Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock Futures Trim Gain on Jobless, Manufacturing Data

September 15, 2011

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures trimmed gains after reports showed jobless claims unexpectedly rose and manufacturing in the New York area shrank more than foecast, adding to signs the economic rebound is slowing.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in December rose 0.1 percent to 1,183.9 at 8:33 a.m. New York time after climbing 0.7 percent earlier. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 17 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,191.

Jobless claims climbed by 11,000 to 428,000 in the week ended Sept. 10 that included the Labor Day holiday, figures from

the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a drop in claims to 411,000, according to the median forecast.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index dropped to minus 8.8, the weakest reading since November, from minus 7.7 in August. Economists projected an increase to minus 4, based on the median of 54 forecasts in a Bloomberg News

survey. Readings less than zero signal companies in the so- called Empire State Index, which covers New York, northern New Jersey, and southern Connecticut, are cutting back.

The S&P 500 climbed 1.4 percent yesterday as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they are “convinced” Greece will remain in the euro area. The gauge of U.S. equities has lost 5.5 percent this year after plunging 18 percent between the end of April and Aug. 8. The index has since rebounded 6.2 percent.

Pessimism about U.S. stocks among newsletter writers increased to its highest point since March 2009, when the last bear market ended, spurring speculation equities will rebound.

The share of bearish publications tracked by Investors Intelligence rose to 40.9 percent from 37.6 percent a week earlier, according to a report from the researcher yesterday. When the proportion was last this high, the S&P 500 started a bull market rally that produced gains of as much as 102 percent.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net


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