Futures Point to Muted Open for Stocks

Traders await data on retail sales and import and export prices.
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Premarket futures were indicating a flat open Wednesday as investors awaited the release of retail sales data as well as import and export prices.

Futures for the

S&P 500

were down 2.5 points at 1289 and were half a point above fair value.

Nasdaq

futures were down 4 points at 1941 and were 4 points below fair value.

Later this morning, traders will hear the Census Bureau's take on the state of retail sales for July in addition to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' update on U.S. import and export prices.

On the companies side, semiconductor firm

Nvidia

(NVDA) - Get Report

said it swung to a quarterly loss because of flawed chips and a failure to anticipate the impact of a new graphics chip from rival

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

.

Another piece of discouraging news in the semiconductor sphere came from

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, who said its profit declined 65% for the third quarter owing to the economic slowdown.

Later, farm-equipment maker

Deere

(DE) - Get Report

and department-store operator

Macy's

(M) - Get Report

will report quarterly earnings.

On the corporate merger scene, drug store operator

CVS Caremark

(CVS) - Get Report

said it would buy

Longs Drug Stores

(LDG)

for roughly $2.6 billion in an effort to expand its presence in the western U.S.

Away from stocks, U.S. Treasuries were essentially holding steady. The 10-year note was losing 2/32 in price to yield 3.9%, and the 30-year was gaining 1/32 to yield 4.53%. The dollar was gaining substantially against the euro and the pound, but weakening vs. the yen.

In the commodities area, crude oil was adding 72 cents to $113.73 a barrel. Gold was up $15.40 to $830 an ounce.