Stock Futures Pare Gains on Durable Goods Data


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. futures were paring gains after a reading on durable goods orders bounced in February, but by less than economists expected.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 18 points, or 15.3 points above fair value, at 13,142. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.8 point, or 0.1 point above fair value, at 1407. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 4.8 points, or 2.7 points above fair value, at 2781.

Before the opening bell, the Commerce Department reported that durable goods orders in February rose 2.2%, slightly short of the consensus forecast. Economists were expecting a 2.9% rebound after a 3.7% drop in January according to Thomson Reuters. Without taking into account transportation, durable goods orders rose 1.6% in February after a 3% plunge in the prior month.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that it is "far too early to declare victory" on the U.S. economy. In an interview Tuesday on ABC, Bernanke once again reminded viewers that the jobless rate of the world's biggest economy is too high and that accommodative monetary policy is needed.

On Tuesday, stocks finished lower after consumer confidence and home prices data came in slightly off expectations.

"We went back to the 1950s and found that the 17.7% rally since mid-December makes this roughly the 270th best rally in this time frame," wrote Dan Greenhaus, strategist with BTIG, in a note Tuesday night. "While the S&P 500 was lower one month later roughly 45% of the time, six months later, the S&P 500 was lower after this type of a rally just 9.0% of the time."

On Wednesday, Germany's DAX was down 0.14% while London's FTSE was down 0.03%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng closed down 0.8% while the Nikkei Average in Japan finished lower by 0.71% overnight.

In corporate news, Tyco International ( TYC) said it will merge its flow control business with diversified industrial manufacturing company Pentair ( PNR) to create an industry leader with an expected $7.7 billion in pro forma 2012 revenue. The transaction values Tyco Flow at about $4.9 billion, including assumed net debt and minority interest. Pentair shares were surging 10.5% to $44.48 in premarket trading Wednesday, while Tyco shares were popping 4.6% to $56

Nokia ( NOK) introduced its first smartphone design for China on Wednesday, hoping for a turnaround through the world's largest cellphone market. The struggling mobile phone maker said that the new Lumia 800C can run on China's CDMA networks and will be supported by China Telecom, a leading carrier in the country. Shares were gaining 3.7% to $5.57.

Bank of America ( BAC) is assembling an international advisory board that would provide chief executive Brian Moynihan with guidance on global strategy, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation. Shares were trading higher by 1% at $9.70.

Apple ( AAPL) will offer refunds to all buyers of the new iPad in Australia after the nation's consumer watchdog accused it of misleading advertising, according to reports. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission demanded that Apple make consumers aware its third-generation iPad can't connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia due to technical incompatibility, Reuters reported. Apple agreed to post warnings that its new iPad wasn't compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks over the next week. Shares were rising 0.6% at $617.99.

May oil futures were down 99 cents to $106.34. In other commodities, April gold futures were down $12.30 to $1672.60 an ounce.

The dollar index was 0.06% lower. The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down 5/32 pushing the yield to 2.203%.

-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Chao Deng.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to: @chao_deng

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

If you liked this article you might like

Forecast for S&P 500, Dow Industrials Remains Bullish, These Charts Show

Dow 20,000! It Should Mean Nothing to Investors, but Then Again...

Tradebird Investors Are Bullish on U.S. Stocks but Bearish on the Euro

Why Home Depot and Boeing Stock Fell Tuesday