RTTNews - Stocks are looking to open moderately lower on Wednesday, as traders are digesting private sector employment figures that a bigger drop in jobs than economists had expected. The major index futures are all in negative territory, with the Dow futures down by 37 points.
Private sector employment showed another notable decline in the month of July, according to a report released by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing (ADP), although the pace of job losses slowed to its slowest rate since October of 2008.
ADP said non-farm private employment fell by 371,000 jobs in July following a revised decrease of 463,000 jobs in June. Economists had been expecting a decrease of about 350,000 jobs compared to the loss of 473,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Later this morning, traders will look to the Commerce Department report on factory orders for June, with analysts expecting a 0.8 percent decline in the headline figure. Separately, the Institute of Supply Management will release its non-manufacturing survey results for July at 10:00 am ET. Economists expect the index to show a reading of 48 after having increased to 47 in June.
In earnings news, Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) reported fourth quarter net income of $0.80 per share, compared to $0.92 per share in the same quarter of last year. Wall Street analysts expected the company to report earnings of $0.79 per share for the quarter. Meanwhile, net sales came in at $18.66 billion for the quarter, falling short of the $19.32 billion forecast by analysts.
Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) said its second quarter net income was $0.56 per share, compared to $0.49 per share in the year ago quarter, which edged out analyst estimates of $0.54 per share.
Revenues declined 5.9 percent to $10.2 billion, failing to meet estimates of $10.37 billion.
Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) reported adjusted second quarter earnings of $0.85 per share, crushing analyst estimates of $0.59 per share. Revenues for the quarter declined to $2.09 billion from $3.55 billion in the year-ago quarter but still surpassed forecasts of $1.92 billion.
Traders are also digesting results from Ralph Lauren (RL) and Electronic Arts (ERTS), which reported quarterly results that beat forecasts, while Dean Foods (DF) came in line with estimates and lifted its full year outlook.
The markets are also looking ahead to results from Allstate (ALL), Sunoco (SUN) and XTO Energy (XTO) among others, set to report after the closing bell.
Following a choppy session, stocks ended Tuesday's trading on a positive note amid some late session buying interest. The Dow closed up by 34 points at 9,320, the Nasdaq advanced by 3 points to 2,011 and the S&P 500 rose by 3 points to 1,006.
Crude oil futures are rising in early commodities trading, moving higher by $0.09 to $71.51 a barrel after falling by a modest margin in the previous session. The price of gold is retreating, sliding by $0.80 to $967.60 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is mixed against the major European currencies, rising to $1.4393 against the euro, while sliding to $1.7004 versus the pound. Meanwhile, the buck is little changed against the yen and is now valued at 95.32 yen.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region finished Wednesday's trading markedly lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index posted a loss 1.5 percent, while Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index ended the session down by 1.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are moving modestly higher, with the French CAC 40 Index up by 0.6 percent, while the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both rising by 0.4 percent.
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