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Futures Dip As Eurozone Recession Deepens; Centurylink (CTL) Drops

 February 14, 2013 09:07 AM

(By Balaseshan) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a lower opening on the Wall Street as investors were unable to digest weaker-than-expected growth data from Europe, France and Japan.

Mini Dow Industrial Average futures fell 36 points to 13,922. The Nasdaq futures shrank 9.50 points to 2,760.75. Standard and Poor's 500 futures declined 4.40 points to 1,512.80.

On the domestic economic front, the number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits rose more than forecast last week, a government data showed. Jobless claims declined 27,000 to 341,000 for the week ended Feb. 9 from a revised 368,000, while economists projected a fall to 360,000 applications.

Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo, Treasury Under Secretary Mary Miller and other officials are scheduled to testify on Wall Street reform before the Senate Banking Committee at 10:30 am ET.

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On the European front, the eurozone slipped deeper than predicted into recession in the fourth quarter due to weaker than expected GDP figures from Germany and France. Data showed the recession in the euro area deepened with the worst performance in almost four years, according to the Bloomberg.

Japan's GDP shrank 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, while economists expected 0.1 percent growth. French statistical office INSEE reported that French GDP fell 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter from last quarter, compared to the 0.2 percent drop expected by economists. Germany also reported a weaker than expected 0.6 percent GDP decline for the fourth quarter.

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On Wednesday, U.S. stocks ended on a mixed note as investors weighed on economic data, earnings reports and the President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

Hot Stocks Of The Day: HNZ, CSCO, AMAT, LCC, WTW, CTL, PEP, DTV, GM

H.J. Heinz Co. (NYSE: HNZ) surged 19.82 percent in premarket after the company has agreed to be bought by an investment consortium comprised of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) and 3G Capital for $28 billion, including assumption of debt.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) moved down 0.19 percent in premarket after the company reported a 44 percent jump in second-quarter earnings on strong sales growth. Results exceeded the Street's expectations. For the third quarter, the company guided adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.48 to $0.50 and adjusted revenue growth of 4 percent to 6 percent, while Street predicts EPS of $0.49 on revenue growth of 5.50 percent.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) added 2.03 percent in premarket after posting better than expected first quarter results. Further, the company guided second quarter adjusted EPS of $0.09 to $0.15 and net sales sequential growth of 15 percent to 25 percent Street predicts EPS of $0.10 for the second quarter.

US Airways Group Inc. (NYSE: LCC) gained 3.34 percent in premarket after the board of directors of American Airlines Inc. and US Airways have agreed to combine businesses to create a premier global carrier, which will have an implied combined equity value of about $11 billion based on the price of US Airways' stock as of February 13, 2013.

Weight Watchers International Inc. (NYSE: WTW) fell 15.82 percent in premarket after the company guided fiscal 2013 earnings below market expectations despite better than projected fourth quarter results.

CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) plunged 18.09 percent in premarket after the telecom company's fourth quarter results missed market expectations and it planned to drop quarterly dividend by 26 percent. The company also guided full year 2013 earnings guidance below Street's view.

PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) added 2.03 percent in premarket after the company reported a rise in earnings for the fourth quarter as organic revenue increase across its divisions. Despite adjusted earnings declining by 5.2 percent, results topped market expectations.

DIRECTV (NASDAQ: DTV) rose 3.54 percent in premarket after the provider of direct-to-home (DTH) digital television services reported higher quarterly earnings and revenue amid a drop in net subscriber additions at its U.S. segment. Results exceeded Street's expectations.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) moved up 0.10 percent in premarket after the automaker posted better than expected fourth quarter results.

Global Markets

European markets traded lower, with Germany's DAX down 0.87 percent to trade at 7,645.14. France's CAC40 shed 0.56 percent to trade at 3,677.85. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.54 percent to trade at 6,324.52.

Asia markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.57 percent to end at $2,432.40. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.85 percent to close at 23,413.25. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.50 percent to end at 11,307.28. India's Sensex closed at 19,497.18, down 0.57 percent.

Commodity & Currency Scan

Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures traded 0.16 percent higher at $97.17 per barrel. Gold futures inched 0.41 percent higher to $1,649.16 per ounce.

In the currency market, the euro fell 0.88 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3333, while the British pound shed 0.19 percent to 1.5513. The dollar slid 0.06 percent against the Japanese yen at 93.3300.



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