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Futures Flat As 'Cliff' Worries, Spending Data Weigh; Zynga (ZNGA) Tumbles

 November 30, 2012 09:12 AM

(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a flat opening on the Wall Street as lingering worries about the looming "fiscal cliff" and disappointing data on spending dented sentiment.

Mini Dow Industrial Average futures were unchanged at 13,020. The Nasdaq futures inched up 1.25 points to 2,681.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures slipped 0.60 points to 1,414.90.

On Thursday, U.S. stocks ended on a positive note as investors weighed budget talks in Washington and a set of positive economic reports. Stocks rose for the second day amid optimism that lawmakers will reach a deal to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff". 

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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.

Speaker of the House John Boehner said on Thursday there had been "no substantive progress" in fiscal talks, while Senator Chuck Schumer said there has been progress in budget negotiations.

On the data front, U.S. personal income increased slightly and personal spending unexpectedly fell 0.2 percent for October, a data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed. Economists expected a 0.2 percent increase in income and spending. In September, personal income rose 0.4 percent and personal spending gained 0.8 percent.

At 9:45 am ET, a data may show the Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) expanded to 50.5 in November from 49.9 last month.


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In corporate news, Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) retreated 7.75 percent in premarket after the quick service restaurant company forecast a 4 percent drop in China same-store sales for the fourth quarter.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) tumbled 9.54 percent in premarket after the online social gaming company amended terms of agreement with Facebook (NASDAQ: FB). Zynga will no longer be separately obligated to display Facebook ad units or implement Facebook credits on any such Zynga game pages, a regulatory filing showed. Facebook shares edged lower.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) retreated 4.41 percent in premarket. The daily-deal site has no immediate plans to replace Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mason, Bloomberg reported.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) issued its financial forecast for year ending December 2013, trailing market expectations. Shares shed 1.12 percent in premarket.

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) added 1.73 percent in premarket after the software provider reported revenue growth in the third quarter.

United Natural Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: UNFI) gained 1.02 percent in premarket after the distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods posted higher earnings and sales growth for the first quarter on strong demand for its natural and organic products.

Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) lost 8.14 percent in premarket after the specialty retailer issued a downbeat forecast following lower-than-expected quarterly revenue.

SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE: SVU) added 4.39 percent in premarket after grocery operator confirmed that its review of strategic alternatives is proceeding.

Global Markets

European markets traded modestly higher, with Germany's DAX gaining 0.40 percent to trade at 7,432.02. France's CAC40 added 0.27 percent to trade at 3,578.37. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.19 percent to trade at 5,881.26.

Asian markets ended higher, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index up 0.85 percent to finish at 1,980.12. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.48 percent to finish at 9,446.01. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.49 percent to end at 22,030.39. India's BSE Sensex ended at 19,339.90, up 0.88 percent.

Commodity & Currency Scan

Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures fell 0.31 percent to $87.79 per barrel. Gold futures slipped 0.10 percent to $1,727.80 per ounce.

In the currency market, the euro advanced 0.09 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2991, while the British pound shed 0.21 percent to 1.6007. The dollar rose 0.67 percent against the Japanese yen to 82.6700.



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