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Pre-Market Primer: Stocks Dip Ahead of Pending Home Sales


Cyprus is about to finalize capital controls to avoid a bank run.

Futures pointed toward a morning dip ahead of a report that may show that pending home sales cooled last month.

Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are up 0.48% at 14,409. After coming within two points of its recent record yesterday, S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures fell 0.52% to 1,549.30 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures gained 0.48% to 2,786.25.

Later today, a report from the National Association of Realtors might show that pending home sales, contracts for pre-existing homes that are not yet finalized, fell between January and February. Economists expect sales to have fallen about 0.4% after surging 4.5% in January.

Cyprus is finalizing capital control plans aimed at discouraging bank runs by concerned citizens spooked by the levy on big bank deposits. Banks reopen tomorrow, and the capital controls are designed to prevent citizens from withdrawing everything at once. There aren't any definitive numbers yet, but the Cypriot central bank chief Panicos O. Demetriades said that the levy on large uninsured deposits will probably be 40%. Depositors at Laiki might lose as much as 80% of their money.

Eurozone economic confidence dropped 1.1 points to 90 in March. The final reading of French fourth quarter GDP confirmed that the country contracted by 0.3%.

The Italian Democratic Party and Pier Luigi Bersani lost a confidence vote that could have put them in power. The Five Star Movement, led by comic Beppe Grillo rejected the coalition. Italian 10-year bond yields spiked 16 basis points to 4.73 afterward.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) might cut its cash on hand by $35 billion to boost its earnings by 2% for the year. It currently has enough cash to get it through 37 days of an acute stress situation. Executives would like to bring that down to 33 days.

LogMeIn (NASDAQ:LOGM), a cloud services and remote access company, fell 4% in pre-market trading after spiking so sharply yesterday that trading was halted. Yesterday, the company won an intellectual property suit with 01 Communique Laboratory (TSE:ONE) over remote access patents.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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