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Futures Mixed Amid Budget Hopes; Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) Falls

 November 20, 2012 09:13 AM

(By Balaseshan) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed open on the Wall Street amid budget hopes as well as disappointed corporate results from Hewlett-Packard and Best Buy. Moody's downgrade of France's credit rating also weighed on the sentiment.

Mini Dow Industrial Average futures shed 5 points to 12,733. The Nasdaq futures inched up 1 point to 2,586.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures dipped 0.60 points to 1,381.90.

On the domestic data front, housing starts in the United States rose 3.6 percent to 894,000 for October from September, while permits for future building construction decreased 2.7 percent to 866,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Economists' expected housing starts at 840,000 and building permits of 865,000.

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President Barack Obama has pushed for higher taxes on wealthy Americans to address the fiscal cliff of roughly $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases that could hit economic growth. Obama held talks with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders today.

In a statement on Friday, the White House said the President and the leadership had a constructive meeting and agreed to do everything possible to find a solution that averts the so-called "fiscal cliff," and to work together to find a balanced approach to reduce deficit that includes both revenues and cuts in spending and encourages long-term economic and job growth.

The investors may be keenly looking at the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's public address in the Economic Club of New York at 12:15 pm.

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Eurozone ministers were meeting to discuss the latest bailout funds release for Greece, as Moody's downgraded France's credit rating from its coveted AAA to Aa1 rating due to worries about economic weakness.

On Monday, U.S. stocks rallied and closed sharply higher as "constructive" budget talks to resolve the fiscal crisis buoyed sentiment.

Hot Stocks Of The Day: HPQ, GMCR, BBY, GRPN, HNZ

In corporate news, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) shares tumbled 9.77 percent in premarket after the world's largest seller of personal computers issued a downbeat earnings forecast backed by a weaker-than-expected quarterly revenue.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) gained 7.54 percent in premarket after the specialty coffee maker appointed Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) executive Brian Kelley as its Chief Executive Officer, effective December 3.

Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) shares dipped 5.45 percent in premarket after the company reported a quarterly loss due to a restructuring charges primarily related to store closures, and adjusted earnings missed Street's expectations.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) gained 9.82 percent in premarket after media reports that hedge fund Tiger Global Management acquired a 9.9 percent stake in Groupon.

H.J. Heinz Co. (NYSE: HNZ) shares shed 1.58 percent in premarket after the ketchup and soups maker's second quarter results.

Global Markets:

European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX up 0.01 percent to trade at 7,124.76. France's CAC40 shed 0.36 percent to trade at 3,427.04. U.K.'s FTSE 100 dipped 0.20 percent to trade at 5,726.24.

Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index shed 0.40 percent to finish at 2,008.92. Japan's Nikkei 225 inched down 0.12 percent to end at 9,142.64. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped 0.16 percent to end at 21,228.28. India's BSE Sensex ended at 18,329.32, down 0.05 percent.

Commodity & Currency Scan:

Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures dipped 0.50 percent to $88.83 per barrel. Gold futures shed 0.14 percent to $1,732.00 per ounce.

In the currency market, the euro dipped 0.09 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2803, and the British pound inched up 0.05 percent to 1.5916. The dollar added 0.14 percent against the Japanese yen to 81.5300.



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