US Stock Futures Point To Moderately Lower Open Ahead Of President's State Of The Union Speech

 
on February 12 2013 6:53 AM

The U.S. stock index futures point to moderately lower open Tuesday, as the market sentiment appeared cautious ahead of the president's State of the Union address in which he's expected to share his economic vision. 

The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.21 percent or 29 points, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index is down 0.07 percent or 2 points and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were trading lower by 0.12 percent or 3.25 points.

Investors are expected to focus on the U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech at 9 p.m. Tuesday, before a joint session of the Congress. In his speech, the president is expected to outline "his plan to create jobs and grow the middle class." 

Also, investors will continue to focus on earnings reports, with Avon Products Inc. (NYSE:AVP), The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (NYSE:MMC), Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS), The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. (NYSE:MHP), Huntsman Corporation (NYSE:HUN) and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ:GT) are expected to announce their quarterly results before market hours Tuesday.

On the corporate front, shares of Masco Corporation (NYSE:MAS) remain in focus after the company reported its quarterly earnings late Monday.

Masco reported a fourth quarter loss Monday that narrowed from a year ago, and excluding items, Masco reported a quarterly profit that topped Wall Street estimates, as did revenues. Masco reported a fourth quarter net sales of $1.9 billion, up 9 percent from $1.74 billion in the previous year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated sales of $1.80 billion.

The U.S. markets closed slightly lower Monday. Energy and retail shares underperformed, while all major indexes were down from their rally last week that pushed the Dow Jones and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index reach their five-year high. Nasdaq closed down by 1.87 points or less than 0.1 percent at 3,192, S&P closed down 0.92 points or less than 0.1 percent at 1,517.01, with seven out of its 10 major sectors trading lower and Dow Jones closed down 21.73 points, or 0.2 percent to finish at 13,971.24, with 16 of its 30 components ending down.  

The Asian markets mostly traded higher Tuesday with Japan’s Nikkei leading the rally gaining 2.6 percent amid expectations of further weakening of yen, following a statement from Japan's Economy Minister Akira Amari that stock prices were too low compared to fundamentals and the government would take corrective measures. India's benchmark Sensex was up half a percent. Markets in China and Hong Kong remain closed for Lunar New Year holidays.

European share markets traded higher Tuesday as the investors seemed optimistic ahead of speeches from the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and the U.S. President Barack Obama.

France's CAC 40 rose 0.42 percent, London's FTSE 100 gained 0.33 percent, Germany’s DAX climbed up 0.25 percent Tuesday.

 

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