Futures Weak on Retail Data, Despite Earnings

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures pointed to a lower open Friday as weak retail sales for December overshadowed better-than-expected production data and strong earnings from Intel ( INTC) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM).

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down by 33 points, or 26 points below fair value, at 11,650. Futures for the S&P 500 were lower by 4 points, or 2 points below fair value, at 1278, and Nasdaq futures were off by 1 point, or 3 points below fair value.

Stocks fell Thursday as a higher-than-expected increase in initial jobless claims shook confidence.

The Labor Department said consumer prices ticked 0.5% higher in December after an uptick of 0.1% in November. According to Briefing.com, economists had projected an increase of 0.4%. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the core rose 0.1%, as expected, and after similar growth the previous month.

The Commerce Department said retail sales increased 0.6% in December, coming in just below expectations for growth of 0.7%, according to Briefing.com. That compares with an increase of 0.8% in November. Excluding autos, sales gained 0.5%, slightly missing Wall Street calls for a 0.6% uptick. In November, retail sales, excluding autos, jumped 1%, which was downwardly revised from an initially reported surge of 1.2%.

Late Thursday, Intel reported adjusted earnings of 59 cents a share, topping estimates by 6 cents, on better-than-expected sales of $11.5 billion. Shares were trading 1.3% higher to $21.56 ahead of Friday's opening bell.

Early Friday, JPMorgan Chase beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter expectations with earnings of $1.12 a share and sales that rose 13% from last year to $26 billion. Analysts had been projecting a profit of 99 cents on revenue of $24.4 billion. The stock was down by 0.5% at $44.25 during the premarket session.

The People's Bank of China raised banks' required reserve levels for the seventh time since early 2009 in its continued effort to cool growth.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2% while Japan's Nikkei fell 0.9%. London's FTSE was shedding 0.8% and the DAX in Frankfurt was down by 0.3%.

Both industrial production and capacity utilization grew by more than expected in December, according to the Federal Reserve. Industrial production gained 0.8%, topping forecasts for growth of 0.4%, and capacity utilization jumped to 76%, exceeding the 75.5% reading that economists had expected. In November, industrial production rose 0.3% and capacity utilization came in at 75.4%.

At 9:55 a.m., the University of Michigan is expected to say that consumer sentiment inched up to 75.5 in January, from 74.5 in December.

Finally, the Commerce Department will release its report on November business inventories. Wall Street is projecting an increase of 0.8% from 0.7% in October.

Shares of Coinstar ( CSTR) were down 26.1% at $42.10 early Friday as the operator of coin-counting and DVD machines slashed its fourth-quarter guidance to a range of 65 to 69 cents a share, from its previous range of 79 to 85 cents a share.

Shares of Sterling Bancshares ( SBIB) were up 8.3% to $8.10 in early trading following a Wall Street Journal report saying that the company put itself up for sale .

Shares of Smith & Nephew ( SNN) were down 1.3% to $53.64 ahead of the opening bell after the medical device company put speculation to rest and said it isn't engaged in merger discussions .

In commodity markets, the February crude oil contract was trading $1.23 lower at $90.17 a barrel. The February gold contract was down by $19.70 to trade at $1,367.30 an ounce.

The dollar strengthened against a basket of currencies with the dollar index up by 0.1%. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 4/32, lifting the yield to 3.319%.


--Written by Melinda Peer in New York.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.