Stock Futures Waver After Mixed Jobs Data


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were wavering Thursday as investors digested a mixed labor market report.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 7 points, or 1.64 points below fair value, at 13,127. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 1.2 points, or 1.32 points below fair value, at 1397. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 were up 5.25 points, or 2.88 points above fair value, at 2712.

U.S. stocks traded sideways Wednesday, pausing after a three-day rally as investors braced for economic reports from China and digested divergent views within the Federal Reserve on monetary stimulus.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless claims during the week ended Aug. 4, fell 6,000 to 361,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised figure of 367,000. However, the four-week moving average was 368,250, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's average of 366,000. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected claims of 370,000.

Also, continuing claims for the week ended July 28, were 3.332 million, an increase of 53,000 from the preceding week's level of 3.279 million.

At the same time, the Commerce Department reported that the June trade deficit narrowed to $42.9 billion from a downwardly revised $48 billion in May. Economists, on average, predicted the deficit shrank to $47.5 billion from $48.7 billion.

At 10 a.m., the Commerce Department is expected to say that wholesale inventories rose 0.3% in June, similar to the previous month.

September crude oil futures were up 18 cents at $93.53 a barrel and December gold futures were down 80 cents at $1,615.20 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was falling 1 14/32, raising the yield to 1.685%. The greenback was up 0.24%, according to the dollar index.

The FTSE in London was flat and the DAX in Germany was down 0.55%.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng index finished higher by 1.02% and the Nikkei in Japan closed up 1.1% after data showing that inflation eased further in China in July, providing the country with more leeway to reduce interest rates or increase spending amid a spate of weak July indicators.

Industrial production in China fell to 9.2% in July from 9.5% in June, its lowest rate since May 2009, and retail sales growth slowed to 13.1% from 13.7%. Fixed asset investment also missed estimates.

In corporate news, News Corp. ( NWSA) posted a quarterly loss of $1.55 billion, or 64 cents a share, after the media giant recorded a $2.9 billion write-down on its publishing assets.

Excluding the write-down, News Corp. earned 32 cents a share in the quarter, down from 35 cents a share a year earlier, but in-line with analysts' expectations.

Revenue declined 7% to $8.37 billion; analysts were calling for revenue of $8.78 billion.

News Corp. said in June that it planned to separate its struggling publishing business from its entertainment assets by next year.

Zynga ( ZNGA) Chief Operating Officer John Schappert, is resigning, effectively immediately, according to an 8-K filing from the San Francisco-based social gaming company

Several private-equity firms that have been approached to join in a buyout of Best Buy ( BBY) are sitting on the fence, private-equity sources told Reuters, citing the lack of a tangible plan by the retailer's founder Richard Schulze.


-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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