US Stock Futures Fall On Mounting Worries Of Economic Slowdown
07/12/2012| 08:30am US/Eastern
--Stock futures fall on worries of global slowdown
--Europe, Asia decline after minutes show no sign of imminent Fed move
--Data on jobless claims, import prices on tap
By Tomi Kilgore
NEW YORK--U.S. stock futures fell sharply, matching the broad weakness seen in overseas markets, as mounting worries of a global economic slowdown put investors in a dour mood ahead of jobless claims data.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures shed 82 points, or 0.7%, to 12454. The Dow fell 48.59 points, or 0.38%, on Wednesday to stretch its losing streak to five sessions, the longest seen since May 18.
Standard & Poor's 500-stock index futures lost 10 points, or 0.7%, to 1326 and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 15 points, or 0.6%, to 2546. Changes in stock futures don't always accurately predict stock moves after the opening bell.
Data on initial claims for jobless benefits in the latest week are due out at 8:30 a.m. EDT. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires is 370,000, down from 374,000 in the previous week.
Also at 8:30 a.m., import prices in June are expected to decline 2%.
European markets were in steep decline, with the Stoxx Europe 600 shedding 1%. Fears of a global economic slowdown intensified after the minutes Wednesday of the U.S. Federal Reserve's last policy setting meeting showed another round of stimulus measures won't be implemented soon. And concerns that data out Friday will show a further slowing of China's economy weighed further on sentiment.
On the bright side, industrial production in the euro zone increased 0.6% in May, beating expectations of a 0.2% decline.
Asian markets were also mostly lower, with Japan's Nikkei Stock Average losing 1.5% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng falling 2%. China's Shanghai Composite bucked the trend, however, by rising 0.5%.
Crude oil futures slid 1.4% to $84.57 a barrel, while gold futures gave up 0.7% to $1564.20 an ounce. The U.S. dollar rose against the euro, hitting a two-year high in intraday trading, but declined against the yen.
In corporate news, shares of Supervalu tumbled 25% after the grocery-store operator said it was suspending its dividend, withdrawing its fiscal 2013 outlook and lowering prices more aggressively to cope with competition. The company said it also initiated a review of alternatives to enhance shareholder value and reported a fiscal first-quarter earnings that missed estimates.
Merck rallied 4% after the blue-chip pharmaceutical company said positive results from Phase 3 study of its treatment of osteoporosis prompted a data monitoring committee to recommend the study be closed early.
ImmunoGen slid 6.7% after the developer of anticancer therapies announced plans for a public offering of common stock.
Write to Tomi Kilgore at firstname.lastname@example.org