

MNI Indicators is due to release the results of its manufacturing survey for the Chicago region at 9:45 am ET. Economists expect the business barometer to rise to 63.2 in July

In corporate news, among insurers, MetLife's (MET) second quarter operating earnings trailed estimates, while its revenues were ahead of estimates. Hartford (HIG) reported below consensus earnings and revenues for its second quarter, while Unum (UNM) reported better than expected second quarter results.

In the tech space, Western Digital (WDC) reported fourth quarter earnings and revenues that beat estimates. Akamai Technologies' ( AKAM ) second quarter results were ahead of expectations. RealNetworks (RNWK) appointed its founder Rob Glaser as its permanent CEO after he was serving the company in the position on an interim basis. The company reported a wider loss and lower revenues for its second quarter.

Fidelity National Financial (FNF) reported second quarter earnings that were ahead of estimates. Weight Watchers' (WTW) second quarter results exceeded estimates and the company raised its 2014 earnings guidance. Williams Companies reported second quarter earnings that were better than expected. Tw Telecom (TWTC) reported second quarter earnings that were in line and its revenues exceeded estimates.

Manitowoc (MTW) reported second quarter earnings and revenues that trailed estimates. Barrick Gold's ( ABX ) second quarter results also trailed estimates. Meanwhile, Noble Corp.'s (NE) second quarter results exceeded estimates.

AmSurg ( AMSG ), Boyd Gaming (BYD), Edison (EIX), Expedia (EXPE), Fluor (FLR), Liberty Global (LBTYA), LinkedIn (LNKD), PMC-Sierra (PMCS), Western Union (WU) and YRC Worldwide (YRCW) are among the companies due to release their quarterly results after the close of trading.

The Asian markets closed on a mixed note, with the mixed close on Wall Street not inspiring much confidence in the minds of domestic traders. The Japanese, South Korean, Indian and Taiwanese markets ended lower, while the most of the remaining major markets in the region ended higher.

Japan's Nikkei 225 average ended down 25.46 points or 0.16 percent at 15,621. Meanwhile, Australia's All Ordinaries held mostly above the unchanged line before closing up 8 points or 0.14 percent higher at 5,623. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended at 24,757, up 24.64 points or 0.10 percent, and China's Shanghai Composite Index rallied 20.32 points or 0.93 percent before closing at 2,202.

On the economic front, data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that building approvals in Australia fell unexpectedly in June compared to the previous month. Japan'sMinistry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism reported that housing starts in Japan fell less than expected year-over-year in June. Meanwhile, total labor cash earnings in Japan increased at a less than expected rate in June, a report from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare showed.

European stocks opened higher but have since then given back their gains and are currently trading lower amid the release of mixed corporate news.

In corporate news, BNP Paribas reported a huge loss for its second quarter, hurt by charges. Sanofi raised its guidance after reporting strong quarterly results. Alcatel-Lucent reported a narrower loss for its second quarter. Siemens' (SI) third quarter results were ahead of estimates, although it sees risks from geopolitical crises. Shell's (RDS) earnings rose strongly in the second quarter. AstraZeneca (AZN) also reported strong second quarter results. Brewer Diageo's earnings were hit by weakness in the emerging markets. Adidas issued a warning, citing Russia and weakness in Golf.

On the economic front, the Nationwide reported that U.K. house price growth slowed in July. A consumer confidence reading for the U.K. released by GfK showed that confidence among U.K. consumers declined in July, with the index slipping to -2 from 1 in June.

The German Federal Labor Agency reported that the unemployment rate in Germany came in at 6.7 percent in July, in line with estimates. Meanwhile, the results of the Labor force survey from the German Federal Statistical Office showed that there were 2.12 million unemployed in June, down 166,000 or 7.4 percent from last year. The unemployment rate held steady at an adjusted 5.1 percent in June.

French producer prices rose unexpectedly by 0.5 percent in June from a year ago, in contrast to a 0.2 percent fall registered in the previous month, figures from the statistical office Insee showed.

Data from Eurostat showed that inflation in the euro area slowed to 0.4 percent in July, its lowest level in four-and-a-half years, from 0.5 percent in June, largely due to a fall in energy prices. The Eurozone jobless rate, meanwhile, fell unexpectedly to 11.5 percent in June from 11.6 percent in May.

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