Futures drifted higher today, raising hopes that US stocks will reverse their five-day losing streak as investors await details on Spain's budget plans and digest a spate of awful economic data from the United States.
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures gained 0.51% to 13,413.00, S&P 500
(INDEXSP:.INX) futures rose 0.57% to 1,435.10, and Nasdaq
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures headed up 0.46% to 2,787.00.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will begin a press conference on the country's budget at 9:00 a.m. EDT. His government is expected to make as much as 18 billion euros in austerity cuts demanded by the IMF, European Commission, and European Central Bank, the thousands of Spaniards calling for him to reverse his austerity stance or resign and a resurgent Catalan separatist movement notwithstanding. The government will also issue an estimate on capitalization requirements for its banks.
Today's news comes as the Castilla La Mancha region asked for a 848 million euro emergency loan from the Spanish government. This is the fifth region to ask for funds from Madrid.
America's GDP growth was cut to 1.3% in the second quarter of this year, according to the Federal Reserve's final estimate. This fell far short of economists' expectations and the previous estimate of 1.7%.
A separate report showed that orders of goods that should last a long period of time in the US declined by 13.2% in August. Economists expected durable goods order to decline by 5% after rising 4.1% in July. A silver lining in today's data was that initial claims for unemployment insurance plummeted to 359,000 last week from 382,000 two weeks ago. This beat the consensus estimate of 375,000.
The National Association of Realtors will release pending home sales data at 10:00 a.m. EDT. This indicator is expected to show a rise in sales of 0.3%.
European stocks rose today ahead of the press conference and Spanish 10-year notes rallied. Economic sentiment fell more than expected this month in the European Union. The EU's index fell to 85.0 from 86.1 in August. Industrial profits in China fell 6.2% in August after falling 5.4% in July, a fifth straight month of declines.
(NYSE:NKE) and Research In Motion
(NASDAQ:RIMM) could experience active trading today as the two companies are set to report earnings results for their latest fiscal quarters. Nike is expected to book a profit of $1.12 per share on revenue of $6.43 billion down from $1.36. Demand for Nike's products in China and Europe probably wore on earnings.
The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone will report after the bell. Amidst layoffs and unending delays for the release of BlackBerry 10, the product line that is supposed to rescue the brand, analysts are expecting a third straight loss of $0.47 per share, down from a profit of $0.63 per share last year. Research in Motion shares rallied 1.14% in the pre-market after gaining 6.06% yesterday.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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