This post is from CNBC producer Robert Hum.
Stock futures are at the lows of a fairly narrow trading range this morning and are indicating a slightly lower open.
Futures initially gyrated a bit at 8:30 am ET after the release of weekly jobless claimsand May retail sales data – both of which came mostly inline with economists’ forecasts.
However, despite the somewhat encouraging set of data, futures drifted a bit lower as traders became more concerned with the move in 10-year Treasury yields, which briefly rose above 4 percent again earlier this morning. This comes ahead of another key auction at 1 pm ET today, with the Treasury seeking bids for its 30-year bonds at that time.
Also of note this morning, as the S&P 500 hovers right near 7-month highs, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 indexbriefly rose above 10,000 intraday for the first time since October. Japan’s Q1 GDP was revised slightly higher, falling 3.8 percent, compared to the previously reported 4 percent contraction.
1) Bank of America is up 2% after being upgraded to outperform at Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods. Also boosting the bank’s price target from $12 to $16.50, KBW analysts see continuing “strong levels of estimated normalized EPS at roughly $3 a share.”
2) Bernstein Research upped 2010 earnings estimates for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley seeing stronger fixed income and sales & trading revenues for both firms as the markets show signs of stabilization.
3) Del Monte Foods soars 11 percent pre-open after handily beating estimates in the fourth quarter. Sales grew 21 percent as the food company realized better pricing and still saw some volume growth. For 2010, earnings and revenues are now expected to rise ahead of the Street’s current forecasts.
4) Australian miner BHP Billiton reportedly has agreed to a 33% to 44% price cut in iron ore with Japanese steel giant JFE Holdings. This would come after Brazilian miner agreed to similar cuts with Japanese and Korean steelmakers yesterday amid weak demand for steel.
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