RTTNews - After giving back some ground in the previous session, stocks are poised to open moderately higher on Wednesday, as traders have largely shrugged off some disappointing employment data. The major index futures are all in positive territory, with the Dow futures up by 34 points.
Private sector employment fell by more than economists had been expecting in the month of June, according to a report released by Automatic Data Processing, Inc., with the data suggesting continued weakness in the labor market. While momentarily impacting futures, the report did not seem to have a lingering effect on equities.
ADP said that non-farm private employment fell by 473,000 jobs in June following a revised decrease of 485,000 jobs in May. Economists had expected a decrease of 394,000 jobs compared to the loss of 532,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Later, traders will look to the ISM's manufacturing index for a nationwide gauge of industrial activity for June. Economists expect a reading of 44.6 for the month, compared to 42.8 in May. The data is scheduled for a 10:00 a.m. ET release.
Pending home sales, construction spending and auto sales figures may also attract some attention from investors.
Traders may also react to comments made by San Francisco Federal Reserve President Janet Yellen, who said late yesterday that she expects the recession to end sometime later this year.
However, Yellen cautioned that the pace of recovery might be frustratingly slow and also suggested that the prospect of maintaining the interest rate near zero for several years is certainly not outside the realm of possibilities.
In earnings news, Constellation Brands (STZ) reported first-quarter net income of $0.33, down from $0.34 in the same quarter a year earlier. On average, Wall Street analysts expected the company to earn $0.32 per share. The stock is moving higher in pre-market trading.
General Mills (GIS) reported adjusted fourth-quarter net income of $0.86, up 18 percent from $0.73 in the same period last year. Analysts expected the firm to report earnings of $0.80 per share. Shares of the consumer foods manufacturer are also seeing some pre-market strength.
Meanwhile, Oshkosh (OSK) said Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Defense has selected the company to supply MRAP All Terrain Vehicles or M-ATV for its fighting forces. The firm received an initial delivery order from the U.S. Army for 2,244 M-ATVs valued at $1.05 billion following months of government testing on multiple production-ready vehicles.
Navistar (NAV) was also in the running for the deal but was passed over, although it expects no adjustments to be made to its recently issued full year guidance.
After kicking off Tuesday's session showing a mild upward move, stocks turned sharply lower as traders digested consumer confidence figures that fell short of expectations. The major averages all finished firmly in negative territory, offsetting Monday's gains. The Dow closed down by 82 points at 8,447.00, the Nasdaq dipped by 9 points to 1,835, and the S&P 500 fell 8 points to 919.
Crude oil futures are moving higher in early commodities trading, climbing by $1.07 to $70.96 a barrel after ending the previous session down $1.60 at $69.89 a barrel. Meanwhile, the price of gold is also advancing, rising by $4.40 to $931.80 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is mixed against the major European currencies, slipping against the euro to $1.4085 while seeing little change against the pound, posting a quote of $1.6451. Meanwhile, the dollar is rising against the yen, moving to 96.82 yen.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended Wednesday's session on a mixed note. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed down by 0.2 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI Index closed up by 1.6 percent. Trading in Hong Kong was closed for the day.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are on the upside, with the German DAX Index and French CAC 40 Index up by 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is also moving higher, showing a jump of 1.1 percent.
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