U.S. Stock Futures Hit Pause

by on July 30, 2012 12:12 pm BST

NEW YORK—U.S. stock futures leaned lower, as some weak European data helped prompt a pullback from recent sharp gains.

About 90 minutes before the opening bell, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gave up 23 points, or 0.2%, to 13010. The Dow surged 188 points, or 1.5%, on Friday to close above 13000 for the first time since May 7.

Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index futures edged down 4 points, or 0.3%, to 1379 and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped one point, or less than 0.1%, to 2641.

Changes in stock futures don’t always accurately predict stock moves after the opening bell.

On the economic calendar, a reading of manufacturing activity in the Dallas region in July is due at 10:30 a.m. EDT

European markets rallied, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 1%, as expectations of new stimulus measures there overshadowed the weak economic data. Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the Eurogroup of euro-zone finance ministers, said in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro over the weekend that euro-zone governments, the European Central Bank and the European Financial Stability Facility will coordinate action to help solve the region’s debt crisis. Spain’s IBEX-35 index climbed 1.5%.

Spain’s economy contracted 0.4% in the second quarter from the previous three months and the euro-zone’s confidence indicator fell to 87.9 in July from 89.9 in June. And the number of mortgage approvals for new home purchases fell in June to the lowest level seen since December 2010.

Asian markets were mostly higher, with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rising 0.8% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gaining 0.9%. But China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.9% to close at the lowest level seen since March 2009.

Crude-oil futures eased 0.4% to $89.73 a barrel, while gold futures ticked up 0.2% to $1,621 an ounce. The U.S. dollar rose against the euro but edged lower against the yen.

In corporate news, shares of AT&T

advanced 1% in premarket trading after the blue-chip telecom company said it increased its stock repurchase program by 300 million shares, which represents about 5% of the company’s shares outstanding.

Shaw Group

soared 69% after the engineering and construction company agreed to be acquired by Chicago Bridge & Iron

in a deal valued at $3 billion.

Progenics Pharmaceuticals

tumbled 49% after the company and Salix Pharmaceuticals

said the Food and Drug Administration requested additional clinical data following a review of its constipation treatment. Salix shares slid 15%.


added 3.4% after the company said the accepted the new drug application for its thyroid cancer treatment was granted priority review designation by the FDA.