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Pre-Market Primer: LinkedIn Corp Dilutes Shares; Stocks Sink Ahead of Senate Syria Vote


The acquisition of Nokia already got Microsoft downgraded.

Index futures were mixed this morning as Senate vote on a US-led strike on Syria looms.

The Seante Foreign Relations Committee will vote today on permission for the US military to use force in Syria for up to 90 days. The resolution will not authorize ground forces. Yesterday, the administration received public support for intervention from House Speaker John Boehner.

Before the opening bell, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were down 0.11% to 14,811 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) fell 0.06% to 1,638.10. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures gained 0.20% to 3,092.75.

Today, investors will also digest a rash of new economic data. Overnight, the Chinese composite PMI, compiled by HSBC, came out strong. Services expanded faster to a five-month high of 52.8 in August from 51.3 in July. (Readings over 50 indicate that the sector is growing.) The private sector as a whole went from shrinkage to growth, rising to 51.8 from 49.5. Japan also stepped up growth. Composite PMI in the third-largest economy was 51.9, up from 50.7 and services grew to 51.2 from 50.6. Despite improving economic data, Chinese and Japanese shares declined overnight.

The PMI numbers for Europe were also encouraging, but stock indices are still lower today. Composite PMI for the eurozone rose a full point to 51.5 and services rose 0.9 points to 50.7. Spain's service sector broke even for the first time since 2011, reaching a 26-month high of 50.4.

Retail sales across the eurozone fell 1.3% from a year earlier in July, however. On a monthly basis, sales rose 0.1%.

Today, Eurostat also reported that the eurozone recession is officially over. As reported last month, the collective economy grew by 0.3% in the second quarter as household spending and exports recovered.

The Commerce Department announced today that America's trade deficit widened by $4.4 billion to $39.1 billion in July.

US investors still have more to look forward to today. The annual rate of motor vehicle sales in August is expected to rise slightly to 15.8 million, with domestic vehicles making up 12.3 million of the whole. The Federal Reserve will also publish its Beige Book, a collection of anecdotal evidence of economic conditions that help guide Fed members' policy decisions. The report is likely to show the effects of rising interest rates on business growth.

In stocks news, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) shares fell 2% today after the company announced that it will offer another $1 billion worth of stocks. The extra cash raised will go toward product development, or a possible acquisition.

Just days before Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is likely to release a wearable device, Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) is set to introduce a smartwatch at a trade show in Berlin today.

After acquiring Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was downgraded by Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). Pointing to the risks of the acquisition, the investment bank cut Microsoft to equal weight from overweight.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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