This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Stock Futures Dip After Tepid Jobs, GDP Data

Stocks in this article: ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were falling further after initial jobless claims missed expectations amid losses in European markets.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 44 points, or 48 points below fair value, at 13,009. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 5.6 points, or 5.8 points below fair value, at 1395. Futures for the Nasdaq were down 10 points, or 8.4 points below fair value, at 2758.

The Department of Labor reported that weekly jobless claims in the week ended March 24 fell by 5,000 to 359,000 from the prior week's revised level of 364,000. The latest update was slightly disappointing because economists were expecting 350,000 claims, according to Thomson Reuters, after an original reading of 348,000 in the week before.

A report on economic growth, however, came in line with expectations. The government's third read on GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2011 remained the same as its previous read of a 3% growth pace. This is up from 1.8% annualized growth rate in the third quarter, although still worrisome given that growth is expected to pull back going into the first quarter of 2012.

European stocks were falling after the European Commission said an index of executive and consumer sentiment fell to a reading of 94.4 in March from a revised 94.5 in February.

With Greece's troubles largely falling out of the spotlight, investors have been keeping an eye on deficit problems in Portugal and Spain, were sovereign debt yields have climbed recently. On Friday, European governments meet in Copenhagen where they will aim to increase the rescue firewall in the region. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to allow the increase.

The European Commission also said an index of executive and consumer sentiment fell to a reading of 94.4 in March from a revised 94.5 in February.

Germany's DAX was down 1.3% while London's FTSE was down 0.7%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng closed down 1.32% while the Nikkei Average in Japan finished lower by 0.67% overnight.

On Wednesday, stocks fell along with commodities. Materials and energy stocks dragged down the market amid disappointing domestic and European economic data. A report on durable goods in the U.S. saw a bounce in February, but came in lower than expected.

In corporate news, Best Buy (BBY), the electronics retailer, reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $2.47 a share, excluding items, on revenue of $16.73 billion. Analysts were expecting profit of $2.16 a share on revenue of $17.2 billion. Same-store sales dipped 2.4%; Wall Street was expecting a decline of 0.6%. Shares were popping 5.9% to $28.19 in premarket trading Thursday.

Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche increased its unsolicited offer for Illumina (ILMN) to $51 a share, valuing the U.S. diagnostics company at more than $6.5 billion. Roche's previous offer of $44.50 a share was rejected by Illumina's board as being too low. Illumina told its shareholders to "take no action at this time." Shares of Illumina were gaining 2.6% at $51.15 in premarket trading Thursday.

Research In Motion (RIMM), the troubled BlackBerry maker, is expected by analysts to report quarterly earnings of 82 cents a share, which is below the company's own expectation for earnings of 85 cents to 90 cents a share. RIM is working toward the release of its next-generation handset, the BlackBerry 10, in the second half of this year. Shares of RIM have fallen 4% so far in 2012.

Red Hat (RHT), the open source software company, posted earnings in the February-ended quarter that topped analysts' estimates. Red Hat reported a non-GAAP adjusted profit of $57.2 million, or 29 cents a share, on revenue of $297 million, up more than 20% from last year. Analysts were expecting earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $291.2 million. The company also unveiled a $300 million buyback program.

Red Lion Hotels ( RLH ) announced plans to explore strategic options. The company said its board has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynchto look at ways to "maximize shareholder value, including a potential sale of the company or a strategic combination with a third party."

May oil futures were down 54 cents to $104.87. In other commodities, April gold futures were down $1.90 to $1656 an ounce.

The dollar index was 0.12% higher. The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 6/32 diluting the yield to 2.183%.

-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Chao Deng.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to: @chao_deng

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs