Stock Futures Fall as Chinese Exports Slow
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open Monday after China showed signs of economic slowing.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 27 points, or 10 points below fair value, at 12,836. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 4 points, or 2 points below fair value, at 1363. Futures for the Nasdaq were down 7 points, or 5 points below fair value, at 2637.
China reported slower-than-expected export growth in the last month. The country saw its largest trade deficit since 1989 in February as exports to debt troubled Europe weakened. The data, together with recent reports on Chinese factory output and retail sales, suggested slowing growth in the country. On the upside, Japan reported that its machinery orders rebounded in January, suggesting future growth momentum.
Japan's Nikkei Average closed down 0.4% on Monday and Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished up 0.23%."Be prepared for a slight pullback and definitely more volatility," said Mark Martiak, senior wealth strategist with Premier Financial Advisors. "The steep decline last week prepared us for it," he added, referring to last Tuesday selloff in reaction to China's announcement that it will target a lower 7.5% GDP growth for 2012. With no U.S. economic data scheduled for Monday, investors continue to focus on Greece's progress in getting a second bailout. Last week, the country successfully completed its debt swap with private investors, a deal which was subsequently declared as a "credit event" triggering payouts related to credit default swaps. Euro leaders Monday are expected to meet in Brussels in order to sign off on $170 billion worth of aid for Greece. Stocks finished on a positive note Friday despite the ruling from the International Swaps and Derivatives Association on Greece. Positive jobs data at the end of last week showed a third consecutive month of plus 200,000 job additions in February. For the week, the Dow fell 0.4% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq edged marginally higher. Germany's DAX was down 0.2%, while London's FTSE was down 0.2% on Monday.
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