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TheStreet Open House

Stock Futures Cautious After Hitting Milestones

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a mixed start for major U.S. markets after they touched but failed to hold milestone levels on Monday. 
 
Markets on Monday touched record highs in early trade of 16,000 and 1,800, respectively, for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500. But they failed to hold those gains by the close with activist investor Carl Icahn warning he was "very cautious" on equities which could suffer a "big drop."
 
Futures for the S&P 500 were off 2.03 over fair value to 1,788.53 on Tuesday while futures for the Dow Jones were up 2.98 over fair value to 15,938.02. Futures for the Nasdaq were off 3.72 over fair value to 3,385.02. 
 
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on Tuesday cut its global growth forecasts due largely to an expected slowdown in emerging market economies. The Paris-based organization cut its global growth forecasts by 0.5 percentage points both this and next year to 2.7% and 3.6%, respectively. It also cited uncertainty around the U.S. budget and Federal Reserve stimulus timing as potential risks to the global economy. 
 

Best Buy (BBY) shares were dropping 6.34% in pre-market trade to $40.76 as the retailer warned of a tough holiday period. It reported net income of $54 million or 16 cents per share in the third quarter compared with a with a loss of $10 million or 3 cents per share in the prior corresponding period.

 As the country's biggest home-improvement retailer, Home Depot  (HD) beat expectations in reporting revenue of $1.35 billion or 95 cents per share. This compares to $947 million or 63 cents per share a year ago. The company lifted its full-year forecast and its shares were up 3.30% in pre-market trade to $82.30.

 Other companies expected to see price action today include The TJX Companies (TJX) which is forecast to report third-quarter earnings of 74 cents a share.

 Urban Outfitters (URBN) announced a rise in third-quarter profit late Monday to $70.3 million $59.5 million or 47 cents a shares from $59.5 million or 40 cents a share a year earlier. Company revenue rose 12% to $774 million. Its shares were of 2.88% in after hours trade to $38.50.

Also on Monday, Salesforce (CRM) posted a loss of $124.4 million or 21 cents a share down from a loss of $220.3 million or 39 cents a share a year earlier. Company revenue rose to $1.08 billion from $788.4 million. Its shares were down 0.92% in after hours trade to $55.00.

The employment cost index increased 0.4 percent for the third quarter after rising 0.5% in the second quarter, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The index is the broadest measure of labor costs, taking in wages and salaries as well as benefits.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak in Washington at 7 p.m. while Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans will speak on the economy and monetary policy in Chicago at 2.15 p.m.

Global stocks were mostly lower. Germany's DAX was off 0.20% while the U.K. FTSE was down 0.43%. The Hang Seng closed off 0.01% and the Nikkei was 0.25% lower.

December oil futures were off 0.14 to $92.89 while November gold futures were up 2 to $1274.2. Ten year U.S. Treasuries were up 0.012 to 2.68 while the U.S. dollar was off 0.06% to $80.77 according to the U.S. dollar index.

 --By Jane Searle in New York

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