Stocks Point Lower Ahead Of More Corporate Earnings
U.S. stock index futures moved lower early Wednesday ahead of Ben Bernanke's second day of Congressional testimony, and the Fed's Beige Book of regional economic performance at 2 p.m. ET.
Investors continue to eye earnings reports and guidance with caution. Intel (NYSE: INTC), the world's largest chipmaker, beat earnings expectations. Yet it lowered its sales outlook citing lackluster PC sales. The company now expects full-year sales growth in a 3 to 5 percent range. It previously was expecting growth in the high-single digits.
Global growth concerns continue to weigh on U.S. markets.
Asian stock markets traded mostly lower in on Wednesday amid continued growth worries. Mining stocks helped lead the way to the downside - a group that depends largely on the growth of China.
Chinese investors now are doing the same as their U.S. counterparts in trying to read tea leaves and speculate about signs of additional stimulus.
The Shanghai Composite made a late surge to get in the green, on expectations for rates easing.
Chinese investors -- like those in the U.S. -- are also watching for more profit warnings. Air China, one of three government-owned airlines, warned on Wednesday of a first-half profit decline of up to 80 percent.
The S&P 500 closed on Tuesday at 1364, gaining on better-than-expected earnings reports. It now has entered a band of high-volume resistance and must clear the 1370 area to continue a choppy rally that began in early June.
Fed Chair Ben Bernanke in his first day of Congressional testimony on Tuesday gave no clear indication that he is ready to take additional action to spur the economy ahead of the next Fed meeting beginning July 31.
He said that he expects lowering the unemployment rate will be "frustratingly slow".
Housing remains the one economic bright spot with expectations that housing starts in June rose at the fastest pace in more than three years. June housing starts data is set for release at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Stocks to watch in early trade include Bank of America (NYSE: BAC): CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX), Check Point Software (NASDADQ: CHKP), BlackRock Inc (NYSE: BLK), Honeywell (NYSE: HON), and PNC Financial Services (NYSE: PNC), all set to report ahead of the open.
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