Stocks were moderately lower early Wednesday as investors awaited a report on the May trade deficit. Index futures recently showed the S&P 500 trading half a point below fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 2-point decline. The 10-year Treasury bond fell 5/32 in price to yield 5.12%, while the dollar rose against the yen and euro. At 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Commerce Department is expected to say that that U.S. trade deficit widened to $65 billion in May from $63.4 billion in April. Earnings are expected from M&T Bank ( MTB) and Genzyme ( GENZ) Wednesday. Shares of Infosys ( INFY) surged 7% early Wednesday after the Indian outsourcer said second-quarter net rose a better-than-expected 44% from last year. The performance helped prop up the Bombay market a day after train bombings killed 190 people and injured hundreds of others. Other overseas stocks were mostly higher, with London's FTSE 100 recently up 0.5% to 5885 and Germany's Xetra DAX gaining 1.3% to 5689. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei fell 1.5% overnight to 15,249, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2% to 16,522. Oil rose ahead of an Energy Department report that is expected to show that crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels last week while gasoline inventories fell by 500,000 barrels. In electronic Nymex trading, August crude was recently up 15 cents to $74.31 a barrel. U.S. stocks erased early losses and finished higher Tuesday, spurred on by bullish comments from chip equipment maker KLA-Tencor ( KLAC). For the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 31 points to 11,135, while the S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1273 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 12 points to 2129. After the bell Tuesday, biotech giant Genentech ( DNA) said second-quarter earnings rose 79% from last year to $531 million, or 49 cents a share, while adjusted earnings of 56 cents a share beat estimates by 9 cents. Genentech guided to full-year earnings of $1.98 to $2.05 a share, also ahead of forecasts.
The European Union has slapped Microsoft ( MSFT) with a $357 million fine after determining it failed to make good on a pledge to share source code with other software makers as part of a 2004 antitrust settlement. Microsoft will appeal the ruling, which also includes a threat of additional fines of almost $4 million a day starting next month.