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US STOCKS-Futures point to weak open, but Citi rises
July 16, 2012 / 1:07 PM / 5 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures point to weak open, but Citi rises

* Citigroup rises after profit tops expectations

* Recent profit warnings have investors cautious

* Retail sales unexpectedly dip in latest month

* Futures down: Dow 47 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 5 pts

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, July 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Monday following a weak read on retail sales, the latest data to indicate slowing in the economy.

Concerns about how the economy might be impacted by slowing growth and issues in Europe have pressured equities in recent weeks. While Citigroup Inc rallied after posting stronger-than-expected profit on Monday, many investors remain concerned about the impact economic uncertainty will have have on outlooks.

Retail sales unexpectedly fell in June, dropping 0.5 percent, compared to the expectation of 0.2 percent growth. A second report on Monday showed manufacturing in New York state rose in July by a bit more than forecast.

“This is another example of how broader economic uncertainty is having an impact on economic activity,” said Eric Fine, managing director of Van Eck G-175 Strategies in New York, speaking of the retail sales figures.

Many companies, especially in the tech space, have warned on profits in recent weeks. Negative to positive earnings guidance for the second quarter is 3.3 to 1, the worst since 2008, Thomson Reuters data showed.

Citigroup reported adjusted second-quarter earnings that beat expectations, sending shares up 3.1 percent to $27.47 in premarket trading. The results follow JPMorgan Chase & Co’s on Friday, which contributed to gains of 1 percent on major indexes.

“Citigroup is just one company; the fact that there are still concerns about lower economic growth globally is what’s keeping us in lower territory now,” said Jay Feuerstein, chief executive officer of the Chicago-based 2100 Xenon Group, an alternative asset manager.

S&P 500 futures fell 5 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 47 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 5 points.

The impact of global economic issues will remain a focus in a busy week for earnings. In addition to Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Intel Corp, Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola Co are on tap to report this week.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will also likely drive markets this week as he delivers his semiannual monetary policy report to Senate and House of Representatives committees on Tuesday and Wednesday. Analysts said he is not likely to divulge plans of further economic stimulus.

In other company news, Human Genome Sciences Inc rose 3.3 percent to $14.03 in premarket trading after sources said GlaxoSmithKline is expected to announce a deal to buy the company for about $2.8 billion, ending a three-month hostile pursuit of the U.S. biotech company on friendly terms after sweetening its offer.

Comcast Corp, the parent company of NBC, has bought out Microsoft Corp’s 50 percent stake in for a reported $300 million to assume full control of the news website.

Ford Motor Co is recalling some of its 2013 Escape compact sport-utility vehicles because a carpeting flaw may cause drivers to apply the brakes improperly, increasing stopping distances and the risk of crashes. Shares edged lower in premarket trading.

U.S. shares rose more than 1 percent on Friday, snapping a six-day losing streak. In addition to results from JPMorgan, investors were cheered by Chinese growth data that eased concerns about a slowdown.

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