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Futures Inch Higher Amid Data; Monsanto (MON) Retreats

 October 03, 2012 09:02 AM

(By Balachander) U.S stock-index futures pointed to a modestly higher opening on the Wall Street after a private sector employment data came in better than expected. 

Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 13 points to 13,424. The Nasdaq futures added 7 points to 2,802.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures gained 1.60 points to 1,442.50.
On the domestic economic front, the ADP National Employment report showed that U.S. private sector added 162,000 jobs in September, down from a revised 189,000 in August, yet topped expectations for an addition of 143,000 jobs. The keenly-watched weekly jobless claims data and Labor Department's non-farm payrolls data are due out on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

[Related -Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (FDO): More Headwinds Than Tailwinds In Near-Term]

Another data may show that the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index edged down to 53.2 percent last month from 53.7 percent in August. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

In European news, a data from Markit showed Eurozone's private sector contracted at a slower-than-expected rate in September, hitting a four-month low.

On Tuesday, U.S. stocks closed on a mixed note amid fresh concerns about whether Spain will request a bailout from its eurozone partners. Spain's Economy Minister Luis De Guindos reportedly indicated that the country is still analyzing whether to seek a bailout. However, a Spanish news agency reported that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has rejected a bailout. In an address to regional leaders of his party, Rajoy said the bailout request from Spain is not "imminent."

Hot Stocks Of The Day: MON, FDO, BBY, RPM, SPN, AN, FIRE, XRTX

[Related -Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO) Q1 Earnings Preview: What To Watch?]

In corporate news, Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MON) retreated 3.23 percent in premarket after the seeds and genomics company reported a wider-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter amid a 6 percent drop in sales and guided 2013 earnings below market projections.

Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE:FDO) posted earnings and sales growth for the fourth quarter, matching market expectations, amid stronger sales of lower-margin consumables while the operator of self-service retail discount stores forecast gross margin pressure for 2013. Shares gained 2.73 percent in premarket.

Best Buy Co. (NYSE:BBY) gained 3.95 percent in premarket. Reuters reported that the retailer's founder and at least four private-equity firms are examining the company's finances.

RPM International Inc. (NYSE:RPM) may be in focus after the specialty chemical company reported mixed results for the first quarter, dragged down by charges. The company, meanwhile, lifted its earnings and sales forecast for the full year, citing continued robust growth in North America and recent acquisitions.

Superior Energy Services Inc. (NYSE:SPN) may be in focus after the provider of specialized oilfield services forecast third-quarter earnings below market expectations.

AutoNation Inc. (NYSE:AN) said its retail new vehicle unit sales jumped 23 percent in September and rose 22 percent for the third quarter.

Sourcefire Inc. (NASDAQ:FIREannounced the retirement of its chief executive John Burris, effective immediately. The intelligent cybersecurity technologies company now expects revenue and adjusted earnings to be slightly above the high end of its guidance for the third quarter.

Xyratex Ltd. (NASDAQ:XRTX) tumbled 11.26 percent in premarket after the data storage-systems company's quarterly results trailed Wall Street projections.

Global Markets:

European markets traded mixed amid worries over Spain, with Germany's DAX up 0.07 percent to trade at 7,310.81. France's CAC40 fell 0.19 percent to trade at 3,407.60. U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.17 percent to trade at 5,819.51.
Among Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.45 percent to end at 8,746.87. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.23 percent to close at 20,888.28. India's BSE Sensex finished at 18,869.69, up 0.24 percent. China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index is closed for a public holiday.

Commodity & Currency Scan:

Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures retreated 0.71 percent to $91.24 per barrel. Gold futures inched up 0.25 percent to $1,780.1 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro dipped 0.04 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2915. The British pound shed 0.12 percent against the greenback to 1.6113, while the dollar added 0.28 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.3800.



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