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Market Hustle: Futures Sink After Retail Sales, Jobless Claims Data

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures continued to weaken Thursday after a worse-than-expected jobless claims number and downwardly revised retail sales data.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Whole Foods Market (WFM) were both declining after they issued earnings reports on Wednesday.

Also making the headlines Thursday was Comcast's (CMCSA) $45 billion agreement to buy Time Warner Cable (TWC).

  • Comcast confirmed Thursday it reached a deal to buy Time Warner Cable for about $45.2 billion in stock, or $158.82 a share, in a deal that combines the nation's top two cable TV companies. Comcast was down 0.54% to $54.94 and Time Warner Cable was surging 10.6% to $149.75.
  • Retail sales fell by 0.4% in January following a downwardly revised 0.1% dip in December, according to the Census Bureau.

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 8,000 to a more-than-expected 339,000 in the week of Feb. 8.

  • Business inventories data for December will be released at 10 a.m. EST.

  • Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's delivery of the second part of the semi-annual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee in Washington has been postponed because of bad weather.

  • Cisco Systems was slumping 3.06% to $22.16 after Cisco predicted a year-over-year revenue decline of 6% to 8% for its fiscal third quarter.

  • Whole Foods Market was plunging 6.69% to $51.76 in premarket trading after the organic and specialty foods store missed on both profit and revenue estimates and posted comparable-store sales growth numbers that were softer than last year.

  • Angie's List (ANGI) was plummeting more than 19.5% to $13.75 after missing fourth-quarter earnings expectations and after it weaker-than-expect first-quarter guidance.

  • PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report) shares were down 0.6% in premarket trading to $81 after topping earnings per share estimates by 5 cents at $1.05 a share, and reporting in-line revenue of $20.12 billion. In addition, the company announced a 15% increase in its annualized dividend to $2.62 a share.

  • Sam Stovall, the New York-based chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ, indicated that bigger-picture data continues to point to bullish market conditions. He wrote in a client note that after declining 5.8% in the three weeks starting Jan. 15, the S&P 500 has retraced nearly 75% of the pullback in four days vs. the normal average of 1.7 months to recover entirely from all pullbacks since WWII.

    • "The S&P 500 continues to confound and frustrate those under-allocated to stocks," said Stovall. "While the speed of recovery from pullbacks offers scant clues as to the strength and duration of subsequent advances, it gives this bull market an additional reason to celebrate its upcoming fifth birthday in less than a month."

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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