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US Stock Futures Fall As China Hikes Reserve Requirement Ratio, DuPont (NYSE: DD) Eyed

 November 19, 2010 08:59 AM

US stock-index futures declined on Friday after China raised the reserve requirement ratio for banks by a half-percentage point.

At 08:27 am ET, the S&P 500 futures slipped 5.90 points to 1,191.80. The Dow Jones Industrial average futures dropped 53 points to 11,123. The Nasdaq Composite futures retreated 9.75 points to 2,124.50.

The People's Bank of China announced Friday that it will raise banks' reserve requirement ratio by half of a percentage point from November 29, as part of efforts to curb inflation and strengthen liquidity management.

Shares of DuPont Co. (NYSE: DD) edged higher in pre-market trading after Goldman Sachs upgraded its rating on the company to Buy from Neutral and lifted its price target to $56 from $52.

H.J. Heinz Co. (NYSE: HNZ) reported Friday that its fiscal second-quarter profit climbed to $253.9 million, or 78 cents a share, from $237.3 million, or 73 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue slipped 1.2% to $2.61 billion.

Ann Taylor Stores Corp. (NYSE: ANN) said Friday that its fiscal third-quarter profit jumped to $24.2 million, or 41 cents a share, from $2.07 million, or 3 cents, in the prior-year quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 42 cents a share in the latest quarter. Revenue increased to $505.3 million from $462.4 million.

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) reported Thursday that its third-quarter profit more than doubled, helped by strong demand for its commercial products and services. Net income surged to $822 million, or 42 cents a share, from $337 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 45 cents a share in the latest quarter. Revenue jumped to $15.4 billion from $12.9 billion.

Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) said that its third-quarter net income improved was $21.1 million, or 15 cents a share, compared to net income of $20.7 million, or 16 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 32 cents a share in the latest quarter. Revenue surged 30% to $429 million from $330.55 million. Revenue increased 2% to $3.65 billion from $3.59 billion. Shares of Salesforce.com soared more than 9% in pre-market trading.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) reported late Thursday that its third-quarter net income slipped 1% to $303 million, or 48 cents a share, from $307 million, or 44 cents a share, in the prior-year quarter. Revenue increased 2% to $3.65 billion from $3.59 billion.

On the economic front, no major report is scheduled for release on Friday.

US stocks surged Thursday on expectations that Ireland will accept some form of bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Shares also rallied as General Motors' successful stock offering lifted investor sentiment.

European stocks advanced in afternoon trade. At 12:36 pm London time, the UK FTSE lost 60.81 points, or 1.05%, to 5,707.90. The German DAX and French CAC increased 0.12% and 0.67% respectively.

Asian stocks finished mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 8.76 points, or 0.09%, to 10,022.39. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong fell 31.68 points, or 0.13%, to close at 23,605.71.

NYMEX crude oil for December delivery climbed as much as 90 cents, or 1.1%, to $82.75 a barrel in electronic trading.

Disclosure: Author doesn't own any of the stocks discussed here.


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