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U.S. stock-index futures fell, after four days of gains for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, before economic reports that may show the U.S. trade deficit narrowed while jobless-benefit claims climbed.
News Corp. (NWSA) dropped 3.5 percent after the media company controlled by billionaire Rupert Murdoch reported a quarterly loss. Amgen Inc. (AMGN) declined 0.5 percent after halting a late-stage study of an experimental pancreatic cancer drug.
S&P 500 futures expiring in September dropped 0.2 percent to 1,395.3 at 7:42 a.m. in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures lost 11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,109 today. The number of shares changing hands in Stoxx Europe 600 Index’s companies was 28 percent lower than the 30-day average at this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“The markets have had a surprisingly good run,” said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin Securities Ltd. in London. “Even though the market is looking a touch overbought and due a bit of a breather, I don’t think we will see a heavy bout of profit taking because of the underlying momentum.”
A four-day rally has taken the S&P 500 (SPX) up almost 10 percent from a five-month low on June 1. The index is trading above the average year-end forecast among Wall Street strategists of 1,389. About 72 percent of S&P 500 companies which reported second-quarter results so far have beaten analysts’ earnings estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Data today may show the U.S. trade deficit narrowed in June to $47.5 billion, a four-month low, as cheaper oil helped cut the nation’s import bill, according to the median economist forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
The Commerce Department’s trade report is due at 8:30 a.m. Washington time. Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gaps of $44 billion to $50 billion. A Labor Department report is projected to show applications for jobless benefits rose 5,000 last week to 370,000, according to the Bloomberg survey median.
News Corp fell 3.5 percent to $22.90 after the company reported a $1.55 billion quarterly loss as shrinking advertising revenue led to a writedown of its Australian publishing business.
The net loss was 64 cents a share, compared with net income of $683 million, or 26 cents, a year earlier. Excluding the writedowns and other items profit was 32 cents a share, in line with the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg.
Amgen lost 0.5 percent to $81 after the world’s largest biotechnology company stopped a study of a pancreatic cancer drug, saying the medicine was unlikely to help patients.
An analysis by an independent monitoring committee concluded that the therapy, ganitumab, or AMG 479, probably wouldn’t improve survival of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.
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