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U.S. Futures Slide On Slow China Growth; Hot Stocks: GOOG, JPM, WFC, CSTR

 April 13, 2012 09:16 AM

U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a lower open on the Wall Street, after weaker-than-forecast growth data from China. A mixed set of corporate earnings, including Google, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo also weighed on the sentiment.

Mini Dow industrial average futures retreated 70.00 points to 12,880.00. The Nasdaq Futures dipped 12.25 points to 2,726.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures lost 7.50 points to 1,378.40.

China's economy grew at its slowest pace in nearly three years in the first quarter, a government report showed. China's gross domestic product expanded 8.1 percent, after a 8.9 percent growth in the fourth quarter. That was below the 8.4 percent growth forecast by economists.

On the economic front, the consumer price index for March advanced 0.3 percent, while the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent, both coming inline with expectations. In February, the headline and core inflation were 0.4 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.

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On Thursday, U.S. stocks rallied amid a set of positive news on the global economy, including encouraging data from Europe. The Federal Reserve officials indicated that interest rates are likely to stay low through 2014.

Hot Stocks Of The Day: (GOOG, JPM, WFC, CSTR)

In corporate news, Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) posted EPS of $10.08 a share on revenue of $8.14 billion for the first quarter. Analysts' expected the search engine giant to earn $9.65 for the quarter on revenue of $8.15 billion. Google's cost per click metric, on average, fell 12 percent. The company also announced plans for an effective stock split. Shares edged 0.46 percent higher in premarket trading.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) reported better-than-expected quarterly results, and the company boosted its quarterly dividend and authorized a new $15 billion share buyback plan. The stock inched 0.47 percent lower in premarket trading.

Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by strong revenue growth. However, lower loans led to a drop in net interest margins. As at March 31, total loans were $766.5 billion, compared with $769.6 billion at December 31, 2011. Net interest margin was 3.91 percent, down from 4.05 percent in the year-ago period. Shares dropped 1.44 percent in premarket.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (Nasdaq:JBHT) posted better-than-expected first quarter results. EPS were 57 cents on revenue of $1.17 billion topped consensus estimate of 52 cents and $1.15 billion. The stock inched 0.18 percent higher in premarket.

Coinstar Inc. (Nasdaq:CSTR) jumped 12.8 percent to $69.19 in premarket after the Redbox movie-rental kiosks operator boosted its quarterly earnings and revenue forecast. It now sees core earnings from continuing operations of $1.36 to $1.40 per share, on revenue of $567.0 million to $569.2 million. Coinstar also lifted its 2012 core earnings from continuing operations forecast between $4.40 and $4.80 per share, on revenues of $2.155 billion to $2.280 billion.

Global Markets:

The European markets traded lower, with Germany's DAX retreating 1.01 percent to trade at 6,674.80. France's CAC40 lost 1.32 percent to 3,226.70. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.50 percent to 5,681.86.
Asian markets mostly closed higher. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.35 percent to end at $2,359.15. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.84 percent to close at 20,701.04. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 1.19 percent to close at 9,637.99. India's BSE Sensex finished flat at 17,094.51.

Market Scan:

Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil lost 0.38 percent to $103.25 per barrel. Gold declined 0.50 percent to $1,672.2 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro declined 0.35 percent against the U.S. dollar at 1.3142 and the British pound dipped 0.14 percent against the greenback to 1.5937. The dollar rose 0.12 percent against the Japanese yen to 80.9900.



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