Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock Futures Maintain Losses as Retail Sales Drop

July 16, 2012

U.S. stock-index futures maintained losses as an unexpected decrease in retail sales overshadowed a report showing stronger-than-forecast growth in New York-area manufacturing.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in September decreased 0.3 percent to 1,347.4 at 8:32 a.m. in New York.

The 0.5 percent drop in retail sales followed a 0.2 percent decrease in May, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The decline was worse than the most-pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey in which the median projection called for a 0.2 percent rise. The June decrease was broad-based, including car dealers, department stores and gasoline stations.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index rose to 7.4 from 2.3 in June. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase to 4.0. Readings greater than zero signal expansion in the so- called Empire State Index that covers New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut. The last negative reading was in October.

U.S. stocks rose last week, reversing losses on the final day, as a rally in JPMorgan Chase & Co. and speculation China will boost stimulus measures tempered concern about earnings and the global economy. JPMorgan helped lead the advance on July 13 as Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said the biggest U.S. bank by assets will probably post record earnings for 2012 even after reporting a $4.4 billion trading loss.

China’s Premier Wen Jiabao warned the momentum for a recovery in economic growth isn’t yet in place and that “difficulties” may persist for a while, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Four out of the six S&P 500 companies that reported results last week beat analysts’ earnings estimates while one missed, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Overall, profits probably decreased 2.1 percent in the second quarter, the first drop in almost three years, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

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


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