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Futures Defensive After IMF Rebuff Greek Loan Extension; Econ Data Misses Expectations

Stock futures continued to trade with steep losses in sympathy with their European counterparts after the International Monetary Fund rejected Greece's request for it to extend the deadline for its May loan payment. And this morning's early round of economic data did little to ease the blow from overseas as both initial jobless claims and March housing starts both missed estimates. So despite positive earnings from Goldman Sachs ( GS ), Netflix ( NFLX ) and Blackrock ( BX ), Dow futures were nearly 60 points below fair value

Besides events overseas, U.S. equities were also weighed down ahead of today's heavy schedule of speaking engagements for Federal Reserve officials: Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart (dove, voting); Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer (hawk, voting), Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester (hawk, non-voting); and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren (dove, non-voting). Despite their philosophical bias, all are expected to endorse higher U.S. interest rates sometime this year.

As for the economic data, initial jobless claims rose 12,000 for the week ended April 11 to 294,000, its highest level in six weeks, and missing the consensus estimate for a decline of just 1,000 to 280,000. Also, the week prior was revised slightly higher, to 282,000 from 281,000 initially.

Following a huge weather-related plunge of more than 17% in February, housing starts showed faint signs of life, rising 2.0% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 926,000 new starts, but missed expectations for 1.040 million new starts. The month prior was revised upward to 897,000 initially to 908,000.

Permits fell 5.7% to 1.04 million in March, below the estimated 1.085 million. Permits for February were revised slightly higher to 1.10 million from 1.092 million initially.

-Dow Jones Industrial down 0.34%

-S&P 500 futures down 0.39%

-Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.40%

SENTIMENT

Nikkei up 0.80%

Hang Seng up 0.44%

Shanghai Composite up 2.71%

FTSE-100 down 0.40%

DAX-30 down 1.60%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(-) Large cap tech: Lower

(+/-) Chip stocks: Mixed

(-) Software stocks: Lower

(-) Hardware stocks: Lower

(+/-) Internet stocks: Mixed

(-) Drug stocks: Lower

(+/-) Financial stocks: Mixed

(-) Retail stocks: Lower

(-) Industrial stocks: Lower

(+) Airlines: Higher

(+/-) Autos: Mixed

UPSIDE MOVERS:

(+) INVE (+36.54%) Entered into an agreement with Cisco Systems (CSCO -0.35%) to provide solutions for the Internet of Everything.

(+) TZOO (+14.79%) Reported a decline in Q1 earnings and revenue that still exceeded analysts' estimates.

(+) NFLX (+11.67%) Reported strong Q1 results, added 4.9 streaming subscribers, and FBR upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform, raising the price target by $500

(+) PNRA (+11.64%) Authorized $500 mln in new debt to buyback shares, and engaged in "constructive dialogue" with activist hedge fund Luxor Capital

(+) PM (+5.08%) Reported better-than-expected Q1 earnings

DOWNSIDE MOVERS:

(-) SNDK (-7.13%) Reported weaker-than-expected Q1 earnings, Deutsche Bank downgraded to hold from buy

(-) CPLP (-7.05%) Announced offering of 12.8 million shares

(-) PCRX (-6.86%) Received a subpoena from the U.S.DOJ

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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