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Futures Hold Losses After Economic Reports

Wednesday, 15 May 2013 | 9:18 AM ET

U.S. stock index futures remained lower Wednesday following a batch of tepid economic reports and a day after the Dow and the S&P 500 rallied to close at fresh highs.

(Read More: This Bullish Stock Indicator Is at a 58-Year High)

On the economic front, producer prices fell 0.7 percent in April, posting their biggest drop in three years, as gasoline and food costs tumbled, according to the Labor Department. Economists expected a decline of 0.6 percent, according to a Reuters survey.

Meanwhile, the New York Federal Reserve's "Empire State" general business conditions index declined to minus 1.43 in May from 3.05 in April, missing expectations for an increase to 4. It was the first reading below zero since January, which indicates contraction in activity in the manufacturing sector.

Industrial production declined 0.5 percent in April, after a revised 0.3 percent increase in the prior month, according to the Federal Reserve, missing expectations for a dip of 0.2 percent. And industry capacity utilization, a measure of how fully firms are deploying their resources, dropped sharply to 77.8 percent from 78.3 percent in March.

And the housing market index from the National Association of Home Builders will be released at 10 am ET. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 43 versus 42 in April.

Shares in Europe and Asia were largely flat as markets took a break from the global risk-on rally, but the Japanese Nikkei 225 rose over 2 percent to close above 15,000 for the first time since 2008.

"That equity market adage, sell in May and go away, is not so much misleading as it is misdirected," Vishu Varathan of Mizuho Corporate Bank said in a report. "For May, the S&P 500 is up 3.3 percent, the Euro Stoxx over 3 percent and the Nikkei 6.5 percent. So anyone who had sold and gone away would be smarting right now."

(Read More: Are Out-of-Sync Markets Sending a Message?)

Macy's rose after the department store chain posted higher-than-expected quarterly results and raised its quarterly dividend to 25 cents from 20 cents.

Deere topped earnings and revenue expectations and forecast a record profit for the full year, but the farm equipment maker slumped after it said it was cautious because of weakness in the construction market.

Cisco is slated to post earnings after the closing bell.

So far, more than 90 percent of S&P 500 companies have posted quarterly results, with 67 percent topping earnings expectations and 24 percent missing forecasts, according to Reuters. If all remaining companies post numbers in line with estimates, earnings will be up 5.3 percent on last year.

However, sales numbers have come in 1 percent below estimates on average, with only 46 percent of companies beating their revenue projections.

Weekly mortgage applications declined for the first time in more than a month last week as interest rates jumped, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park. Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

Coming Up This Week:

WEDNESDAY: Housing market index, e-commerce retail sales, oil inventories, AIG shareholder mtg; Earnings from Cisco
THURSDAY: CPI, housing starts, jobless claims, Philadelphia Fed survey, natural gas inventories, Fed balance sheet/money supply, Comcast shareholder mtg, Hess annual mtg, Intel shareholder mtg, Tiffany shareholder mtg; Earnings from Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Applied Materials, Autodesk, Marvell Tech, Nordstrom, JCPenney
FRIDAY: Consumer sentiment, leading indicators, Chipotle shareholder mtg, Icahn/Transocean shareholder mtg, JCPenney annual mtg

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