US Stock Futures Point To Higher Open Ahead Of Housing Starts Data, Consumer Sentiment Report, Nonfarm Productivity Report

 
on August 16 2013 6:39 AM
NYSE
New York Stock Exchange Reuters

After a day of steep losses in the U.S. stock market, stock futures were up on Friday suggesting a higher open for markets, ahead of the publication of housing starts data, the consumer sentiment report and nonfarm productivity report.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.17 percent, while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.27 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.29 percent.

Investors are expected to focus on the Census Bureau’s housing starts and building permits reports, which are due to be released at 8.30 a.m. EDT. Housing starts, which measure the change in the annualized number of residential buildings that began construction each month, is expected to rise to 900,000 in July from 836,000 in the previous month.

Meanwhile, building permits, which measure the change in the number of new building permits issued by the government each month, is likely to rise to 945,000 in July, up from 911,000 in June.

Investors are also likely to focus on the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report, which is due to be released at 9:55 a.m. EDT. The preliminary index for August, which shows what consumers in the U.S. think of the nation's business climate and economic conditions, is expected to increase marginally to 85.5 in the month, from 85.1 in July, according to a Bloomberg report.

In addition, nonfarm productivity, which measures the annualized change in labor efficiency in producing goods and services, excluding the farming industry, will be released by the U.S. Department of Labor at 8.30 a.m. EDT. The quarterly report is expected to show that productivity nudged up to 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2013, from a 0.5 percent rise recorded in the previous quarter.

The unit labor costs data, which measure the annualized change in the price businesses pay for labor, excluding the farming industry, is released along with the productivity index and is expected to rise by 1.2 percent in the second quarter, compared to a revised figure of 4.3 percent drop in the first quarter.

In Europe and Asia, markets traded lower on Friday, tracking steep losses in the U.S. markets, which dropped on Thursday, as upbeat labor market reports released earlier in the day hinted at an early end to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program, and quarterly earnings reports from Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) disappointed investors. Dow Jones continued its triple digit fall for the second consecutive session and fell more than 200 points, or 1.47 percent. Nasdaq lost 1.72 percent and S&P lost 1.43 percent, on Thursday.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index trading down 0.18 percent, London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.14 percent, Germany's DAX-30 was down 0.24 percent and France's CAC-40 was trading up 0.09 percent.  

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.75 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.75 percent.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index ended an extremely volatile session, where it opened the day down 1 percent, then moved up 5.6 percent before ending down 0.64 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.1 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index fell 0.20 percent.

In India, the benchmark BSE Sensex ended down 3.97 percent, after the Indian rupee hit a record low of 62.03 against dollar in early morning trade on Friday. In late-afternoon trade, the rupee had recovered marginally to trade at 61.88.

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