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Futures Flat On Greece Uncertainty; Salesforce.Com (CRM) Gains

 November 21, 2012 09:14 AM

(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a flat open on the Wall Street after euro-area finance ministers failed yet again to reach an agreement on next bailout tranche to Greece.

Mini Dow Industrial Average futures edged 4 points lower to 12,755. The Nasdaq futures added 1.75 points to 2,592.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures inched up 0.30 points to 1,386.60.

The European officials will meet again on Monday to complete further technical work amid hopes of reaching a final agreement on a debt-reduction package for Greece.  

The number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits dropped sharply last week, a government data showed. Jobless claims fell 41,000 to 410,000 for the week ended Nov. 17 from a revised 451,000, and matched economists projections.

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Another data may show Reuters and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for November edged down to 84 from the mid-month reading of 84.9.

The Conference Board's U.S. leading economic indicators index is expected to rise 0.2 percent last month after a 0.6 percent increase in September.

On Tuesday, U.S. stocks ended on a mixed note as investors digested remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the looming "fiscal cliff" and some downbeat corporate results, including Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). "If the economy goes off the broad fiscal cliff, I don't think the Fed has the tools to offset that," Bernanke said in a speech to the Economic Club of New York.

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The markets will be shut for Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and close early on Friday.

Hot Stocks Of The Day: CRM, DE, SCHL, ZLC, DCI

In corporate news, salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) rose 2.65 percent in premarket after the enterprise cloud computing company raised its full-year forecast following stronger-than-expected third quarter results.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) shed 3.19 percent in premarket after the agricultural and turf equipment company's fourth-quarter earnings trailed Wall Street projections.

Scholastic Corp. (NASDAQ: SCHL) tumbled 21.48 percent in premarket after the provider of educational technology products reduced its guidance for 2013 amid lower curriculum product sales and a delay in purchasing decisions .

Zale Corp. (NYSE: ZLC) dropped 11.56 percent after the retailer of fine jewelry reported results for the first quarter that missed market expectations.

Donaldson Company Inc. (NYSE: DCI) may be in focus after the maker of filtration systems posted better-than-expected quarterly results. The company's first-quarter profit and sales dropped and it cuts its sales guidance assuming weaker demand from its Engine OEM and Disk Drive Customers.

Global Markets

European markets traded higher, with Germany's DAX up 0.14 percent to trade at 7,182.80. France's CAC40 added 0.30 percent to trade at 3,472.52. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 inched up 0.08 percent to trade at 5,752.55.

Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index added 1.07 percent to finish at 2,030.32. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.87 percent to end at 9,222.52. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 1.39 percent to end at 21,524.36. India's BSE Sensex ended at 18,460.38, up 0.72 percent.

Commodity & Currency Scan

Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures added 1.13 percent to $87.73 per barrel. Gold futures rose 0.21 percent to $1,727.30 per ounce.

In the currency market, the euro shed 0.09 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2805, while the British pound inched up 0.04 percent to 1.5933. The dollar advanced 0.94 percent against the Japanese yen to 82.4500.



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