U.S. stock futures were down Thursday pointing to a sharply lower open on Wall Street as fears over global growth prospects and Europe's ongoing sovereign-debt woes weighed on equity markets around the world.
On the economic front, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that real average hourly earnings fell a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent from June to July. Average hourly earnings increased 0.4 percent and the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers rose 0.5 percent. Real average weekly earnings fell 0.1 percent over the month.
In another report, U.S. Department of Labor data showed that the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 408,000, an increase of 9,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 399,000. The 4-week moving average was 402,500, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week's revised average of 406,000.
Ahead of the opening bell, Dow industrial average futures were trading lower by 206 point, or 1.81 percent, to 11,175. Nasdaq 100 futures stood at 2,128, down 47.25 points, or 2.17 percent. Standard and Poor's 500 futures were trading down by 25 points, or 2.10 percent, to 1,165, today.
Hot Stocks of the Day: SJM, DLTR, GENT, HPQ, CREE
JM Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM) today reported second quarter FY 2011 net sales of $1.18 billion, up 14 percent from $1.04 billion in the same quarter last fiscal year. Net income for the quarter increased 8 percent to $111.5 million, or $0.98 per share, compared with net income of $102.8 million, or $0.86 per share in the second quarter FY 2010. SJM is trading marginally higher by 0.05 percent to $75.60 per share on Thursday.
Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR) reported second quarter consolidated net sales of $1.54 billion, an 11.9 percent increase compared with $1.38 billion reported for the same quarter last year. Earnings per diluted share for the second quarter were $0.77, an increase of 26.2 percent compared with the $0.61 earnings per diluted share reported for the second quarter FY 2010. DLTR is trading lower by 6.27 percent to $62.30 in pre-market trading today.
Shares of Gentium S.P.A. (Nasdaq: GENT) were trading sharply lower by 26.05 percent to $6.50 in pre-market trading today after the company withdrew a U.S. new drug application for Defibrotide, envisioned as a treatment for hepatic veno-occlusive disease in adults and children undergoing stem-cell transplantation, which it submitted to regulators early last month.