Stock futures trace European declines

Japan’s trade deficit widens. Investors await the latest housing market data and US central bank minutes. The Chicago Fed President thinks there should be more accommodation. Toll Bros. reports better than expected quarterly results.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 22, 2012 9:02AM
Updated at 9:02 a.m. ET

By Andrea Tse

Stock futures were largely pointing to a lower open on Wall Street Wednesday, following the European markets lower after Japan reported a bigger trade deficit.


Investors were also staying cautious as they awaited the latest housing market data and Federal Reserve minutes.


Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) were down by 21 points at 13,178. S&P 500 ($INX) futures were down by 3 points at 1,410. Futures for the Nasdaq ($COMPX) 100 were falling by 3.75 points to 2,770.


The FTSE in London was down 1.09% and the DAX in Germany was off 0.82%, weighed down by cyclical stocks, as Japan's soft export data stoked concerns about global growth.


The Hong Kong Hang Seng index closed behind by 1.06% and the Nikkei in Japan settled down by 0.27%.


The major U.S. equity indices fell on Tuesday, stalling out and reversing gains after reaching their highest levels of the year earlier in the day. Technology stocks led the declines.


After a quiet few days on the economic front, Wednesday kicks off a batch of U.S. data with existing home sales for July at 10 a.m. EDT. Economists surveyed by Reuters are on average expecting the National Association of Realtors to say that existing homes sale rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.52 million last month from a 4.37 million annual rate.


The data will be followed by the release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on July 31 later in the afternoon.


Speaking in Beijing on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans, who tends take a dovish stance on policy, said that the Central Bank should provide more accommodation to help support the U.S. economy.


On the corporate front, Toll Bros. (TLB), the Horsham, Pa.-based luxury home builder, reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of $61.6 million, or 36 cents a share, on revenue of $554.3 million, ahead of  the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of 18 cents a share on revenue of $510.1 million.


Wedbush Morgan downgraded shares of Minneapolis-based consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY) to underperform and cut its 12-month price target to $14.50 from $20, citing an "unclear outlook, deteriorating fundamentals and a new CEO who lacks retail experience."


Dell (DELL), the world's No. 2 PC maker, reported second-quarter revenue that trailed analysts' estimates. The company said sales in the current quarter will slip from the second quarter.


Kraft Foods (KFT) said it will sell a majority stake in its 'Back to Nature' food brand to U.S. private equity firm Brynwood Partners. The financial terms were undisclosed.


Amazon (AMZN) said the Kindle Store has become available in India.


October crude oil futures were falling 15 cents at $96.69 a barrel and December gold futures were rising $1.40 at $1,644.30 an ounce.


The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 4/32, diluting the yield to 1.79%. The greenback was flat, according to the dollar index.


More from

Aug 22, 2012 11:06AM

The economy is not improving.  Most americans know this.  Therefore, consumers are not spending.  Folks are holding their money since they have little hope that the economy is going to improve in the near future.  My company made it through the recession pretty well.  Now that we are finished with the third summer of recovery, my company has issued a wage and hiring freeze.  And travel has been cut back.  Do not let the media fool you.  The economy is spiraling downward for the same reasons discussed for the last 4 years.  If you have a job hold onto it.  Save as much money as you can. 

Aug 22, 2012 9:43AM

meanwhile, for me in 35 years 6 out of 10 jobs i've had have disappeared.  (out of business, moved out of state, etc). 


NOW with job #11, we're on a wage freeze and they discontinued accrual of vacation hours.  so, for me what i see inhibiting my consumerism is jobs and job security. 



>>>>It's not "jobs," it actually consumers, as they are the one's that fuel the whole system.  And America currently still has way too many consumers tied up in the housing mess.  So....... <<<<

Aug 22, 2012 9:34AM

like the chicken and the's not "housing", it's "jobs".


>>>>Until we are finally willing to properly address housing..... get used to it folks.  We are living the new normal.<<<<

Aug 22, 2012 9:15AM
We are just waiting for someone to comment......So we can all jump on them.
Aug 22, 2012 11:42AM
"There is no reason to posit that there has been a major paradigm shift from this classic sequence."

Cept for the economic numbers since '08.....
Aug 22, 2012 9:39AM
Actually steve, if you really want to play the chick and the egg game......

It's not "jobs," it actually consumers, as they are the one's that fuel the whole system.  And America currently still has way too many consumers tied up in the housing mess.  So.......
Aug 22, 2012 9:33AM
go ahead and jump - i'll post in the early AM, then disappear
Aug 22, 2012 7:46PM
Nice comeback this afternoon, could have been another awful day....We do not need more stimulus though, what we need is another Potus, this is an anti business marxist. When Romney becomes the President this market will soar, at least 15,000 in no time....If Obummer gets reelected forget about the markets, we are going down the crapper. Do some research, talk to people that works here, traders, investors, everybody is scared shitless of 4 more years of this ahole....Taxes will skyrocket, dividends, capital gains, etc, etc, etc.. We will get killed, every single tax payer will see his/her taxes go up...Obama is the worst thing that could have happened to our great country, not so great because of this inept anymore.
Aug 22, 2012 9:17AM
Until we are finally willing to properly address housing..... get used to it folks.  We are living the new normal.
Aug 22, 2012 10:37AM

We have a government at war with business.  Raising fees, taxes, regulations, and every sort of impediment to growth.  This of course makes business owners fearful and we hunker down accordingly.  

The best thing business owners can do is follows...

1. Dump all healhcare coverage, let employees join Obamacare.  This gets rid of a major cost and perpetual headache.  You will also be able to distribute all the savings to shareholders or management.

2. Don't hire, until you know what your costs will be.

3.  At the first sign in profits dipping, layoff enough workers to keep profits steady. And get rid of democrats first.

4.  Protect your assets against government seizure.  Stay out of bonds and dollars.  Buy stocks and Specie.   If necessary move your money off shore.  

5. And this is the most important.   Vote against every democrat on the ballot.
Aug 22, 2012 12:57PM

I have never begrudged an investor,owner,shareholder or stakeholder,from getting what they are due.

I have never begrudged a worker,laborer, share croper or farmer for being paid fairly for their toils.

I do have to question the amounts we award, pay, or compensate our CEOs and higher levels of executives in this Country, particularily WHEN they DON"T PRODUCE...


Our system is out of whack,when it comes to that. And that would include entertainers, celebrities, politicians and atheletes...There has to be some balance in our Society of what a person is really worth.

This makes us no different then a fuedal system or some third world countries...IMO


As a former Owner and Worker; I understand the owner getting all he can because of the venture and risk they took to build and make a business profitable...Many Business' fail within the "first" year and if they make it more then 5 years with all bills paid, month to month basis; They probably will be successful?....They deserve the "fruitation" of a venture...But shouldn't make it all off the backs of hardworking or deserving employees, that have contributed to the success. Fair and Balanced. 

Aug 22, 2012 10:23AM

Banks and other lending institutions, holding paper on homes are also becoming landlords, or basically Lords of the Manor; Maybe or probably hiring a property management group or forming their own in-house.?

The new normal is hard to determine...Because we are farming a new field in History..?

It may take a generation or better to level out, similar to Japan..


And jobs or steady employment will certainly play a big part..  

Aug 22, 2012 10:41AM
AMEN Pops.

I had to find a way to give some props to the greatest new show on television.....


Aug 22, 2012 10:43AM

very true - the 2 doors we have to pick from are both pretty bleak on the other side.


further hand outs to everyone thru one door; further job losses thru the other.  and protecting the banks from each door. 



>>>>As long as we continue to let the financial industry avoid reality, you are right, we will be stuck. 
Benefiting the chosen at the countries expense.  And I have seen nothing that tells me Romney and his group would do things any differently.<<<<<

Aug 22, 2012 1:14PM
Manipulators pretty much in control....We apparently may be down triple digits soon; why? Because they can, because that's how they steal money from everyone else....Stay on the sidelines for now...We will see what happens after the Fed minutes....More later. Stay cautious.
Aug 22, 2012 10:14AM

The new normal, is tearing down a lot of homes or sometimes whole neighborhoods?

If houses are left vacant too long in undesirable areas, they become nuisance structures.

Deteriorate, become infested,drug houses or squatter's abodes...And crime riddled areas..

Thus they tear them down, instead of rehabbing.

Same can happen in old neighborhoods, where there is still 30-40% occupancy. The owners do not want, these structures around to devalue their own.

Other areas are wising up, rehabbing with different community service groups, and saving homes for people to reuse at a lower cost....Seem's to work better in some locals.

What I find abnormal is the number of empty homes in rural areas, where some families have lived 20-30 years...What went wrong ?  They are just gone....I guess some are tax sales ??

Aug 22, 2012 11:01AM

Like I said, you have a Mandate......To screw your employees and attempt to blame others..

Plus maybe force your employees to vote in favor of your opinions...?


I have read about historical figures, attempting the same devices and plans.

What book did you base your Mandate on.??

Aug 22, 2012 11:41AM
Yeah, good one Livin' Large...Hoard money....worked so well the last 10 recessions.   The economy historically has always cycled from boom to bust AND back again.  There is no reason to posit that there has been a major paradigm shift from this classic sequence.   When this malaise is over, and that will mean, a hiring cycle (not necessary a housing one, although a "green" retrofit to housing might be one of the solutions) will ensue that will catch all off guard.   The economy is not 'spiraling downward', at least not for all segments, tax tiers or Mega corps. 

But yes, dont let the media scare you either.  Hunkering down in the bunkers means you miss out on the first legs of the next expansionary phase and subsequent growth to personal and business asset bases.  Dont be a rabbit hiding in the hole, folks.  Meet the crisis head on and do something about it.  I for one, will be traveling in the Fall after the forest fires die down.  So should you.

Aug 22, 2012 10:59AM
This morning not a whole lot different from yesterday morning; low volume and manipulators trying to take charge early...At about 1035 hrs they called for the first wave of selling so down we go...We understand it is early but, there are too many of these scumbags, just go back to what happened yesterday....FOMC minutes later....We will see what happens...More later.
Aug 22, 2012 2:12PM

Weird looking ticker and price; Looks more like a profit for the quarter....


Someone maybe Livin' 1998...Asked if you were doing better under Obama.????


OMG......YES; AREN'T MOST ??.......And we don't even work !!

Well outside of Miss Lilly cleaning right now with a Vacuum...

And me fixing lunch and dinner for the day...


Yes, I feel much better off then 5-7 years ago, but am also sympathetic to those without jobs and have lost their homes....Don't quit trying or give up.

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