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Pre-Market Primer: Building Permits Blow Past Expectations, Facebook Shares Come Out of Lockup


The market is going to be flooded with Facebook shares, and the stock is already down by almost half the IPO price.


MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Homebuilders broke ground on homes at an annualized rate of 746,000 in July. This rate is slower than the 760,000 rate in June. Building permits, however, blew past expectations to a 4-year high annualized rate of 812,000. As in previous months, multi-family buildings are going up faster than single-family buildings as more would-be homeowners opt to rent rather than buy.

Initial jobless claims increased to 366,000 last week from 361,000. This was roughly in line with economists' estimates of 365,000.

Stock futures extended gains after the data releases. Dow (^DJI) futures rose 0.14% to 13,154.00, S&P 500 (SPY) futures gained 0.24% to 1,406.80, and Nasdaq (^IXIC) futures were ahead by 0.29% to 2,746.50. Oil futures rose 0.33% to $94.64/barrel for WTI crude.

Cisco (CSCO) shares rose 7% after fiscal fourth quarter net profits rose 56%, beating expectations. The networking equipment company also promised to return half of its free cash flow to shareholders, and raised its quarterly dividend to $0.14.

Apple (AAPL) is in talks with Time Warner Cable (TWC) and other cable operators about making an Apple set-top box that can deliver cable content. The existing $99 Apple TV allows users to watch Internet content on their televisions, but not live cable and broadcast channels.

Facebook (FB) shares are set to decline today. The lockup period for early investors including Goldman Sachs (GS), Microsoft (MSFT), and several venture capital firms will end today, increasing the number of shares that can be freely traded by 60%. The 271.1 million shares that will be tradeable today amount to 10% of the total ownership of the company. Shares are down 7% in the pre-market.

John Corzine and executives at MF Global (MFGLQ) will not face criminal charges over the the unexplained loss of $1 billion and the collapse of the company.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett

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