NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were tanking in premarket trading Thursday as the markets were awash with risk aversion attributable to soft international data and deepening Portugal banking concerns. Weak earnings reports were also fueling the downbeat outlook.
Family Dollar (FDO) was retreating 2.48% to $62.65 after its quarterly profit declined by 33% and the company missed earnings estimates by 4 cents at 85 cents a share. The results reflect economic challenges facing its core customer and an intensely competitive environment.
Potbelly (PBPB) was diving 17.06% to $12.15 after the sandwich chain's warning that it expects weak sales for its fiscal second quarter.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were sinking by 155 points, or 152.61 points below fair value, to 16,758. Futures for the S&P 500 were declining 18.75 points, or 17.63 points below fair value, to 1,948.5. Nasdaq futures were behind by 37.5 points, or 37.51 points below fair value, to 3,848.
"The market shrugged off the rising cost of financing Portugal's debt yesterday and we suspect it's playing catch up, as Alcoa and Fed minutes fade," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "This type of action suggests a summer trading range is being established," he added.
Markets gained ground Wednesday after the release of the much-watched minutes of the Federal Reserve's chief policy-making committee showed that the central bank is preparing to end its historic program of monetary easing as soon as October. "If the economy progresses about as the Committee expects, warranting reductions in the pace of purchases at each upcoming meeting, this final reduction would occur following the October meeting," the Fed wrote in the minutes if its June 17-18 meeting.