Futures lower on weak European economic data

US markets are set for a lower open ahead of reports on consumer spending and manufacturing.

By Benzinga May 31, 2013 8:19AM

zrubar age fotostockBy Matthew Kanterman

U.S. equity futures were lower in early premarket trade on a batch of weak economic data out of the eurozone. Although most of the weakness in the data points was expected, the data, including unemployment statistics and German retail sales, pointed to a continued and protracted recession in the eurozone and placed more pressure on the European Central Bank to continue to support the economy ahead of its next interest rate decision next week.

In other news, yen strength dominated overnight on the back of strong economic data out of Japan as the USD/JPY rate fell below 100.50 to as low as 100.30. The pair recently traded above 103.

The eurozone's unemployment rate rose to another record level in April of 12.2% from 12.1% previously, in line with expectations. Notable weakness was seen in the Italian unemployment report, which drove shares lower in Europe.

The bidding war for Clearwire (CLWR) continues as Dish Networks (DISH) increased its bid for the company to $4.40 per share, 29% more than Sprint's (S) bid. The bid includes the just over 50% of Clearwire owned by Sprint.

  • S&P 500 futures fell 11.3 points to 1,642.30.

  • The EUR/USD was lower at 1.2986.

  • Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell 1 basis point to 4.35%.

  • Italian 10-year government bond yields fell 2 basis points to 4.1%.

  • Gold rose 0.23% to $1,415.20 per ounce.

  • Click here for more of Benzinga's top news stories!

Asian markets

Asian shares were mixed overnight as Japanese shares recovered some of its large Thursday losses. The Japanese Nikkei Index rose 1.37% and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.73% while the Hang Seng Index declined 0.41%. Also, the Korean Kospi rose 0.05% and Australian shares declined 0.08%.

European markets

European shares traded mostly lower overnight following some weak economic data. The Spanish Ibex Index declined 1.31% and the Italian FTSE MIB Index fell 1.04%. Meanwhile, the German DAX declined 1.02% and the French CAC 40 lost 1.16% as U.K. shares fell 0.99%.


Commodities were mostly lower overnight save for gold on global growth fears. WTI crude futures fell 0.74% to $92.92 per barrel and Brent crude futures declined 0.56% to $101.62 per barrel. Copper futures declined 0.6% to $329.55 per pound on continued supply concerns. Gold was higher and silver futures declined 0.13% to $22.66 per ounce.


Currency markets saw yen strength overnight but otherwise the dollar was strong against other major partners. The EUR/USD was lower at 1.2986 and the dollar declined against the yen to 100.62. Overall, the Dollar Index rose 0.27% on strength against the Canadian dollar, the euro, the pound, and the swiss franc.

Earnings reported Thursday

Key companies that reported earnings Thursday include:

  • Big Lots (BIG) reports first quarter earnings per share of $0.61 vs. $0.61 expected on revenue of $1.31 billion vs. $1.32 billion expected.

  • Costco (COST) reported third quarter earnings per share of $1.04 vs. $1.03 on revenue of $23.55 billion vs. $24.21 billion expected.

  • Guess? Inc. (GES) reported first quarter earnings per share of $0.14 vs. $0.08 expected on revenue of $548.9 million vs. $550.06 million expected.

  • Joy Global (JOY) reported second quarter earnings per share of $1.73 vs. $1.58 expected on revenue of $1.36 billion vs. $1.28 billion expected.

  • Palo Alto Networks (PANW) reported third quarter earnings per share of $0.06 vs. $0.05 expected on revenue of $101.3 million vs. $103.46 million expected.

Premarket movers

Stocks moving in the premarket included:

  • Palo Alto Networks (PANW) shares declined 14.97% premarket after its sales forecast missed estimates.

  • Guess Inc. (GES) shares rose 10.7% premarket after the company beat earnings and guidance estimates.

  • Harley-Davidson (HOG) shares declined 1.64% on little news. The stock went ex-dividend earlier this week.


Notable companies expected to report earnings Friday include:

  • Genesco (GCO) is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $0.87 vs. $0.98 a year ago.


On the economics calendar Friday, the personal income and outlays report is expected followed by the Chicago PMI and Michigan consumer sentiment. Also, the Federal Reserve's Sandra Pinalto is set to speak. In addition, the Canadian GDP report for the first quarter is set to be released. Later tonight, the Chinese Manufacturing PMI is due out.

More from Benzinga

May 31, 2013 10:59AM
Yes, This is a WORTHWHILE read...On an investment portion of this site.
May 31, 2013 9:35AM

So many Articles...So little substance about investing..

When there is one that deserves comments or discussion..


Articles on WalMart,McDonalds,Facebook,Obama's Investments or a PIIGS State, reign supreme.

Well written articles get dissed for crap...

And the crap is written about...Every three days or so..?

Some people need to get a life....WE ARE NOT ALL "Braindead."

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