(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a flat opening on the Wall Street as investors weighed comments by Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser on monetary policy and a data that showed drop in import and export prices.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 2 points to 15,059. The Nasdaq futures dipped 0.50 points to 2,980.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures inched up 1.40 points to 1,632.20.
Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser said that the Federal Reserve should reduce asset purchases. "I do believe that our extraordinary level of monetary accommodation will have to be scaled back, perhaps more aggressively than some think, to ensure that inflation over the medium term remains consistent with our target," Plosser said in prepared remarks.
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A data showed U.S. import prices fell 0.5 percent in April, matching economists expectations. Export prices also dropped 0.7 percent, sharper than projections for a decline of 0.1 percent.
In other data, Germany's ZEW economic expectations index increased to 36.4 in May from 36.3 in April, yet missed economists expectations of a reading of 38.3.
Other domestic data of interest due to be released over the week include: producer price index, consumer price index, New York Empire State manufacturing index, housing market index, industrial production, weekly jobless claims, building permits, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve manufacturing index, the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index and the Conference Board leading index.
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On Monday, U.S. stocks ended on a flat note amid a better-than-expected data on retail sales. The Commerce Department reported that April retail sales unexpectedly rose 0.1 percent, while projections were for a drop of 0.3 percent.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: TTWO, SCTY, TSLA, WES, FIO, SPH, NSPH, PDII, TSL
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) gained 6.64 percent in premarket after the video-game publisher reported a quarterly profit as revenue more than doubled. Results surpassed Wall Street projections.
SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) retreated 10.31 percent in premarket after the provider of solar energy products posted a quarterly loss as higher costs and expenses offset revenue growth.
Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) jumped 6.74 percent in premarket. Morgan Stanley raised price target on the stock to $103 from $47. Shares have surged 57 percent since the maker of electric cars posted its first quarterly profit last week.
Western Gas Partners LP (NYSE: WES) lost 3.86 percent in premarket after the master limited partnership announced public offering of 6.1 million common units at $61.18 each.
Fusion-IO Inc. (NYSE: FIO) gained 3.45 percent in premarket after shares of the datacenter services were upgraded to "Buy" from "Neutral" at UBS.
Suburban Propane Partners LP (NYSE: SPH) dropped 4.50 percent in premarket after the distributor of propane and fuel oil said it has commenced an underwritten public offering to sell 2.7 million common units.
Nanosphere Inc. (NASDAQ: NSPH) surged 17.20 percent after the maker of molecular diagnostics platform signed a distribution and collaboration agreement with Japan-based Hitachi High-Technologies Corp.
PDI Inc. (NASDAQ: PDII) spiked 32.76 percent after the provider of outsourced commercial services posted a profit for the first quarter as revenue jumped 36 percent.
Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) reduced its solar module shipments forecast for the first quarter ended March 31 and American depositary receipts (ADRs) of the company dropped 4.72 percent in premarket.
European markets traded modestly higher, with Germany's DAX up 0.33 percent to trade at 8,306.79. France's CAC40 traded 0.08 percent higher at 3,948.51. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.08 percent to trade at 6,637.06.
Asian markets closed mixed. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.11 percent to close at 2,217.01. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.16 percent to finish at 14,758.42. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped 0.26 percent to close at 22,930.28. India's BSE Sensex finished at 19,722.29, up 0.16 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures traded 0.29 percent lower at $94.89 per barrel. Gold futures lost 0.54 percent to $1,426.60 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro slipped 0.08 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2961 and the British pound edged 0.09 percent lower to 1.5277. The dollar fell 0.30 percent against the Japanese yen at 101.6200.