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Futures Point to a Mixed Start

Thursday, January 31, 2013 8:31 AM
U.S. stock futures traded mixed on Thursday, taking cue from European equities that turned lower after a surprisingly weak  U.S. GDP data released yesterday unnerved the market sentiment, bringing a halt in equities markets rally. At last check, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index tacked higher 0.04%; those on Nasdaq 100 fell 0.36% while futures on S&P 500 Index inched down 0.15%. On U.S. economic data front, the Labor Department will release its weekly initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST. According to economists, first time jobless claims are to rise to a seasonally adjusted 355,000, up from 330,000 in the preceding week. Later at 8:30 a.m. EST, a data on consumer spending and personal income for December will be released followed by Chicago’s purchasing managers index (PMI) on manufacturing activities, at 9:45 a.m. EST. Economist are expecting some improvement in the index but still below 50. A reading below 50 signifies economic contraction. Avalanche of earnings reports are expected on Thursday with some of the prominent companies include: Colgate Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL), Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). Shares of social networking giant, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) slumped nearly 5.50% in premarket trading on Thursday. The Company following the closing bell on Wednesday reported better than expected fiscal fourth-quarter results and strong revenue growth from mobile ads but the pace of revenue growth, and growth in daily average users’ base disappointed investors. Shares of chip maker, Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) rallied 6% in premarket trading as company’s quarterly results and cautious but optimistic outlook pointed out that demand from chips used in smartphones was rising at a brisk pace. Elsewhere in Europe, all leading benchmark indexes were trading in red territory with Pan European Stoxx 600 down 0.55%, FTSE 100 falling 0.56% while DAX losing 0.53%. In Asia equities ended mixed with Japan’s Nikkei Index gaining 0.22% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng falling 0.39% on Thursday.
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