Futures fall on Moody's Spanish downgrade

As regions tap into the country's bailout fund, questions arise over its stability.

By Benzinga Oct 23, 2012 8:13AM

stock marketU.S. equity futures fell in early Tuesday trading as Moody's downgraded five Spanish regions and confirmed five others. The news comes just days after more Spanish regions tapped the federal government's regional bailout fund, effectively drawing down the remaining balance of the fund and raising questions over the ability of Spain to keep its regions solvent. 

In other news, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at the Daily Telegraph is the latest analyst to join the chorus of strategists and journalists highlighting the risk of further Bank of Japan stimulus. The stimulus is likely to happen in the new year once elections have taken place and Prime Minister Noda's government is out.

Spanish GDP fell at 1.7% annualized rate in the third quarter, showing the continued drag on the economy of the country's austerity measures. Also, the government reported that domestic demand fell 1.2% quarter-over-quarter.

More top news
  • Iran's oil minister warned that further sanctions on the nation would prompt it to cut off all oil exports and that the nation would be able to generate revenue from means other than oil exports.
  • S&P 500 futures fell 10.5 points to 1,419.60.
  • The EUR/USD was lower at 1.3031.
  • Spanish 10-year government bond yields rose to 5.537%.
  • Italian 10-year government bond yields rose to 4.766%.
  • Gold futures fell 0.49% to $1,717.19 per ounce.

See more of Benzinga's market news here.


Commodities were weaker in early trade, despite comments from Iran. WTI crude futures fell 0.21% to $88.46 per barrel and Brent crude futures fell 0.1%to $109.33 per barrel. Copper futures slipped 1.08% to $358.30 per pound on global growth fears. Gold was lower and silver futures fell 0.89% to $31.965 per ounce.


Currency markets continued to show dollar strength in early trade, as the euro weakened and the yen continued its downward slide. The EUR/USD was lower at 1.301 and the dollar gained against the yen for the ninth straight trading day. Overall, the Dollar Index gained 0.09% on strength against the Canadian dollar, the yen, and the euro. The Aussie dollar was also broadly weak, falling against the U.S. dollar, the euro, and the yen, indicating a broad risk-off sentiment in markets.

Premarket movers

  • Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) shares rose 1.9% premarket after falling over 3% Monday.
  • United States Steel (X) fell 1.13% premarket as investors continued to be concerned over the profitability of the steel sector as a whole.
  • Shares of Union Pacific (UNP) fell 0.8% premarket despite being upgraded at FBR Capital Markets to "outperform."


  • 3M Co. (MMM) is expected to report third quarter earnings per share of $1.65 vs. $1.52 a year ago.
  • Netflix (NFLX) is expected to report third quarter earnings per share of $0.04 vs. $1.16 a year ago.
  • United Technologies (UTX) is expected to report third quarter earnings per share of $1.18 vs. $1.42 a year ago.
  • Harley Davidson (HOG) is expected to report third quarter earnings per share of $0.58 vs. $0.78 a year ago.

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On the economic calendar Tuesday, same-store sales and the Redbook are due out to shed light on the state of the American consumer. Also, the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index is due out and the FOMC begins its two-day meeting.

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