US Futures Edge Lower; ISM, Construction Data Eyed

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A pedestrian walks past the NASDAQ building in New York City, April 30, 2010.
A pedestrian walks past the NASDAQ building in New York City, April 30, 2010.

Futures on major US stock indices point to a lower opening Tuesday ahead of economic data, which include ISM manufacturing index.

Futures on the S&P 500 are down 0.14 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are down 0.03 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are down 0.13 percent.

On the first trading day of the month, Investors are likely to focus on ISM manufacturing index and construction spending data which are due to be released after the markets open.

The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) survey, a wide spectrum of business including employment, production, new orders, supplier deliveries and inventories, is expected to show that manufacturing activity in the US deteriorated in April. ISM manufacturing index is expected to decline to 53.00 in April from 53.4 in March.

Construction spending is expected to rise by 0.5 percent in March, after plunging 1.1 percent in February. The drop in February reflected weakness in the private nonresidential and the public sectors. Economists are looking for a small rebound in both in March.

On the earnings front, string of companies including Pfizer, Automatic Data Processing, Avon Products, Emerson Electric, Biogen Idec and Archer Daniels Midland Co. will release their quarterly earnings.

Meanwhile, China's manufacturing activity improved in April for the fifth straight month as the economic condition continued to strengthen. Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 53.3 in April compared to 53.1 in March but fell short of economists' estimation of 53.6.

The improvement confirms an earlier, private sector reading pointing to better sentiment this month. The message is that Chinese manufacturing is growing, not as fast as in years past but faster than in Q4 and enough to achieve the government's growth target for the year, said a note from Credit Agricole.

Most of the European and Asian stock markets were closed on account of May Day.

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