Stock Futures Fall on Signs of Slowing Global Growth


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were lower Thursday after lackluster Chinese and eurozone data added to worries that global economic growth was stalling.

In addition, the initial jobless claims data in the U.S. came in worse than expected.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 53 points, or 54.96 points below fair value, at 13,444. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 6.49 points, or 7.49 points below fair value, at 1446. Futures for the Nasdaq were down 9.50 points, or 13.33 points below fair value, at 2844.

"Another night goes by and so it seems we have another slide in the fortunes of major global economies," commented Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak.

"The risk landscape is firmly negative this morning," said Christopher Vecchio, currency analyst at DailyFX.

The HSBC Flash China manufacturing purchasing managers' index showed manufacturing in China shrank for the 11th straight month in September, with the headline reading remaining below the 50 mark between contraction and expansion. The headline print rose to 47.8 from 47.6 in August.

Meanwhile, Markit Economics said that the eurozone composite PMI, which includes data points on both the manufacturing and services sectors, declined to 45.9 from 46.3 in August, the lowest level since June 2009.

A small bright spot was Germany, where manufacturing, though still indicating contraction, came in at its highest level since March.

The Spanish Treasury was able to sell €4.8 billion ($6.2 billion) of three- and 10-year bonds amid strong investor demand, even with the nation's bailout plans remaining unclear.

The FTSE in London was slipping 0.60% and the DAX in Germany was lower by 0.46%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed down by 1.20% and the Nikkei in Japan finished declined 1.57% on Thursday.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 11/32, diluting the yield to 1.744%. The greenback was gaining 0.59%, according to the dollar index.

November crude oil futures were slipping 73 cents to $91.57 a barrel as Saudi Arabia pledged more oil. December gold futures were slumping $11.10 at $1,760.60.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ended Sept. 15 fell 3,000 to 382,000, from the previous week's upwardly revised figure of 385,000. Economists were expecting a level of 375,000.

The four-week moving average was 377,750, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 375,750.

Continuing claims during the week ended Sept. 8 were 3.272 million, a decrease of 32,000 from the preceding week's upwardly revised level of 3.304 million. The expected level was 3.293 million.

The Markit flash U.S. manufacturing PMI is expected at 9 a.m.

At 10 a.m., the Philadelphia Fed Index, according to economists, might show a reading of -4 for September following a print of -7.1 a month earlier. At the same time, the Conference Board's Leading Economic Indicators Index for August might be unchanged after ticking up 0.4% the previous month, economists predicted.

In corporate news, Bank of America ( BAC) has set a target of cutting 16,000 jobs by the end of 2012 as it accelerates a broad cost-cutting plan, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The job cuts were outlined in a document given to top management, and are part of a larger effort to retool the bank into a leaner and more focused enterprise amid an environment of declining revenue.

Oracle ( ORCL) is expected to report its fiscal first-quarter results after Thursday's closing bell and analysts expect the software maker to post a profit of 53 cents a share in the August-ended period on revenue of $8.42 billion.

Adobe Systems ( ADBE), the publishing and design software developer, posted an in-line profit Wednesday for its fiscal third quarter but revenue of $1.081 billion was below the consensus view of $1.103 billion.

For its fourth quarter ending in November, Adobe forecast non-GAAP earnings of 53 cents to 58 cents a share, far short of the average analysts' view for a profit of 67 cents a share.

Nike ( NKE) , the sporting goods maker, announced Wednesday an $8 billion, four-year program to buy back shares of its class B common stock.

Bed, Bath & Beyond ( BBBY), the home products retailer, missed Wall Street's second-quarter earnings expectations in its report issued Wednesday.


--Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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

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