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

17 August 2012


‘Wait-and-see’ Fridays…quiet on most fronts as “investors are simply digesting the recent gains.”

U.S. stock futures were little changed, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index yesterday reached its highest level since April, as investors awaited reports on consumer confidence and leading economic indicators.

Gap Inc. (GPS) may move after the largest U.S. specialty-apparel retailer reported a 29 percent rise in quarterly profit that topped analyst estimates, aided by domestic sales, and raised its full-year earnings forecast. Kirkland’s Inc. declined 2 percent as second-quarter sales trailed analyst projections.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in September dropped 0.1 percent to 1,411.30 at 7:22 a.m. in New York. The S&P 500 is almost three points from a four-year peak of 1,419.04 set on April 2. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures lost 8 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,217 today.

“Markets have behaved well in recent weeks, and I think investors are simply digesting the recent gains,” said Andreas Nigg, head of U.S. and international equities at Vontobel Asset Management in Zurich. “For the markets to advance further from these levels, we will need more good news, either from the economy or central banks, or both.”

The S&P 500 is heading toward a 0.7 percent gain this week, its sixth weekly advance and the longest winning streak since January 2011.

U.S. Reports

A report at 9:55 a.m. in Washington may show the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment slipped to 72.2 in August from 72.3 the prior month, according to a survey of economists. Leading economic indicators gained 0.2 percent in July, another survey showed.

Gap may be active. Net income for the quarter ended in July rose to $243 million, or 49 cents a share, from $189 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier, the San Francisco-based company said yesterday in a statement. The average analysts’ projection was for 48 cents a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Gap had forecast a range of 47 cents to 48 cents on Aug. 2.

Kirkland’s Inc. (KIRK) declined 2 percent to $10.63 in European trading. The home accessories and gifts retailer reported second-quarter sales of $91 million, missing the average $94.4 million analyst estimate. The company also forecast earnings per shares for the year of between 72 cents and 82 cents, missing the 91 cents analysts projected.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (BRCD), a maker of switches for data-storage networks that has been seeking to sell itself, lost 0.9 percent to $5.60 in early New York trade after saying its chief executive officer will resign.

Michael Klayko, who has worked at Brocade for almost a decade in senior sales and marketing roles, will stay on until a successor is identified, San Jose, California-based Brocade said yesterday in a statement. The board has enlisted a recruiting company to find a replacement.

Facebook (FB) fell 0.2 percent to $19.84 in early New York trading. The world’s largest social-networking company sank 6.3 percent yesterday for the second-largest post-lock-up decline among companies that have gone public since January 2011. The slump left the company at a record low after a 60 percent increase in the number of shares available for trading.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) rose 0.3 percent to $638.15 in early New York trading after reaching a record close of $636.34 in regular trading yesterday.
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