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Pre-Market Primer: S&P Cuts Eurozone and Asian Countries


Stock futures showed minor gains ahead of the latest consumer confidence report.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Stock futures were up modestly today ahead of a report that might show that consumer confidence rose this month.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence survey is expected to increase to 64.8 from 60.6. Last month, the index fell 4.8 points.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index is expected to deliver some good news for the housing market. The 20-city index is expected to show a month-over-month rise of 0.9% in July.The Federal Housing Finance Agency will also release a House Price Index today. In this survey, based on information provided by Fannie Mae (OTC:FNMAS) and Freddie Mac (OTC:FMCKJ), housing prices are projected to have risen by 0.8% in July.

The Richmond Federal Reserve may show that the manufacturing index in its region climbed to 63.2 this month from 60.6 in August.

Before the data releases, stock futures in the US were steady and in positive territory. Dow (^INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.17% at 13,512.00, S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.IND) rose 0.12% to 1,453.10, and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures gained 0.20% to 2,844.00.

European equities were scarcely changed today as investors wait for Spain to announce its budget plans and possibly request a bailout from the European Central Bank. Greek leaders have a deadline for a series of mandated budget cuts at the end of this week.

Standard & Poor's (NYSE:MHP) cut its forecast for the eurozone GDP growth to negative 0.8%. It expects the 17-member currency union to have no growth next year. Spain is expected to continue to contract by 1.4% next year. The analysts also slashed their expectations for Chinese growth to 7.5% for this year. Japanese and Indian growth expectations were revised down to 2% and 5.5%, respectively.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) shares fell 1.60% after the heavy equipment company issued a lower-than-expected earnings forecast of $12-$18 per share in 2015.

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares, tumbled 9.78% this morning as PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY) co-founder Elon Musk's electric car company announced that it will miss previous revenue predictions.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares took a beating yesterday after the weekend's iPhone sales fell short of analysts' lofty expectations.

Diageo (NYSE:DEO) confirmed that it is in talks to acquire United Sprits and United Breweries. The acquisition could give the British alcoholic beverage conglomerate a firmer foothold in the United States.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) shares might be active today as Marissa Mayer, the new CEO, is expected to announce her plans to revive the Web business today.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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