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Pre-Market Primer: US GDP Revised Up


But don't expect much action until Bernanke's speech at Jackson Hole.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL US stock futures are hardly changed today as investors await Ben Bernanke's comments at Jackson Hole on Friday.

America's second quarter GDP estimate was revised up to 1.7% after an earlier reading showed 1.5% growth in the world's largest economy. The upward revision was roughly in line with economists' expectations. At 10:00 a.m. today, the National Association of Realtors will release a report on pending home sales in July. This leading indicator of home sales is expected to show a 1% month-over-month rise in pending sales.

European and Asian markets mostly traded lower this morning and US index futures barely budged after the GDP revision. S&P 500 (SPY) and Nasdaq (^IXIC) futures both gained 0.04% to 1,408.30 and 2,781.75 respectively. Dow (^DJI) futures declined by 0.03% to 13,082.00.

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi wrote an article published in Germany's Die Zeit, saying that fulfilling the ECB's mandate of maintaining price stability "sometimes requires us to go beyond standard monetary policy tools."

"When markets are fragmented or influenced by irrational fears, our monetary policy signals do not reach citizens evenly across the euro area," Draghi said. "The ECB will do what is necessary to ensure price stability, it will remain independent and it will always act within the limits of its mandate."

Seven years after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, Louisianans are taking shelter from Hurricane Isaac. The storm has disabled swaths of the Gulf Coast, knocking out power and flooding homes. In some areas, levees have overflowed. Due to the storm, offshore oil and natural gas production in the region is temporarily offline, subtracting about 1.3 million barrels of production per day.

WellPoint (WLP) CEO Angela Braly has stepped down, responding to pressure from shareholders that are unhappy about the health insurance company's recent financial performance. John Cannon will serve as interim CEO until a replacement is named. WellPoint shares rose 4% in pre-market trading.

A federal judge has denied a request from Orbitz Worldwide (OWW), Travelport, and Sabre Holdings to dismiss an antitrust suit from American Airlines (AAMRQ). American Airlines contends that the three companies have exercised a monopoly over how airfares are distributed to travel agents.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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