In the U.S.: Stock Futures Little Changed Before Data

2 February 2012

Markets likely to sound off on a fairly flat note… ‘stickiness’ in unemployment figures probable.

U.S. stock-index futures were little changed, erasing earlier gains, before a report that may show initial claims for jobless benefits in the world’s largest economy fell.

Qualcomm (QCOM) Inc., the world’s biggest maker of mobile-phone chips, climbed 6.1 percent in early New York trading after raising its sales and profit forecasts for this quarter and the year. Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) lost 1.9 percent even after profit excluding some items matched analyst estimates.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in March slid 0.1 percent to 1,318.4 as of 12:20 p.m. in London, after earlier rising as much as 0.4 percent. The benchmark gauge yesterday jumped the most in two weeks after data showed manufacturing gauges across the world increased. Futures (INDU) on the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,638.

“There may be a short-term correction,” Kully Samra, who manages U.K.-based clients for Charles Schwab Corp., which has $1.6 trillion of assets globally, said in a telephone interview today. “The way one client described it to me was that the U.S. is the best house in a bad street. Employment is something that will start to improve. It is happening slowly, but it is happening, that’s the key thing.”

Claims for U.S. jobless benefits fell to 371,000 last week from 377,000 the previous week, according to the median of 46 economist estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The Labor Department will release the report at 8:30 a.m. New York time.

A report tomorrow may show the unemployment rate in January probably remained at 8.5 percent, according to economists’ projections in a Bloomberg News survey. It dropped to the lowest level in almost three years in December.

Qualcomm Forecast

Qualcomm rose 6.1 percent to $63.17 in pre-market trading. Sales for the second quarter ending in March will increase to $4.6 billion to $5 billion. Revenue for the fiscal year will rise 25 percent to 32 percent to a range of $18.7 billion to $19.7 billion, the company said in a statement yesterday.

Las Vegas Sands lost 1.9 percent to $49.25 in early New York trading. Profit excluding some items was 57 cents, matching the average of 23 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The U.S. casino company also declared its first common stock dividend of $1 a share, according to a statement yesterday.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR), the maker of Keurig brand single-cup pods and brewers, surged 20 percent to $64.42 in pre-market trading. Net income in the three months ended Dec. 24 rose to $104.4 million, or 66 cents a share, from $2.41 million, or 2 cents, a year earlier, according to a company statement yesterday.


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