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Futures Slide Amid Earnings, Data; Herbalife (HLF) Tumbles

 February 04, 2013 09:00 AM

(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a lower opening on the Wall Street amid corporate earnings reports and economic data as political news out of Spain dented sentiment.

Mini Dow Industrial Average futures fell 80 points to 13,850. The Nasdaq futures retreated 17.75 points to 2,738.75. Standard and Poor's 500 futures lost 7.90 points to 1,498.80.

Weighing on the sentiment were reports that Spain's opposition Socialist Party urged Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to resign following corruption allegations.

On the domestic data front, a report at 10 am ET from the Commerce Department is expected to show factory goods orders gained 2.4 percent in December.

Other reports of interest due to be released over the week include: the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing survey, the weekly jobless claims and the Commerce Department's trade balance.

[Related -Teradata Corporation (NYSE:TDC): Lower Cost Platforms Could Curtail Growth Rates]

On Friday, U.S. stocks ended 1 percent higher as a set of upbeat readings on jobs and manufacturing activity buoyed sentiment. The Labor Department's non-farm payrolls report showed that the economy added 157,000 jobs in January following an upwardly revised 196,000 in December. In addition, the report showed the rise in jobs was upwardly revised to 247,000 in November from 161,000. 


[Related -Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) Q2 Earnings Preview: What To Expect?]

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) shed 0.87 percent in premarket. JPMorgan downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "overweight".

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) lost 1.12 percent in premarket. UBS downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "buy".

Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) dropped 1.22 percent in premarket. The U.S. mall owner boosted its quarterly dividend and posted better-than-expected quarterly results.

Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYYreported a 11.5 percent decline in quarterly earnings due to an increase in operating expenses. Despite revenue beating consensus, adjusted earnings missed Wall Street expectations.

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM)posted lower quarterly earnings as higher expenses offset revenue growth and the health care company reaffirmed its forecast for 2013. Bottom-line beat market expectations, while top-line missed consensus.

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) tumbed 10.46 percent in premarket after the The New York Post reported the nutritional supplements company is the subject of a probe by the Federal Trade Commission.

Acme Packet Inc. (NASDAQ: APKT) may be in focus after the provider of session delivery network services agreed to be acquired by Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL) for $29.25 per share in cash. ORCL shares fell 1.56 percent in premarket.

Wet Seal Inc. (NASDAQ: WTSLA), an apparel retailer to women, said it plans to reduce jobs to align with its current business requirements and it has authorized a $25 million share repurchase program.

Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) and Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) among others are due to post their quarterly results today. 

Global Markets

European markets traded in red, with Germany's DAX down 0.73 percent to trade at 7,775.90. France's CAC40 shed 0.93 percent to trade at 3,739.12. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 lost 0.85 percent to trade at 6,293.48.

Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index rising 0.38 percent to close at 2,428.15. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.62 percent to finish at 11,260.35. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.16 percent to end at 23,685.01. India's BSE Sensex ended 0.15 percent lower at 19,751.19.       

Commodity & Currency Scan

Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures traded 1.00 percent lower at $96.79 per barrel. Gold futures fell 0.34 percent to $1,665 per ounce.

In the currency market, the euro lost 0.62 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3556, while the British pound gained 0.22 percent to 1.5727. The dollar dipped 0.12 percent against the Japanese yen to 92.6600.



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