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Stock Futures Decline Ahead of Housing Report


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a lower open Monday ahead of a report that is expected to show a slowdown in growth of new- home sales in the U.S. and ahead of a eurozone summit later this week.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were shedding 89 points, or 87.8 points below fair value, at 12,479. Futures for the S&P 500 were slipping by 10.8 points, or 12.7 points below fair value, at 1316, and futures for the Nasdaq 100 were behind by 16.3 points, or 22.3 points below fair value, at 2557.

The U.S. economic calendar Monday includes new-home sales at 10 a.m. EDT.

The Commerce Department is expected to report that U.S. new-home sales rose less than a percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 346,000, after increasing 3.3% to 343,000, according to a survey of economists by Thomson Reuters. Economists at Capital Economics foresee levels similar to that of April's.

Existing homes are still selling at hefty discounts, Capital Economics said.

The major U.S. equity averages finished with solid gains Friday after the European Central Bank pursued measures to boost banks on the continent and a growth package was put forth at a "mini" European summit in Rome.

One of the biggest market drivers for this week is the eurozone summit taking place on June 28 and 29 in Brussels.

"Expectations that further risk sharing will be agreed at this week's summit have dimmed to next to nothing," cautioned Michala Marcussen, an economist at Societe Generale. "Failure to deliver further risk sharing at the Summit will leave markets vulnerable."

The FTSE in London was off by 0.85% and the DAX in Germany was falling by 1.74%.

Spain confirmed Monday that it has officially requested European financial support of up to €100 billion ($125 billion) for its troubled banks. It said that the final amount will be set at a later date and should more than sufficiently cover all the banks' needs.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng index settled down by 0.51% and the Nikkei in Japan finished lower by 0.72%.

August crude oil futures were down 79 cents to $78.97 a barrel. August gold futures were up $1.40 to $1,568.30 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was gaining 15/32, lowering the yield to 1.625%, while the dollar was rising by 0.38%, according to the dollar index.

In corporate news, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) will improve risk management of its Chief Investment Office, the unit that racked up more than $2 billion of trading losses, while avoiding big bets on derivative and private-equity investments, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the bank.

But the CIO intends to stick with a strategy permitting a wide variety of other, potentially risky investments, the people told the newspaper.

An internal review by senior bankers of what went wrong isn't complete, but early conclusions focus on improving the unit's risk-management processes rather than curtailing investment options or broadly reining in risk, people close to the matter said.

Research In Motion (RIMM), the BlackBerry maker, could split its business in two by separating its handset manufacturing unit from its messaging network, according to The Sunday Times, which didn't cite sources.

RIM may break off the handset division into a separate listed company or try to sell it, the British newspaper said. Amazon (AMZN) or Facebook (FB) were listed as potential buyers, The Sunday Times said.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), the world's biggest brewer, is in talks to buy the 50% of Corona beer maker Grupo Modelo that it doesn't already own, Reuters reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The deal could be valued at more than $10 billion, Reuters said.


-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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