US Stock Futures Down Ahead Of Wal-Mart Earnings, Economic Data
US stock futures dropped in early pre-market trading, ahead of earnings from Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT). Data on weekly jobless claims and the consumer price index for January will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Markit PMI manufacturing index (flash) for February will be released at 8:58 a.m. ET, while the general conditions index of the Philadelphia Fed's Survey for February and the Conference Board's index of leading indicators for January will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 17 points to 15,999.00, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 2.40 points to 1,823.10. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index dropped 8 points to 3,646.50.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were lower today, with the Spanish Ibex Index falling 0.50%, London's FTSE 100 index dropping 0.26% and STOXX Europe 600 Index declining 0.54%. German DAX 30 index fell 1% and French CAC 40 Index tumbled 0.49%. French consumer prices declined 0.6% in January from December. Euro-zone composite PMI declined to 52.7 in February, versus 52.9 in the earlier month.
Asian markets ended lower today. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average dropped 2.15%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.19%, China's Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.18% and India's BSE Sensex slipped 0.9%. China's manufacturing PMI fell to 48.3 in February, versus final January reading of 49.5, according to HSBC's preliminary reading. Japan's exports climbed 9.5% y/y, while imports increased 25% y/y.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded Nabors Industries (NYSE: NBR) from “equal-weight” to “overweight.” The price target for Nabors Industries has been raised from $18 to $28.
Nabors' shares closed at $21.15 yesterday.
- Dutch insurer Aegon NV (NYSE: AEG) reported a 60% drop in its fourth-quarter net profit. To read the full news, click here.
- Acacia Research (NASDAQ: ACTG) announced today that an Acacia subsidiary has partnered with a leading research institute to monetize the institute's patents relating to ceramics and associated manufacturing processes for medical devices. To read the full news, click here.
- ImmunoGen (NASDAQ: IMGN) today announced the appointment of Ellie Harrison as Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. To read the full news, click here.
- As the war to acquire talent, users and growth rages on in Silicon Valley, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) announced its latest salvo with the $16 billion dollar acquisition of WhatsApp. The news was broken in an SEC Form 8-K filed after the close Wednesday. To read the full news, click here.
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