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Stock Futures Cautious as Consumer Weakens, Citigroup Beats

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were little changed Monday as investors weighed China's slowing growth data and downbeat U.S. consumer spending trends against better-than-expected New York manufacturing numbers.

Citigroup (C ) shares were rising after the bank reported better-than-expected second-quarter results.

Futures for the S&P 500 were up 3.5 points, or 0.84 points below fair value, to 1,673.75. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 34 points, or 9.7 points above fair value, to 15,403. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 6 points, or 4.72 below fair value, to 3,068.

U.S. retail sales increased by a less-than-expected 0.4% in June, down from a downwardly-revised 0.5% in May, the Census Bureau reported Monday. Economists, on average, expected an increase of 0.8%, according to a Thomson Reuters poll of economists.

New York's economy proved to be brighter as the Empire State Manufacturing Survey's general business conditions index came in better-than-expected at 9.46 for July, up from 7.84 in June. Forecasts called for a decline to 5.

At 10 a.m., the Census Bureau is expected to report that business inventories were unchanged in May after increasing 0.3% in April.

In China, the National Bureau of Statistics said gross domestic product rose 7.5% in the second quarter from a year ago, slowing from a growth of 7.7% in the first quarter. The data offered more evidence that Chinese officials are comfortable with the country's current growth trajectory and efforts to cool the world's second-largest economy from the red-hot expansion of previous years.

Earnings for the week opened on a positive as Citigroup (C ) shares were rising 1.9% to $51.72 in pre-market trading after the bank reported second-quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates, driven by higher revenues. Adjusted earnings came in at $1.25 a share on revenue of $20.5 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of earnings of $1.17 a share on revenue of $19.75 billion.

Leap Wireless (LEAP ) was soaring more than 100% to $17.60. AT&T (T - Get Report) agreed to buy Leap Wireless for $15 a share, or $1.2 billion, in a deal that could bolster the telecom's wireless capacity and adds to a frenetic two years of consolidation in the industry. AT&T will pick up Leap's Cricket brand and about 5 million subscribers on its CDMA network, under Friday's proposed deal.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN - Get Report) was rising 1.56% to $116.04 after Reuters reported that Swiss drug maker Roche is seeking financing for a potential offer for Alexion, which specializes in the treatment of rare diseases.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was falling 1/32, raising the yield to 2.59%. The dollar was rising 0.3% to $83.24 according to the U.S. dollar index.

The DAX in Germany was rising 0.26%, while the FTSE in London was up 0.45%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng closed higher by 0.12%. Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday.

August crude oil futures were down $1 to $104.95 a barrel. August gold futures were rising $4.70 to $1,282.30 an ounce.

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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

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