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Pre-Market Primer: Barnes & Noble, Inc. CEO Quits; Obama Now Less Optimistic on Economy


Europe and the sequester could drag the US down.

Stocks are poised to rally for the fourth straight day ahead of job openings data, but the Obama White House is less optimistic about the economy.

Before the opening bell, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.31% at 15,207. Futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.40% to 1,642.10 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures climbed 0.36% to 2,969.50.

Markets are higher in developed markets worldwide. Japan's Nikkei 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:.NI225) rose 2.6%. Indices in Europe are also rallying today.

Later this morning, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey for May will be released. The headline openings number is expected to rise to 3.8 million from 3.76 million in April.

A fall in pharmaceuticals and metals led to an unexpected 0.8% fall in UK factory output in May. Economists had expected a 0.4% increase. Total industrial production was flat month-over-month thanks to higher oil and gas output. Britain also released data showing that its trade deficit rose by 300 million pounds to 8.5 billion pounds in May, a slightly wider gap than the market expected. Imports were up 1.3% and exports rose 1.5%. This data casts some doubt on upbeat UK PMI surveys that came out recently.

China's inflation ticked up a bit more than expected in June. While consumer prices were flat month-over-month or up 2.7% on the year, the price of goods at the factory gate fell 0.6%, or 2.7% year over year. This is the 16th straight month of producer price deflation in China. This could shift monetary policy toward stimulus, but the central bank is focusing on warding off a property bubble.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares got a 2.83% bump this morning as the electric car maker will join the Nasdaq-100 (INDEXNASDAQ:NDX) index on July 15, replacing Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL).

Barnes & Noble, Inc (NYSE:BKS) fell 2.15% this morning after its CEO William Lynch suddenly resigned last night, acknowledging that the digital Nook division that he championed has failed to compete in the e-reader market. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is a major stakeholder in the Nook business with a 17% stake.

Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) kicked off earnings season on a positive note. The aluminum giant beat analyst expectations with a $119 million loss. Excluding special items including a legal settlement, it earned $0.07 per share in the second quarter. Sales fell 1.9%, but demand for aircraft helped support revenues. Shares rose 0.6% in the pre-market, extending Monday's gains.

Research in Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, will face investors today at its annual meeting. Sales for the quarter that ended June 1 came in below analyst estimates.

The Obama White house cut its own outlook for economic growth yesterday blaming global headwinds such as austerity in Europe and the budget sequester. The administration believes GDP will grow 2% this year and 3.1% in 2014. Previously, their estimate was for 2.3% growth. They also estimated that the current fiscal budget deficit will shrink to $759 billion.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett

Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.
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