US stocks are set to decline today as gloomy data from Europe and bad news for the US goods producing sector hangs over the markets.
In the first three months of this year, Europe's recession deepened. The collective eurozone economy shrank 0.2%, marking the sixth straight quarter of contraction.
France is officially back in recession, as the economy shrank by 0.2% for the past two quarters. Germany grew by 0.1%, much slower than economists had expected. Austrian growth was flat, following a 0.2% decline in the last quarter of 2012. The Czech Republic's year-long recession continued as GDP fell 0.8%. The Netherlands shrank 0.1%, also extending a recession. Italy shrank 0.5% in its seventh-straight quarter of contraction.
The data pushed down European equities and the euro, but Japan's Nikkei
(INDEXNIKKEI:.NI225) soared 2.3% overnight, boosted by a weak yen and a 10% gain for Sony
(NYSE:SNE) after an activist hedge fund manager argued for a spin-off of its lucrative entertainment unit.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
(NYSE:BAC) analysts cut their forecast for Chinese growth to 8%, citing weak external demand.
US stock futures declined before the opening bell. Dow
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are down 0.07% at 15,164. S&P 500
(INDEXSP:.INX) futures fell 0.13% to 1,645.90 and future contracts on the Nasdaq
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) index ticked down 0.03% at 2,994.50.
In US economics, a report later this morning is expected to show that industrial production fell 0.2% last month after gaining 0.4% in March. The Empire State manufacturing index showed that business conditions in the industrial sector in the the New York metropolitan area were worse than expected this month, declining to -1.43 from 3.05 in April. Producer prices fell 0.7% in April, in line with expectations.
(NYSE:M), a major consumer bellwether, reported earnings of $0.55 per share, beating expectations by $0.02. Revenue of $6.39 billion, up 4% from a year earlier, was in line with projections. The company also declared a nickel increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.25.
Deere & Co.
(NYSE:DE) shares fell 3.14% this morning as it cut its forecast for 2013 equipment sales, blaming currency exchange rates. Earnings per share of $2.76 on $10.9 billion in sales for the previous quarter beat expectations.
Early proxy votes suggest that JPMorgan Chase
(NYSE:JPM) shareholders are likely to vote to allow Jamie Dimon to keep his dual role as CEO and Chairman of the largest US lender.
(NASDAQ:CSCO) could see heavy trading today ahead of its earnings statement after the bell. Investors expect to see $0.49 profit per share on $12.2 billion in revenue.
(NASDAQ:GOOG) might also see action as it holds its annual developers' conference, where it is expected to unveil new products.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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