Tuesday, April 5, 2011

US Stock Futures Slip Ahead Of Fed Minutes, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Eyed

US stock-index futures retreated on Tuesday as investor hesistated to make big bets ahead of ISM services-sector data and the minutes of the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting.  

At 8:29 am ET, the S&P 500 futures dropped 3.40 points to 1325.80. The Dow Jones Industrial average futures retreated 18 points to 12,319 The Nasdaq Composite futures declined 16 points to 2,324.50

Shares of Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) dropped nearly 1% in Tuesday's pre-market trading after  Bloomberg reported that its dominance of the Internet-search industry could be investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. 

Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) rose more than 1% in Tuesday's pre-market trading after the company said that its March sales increased 7.6% to $6.28 billion from $5.83 billion a year ago, which includes the contribution of Duane Reade stores purchased last year. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least one year, rose 3% from a year ago. Same-store sales do not include Duane Reade stores. Total front-end sales increased 8.4% in March, including 4.7 percentage points from Duane Reade, and despite the negative impact the Easter holiday falling on a later date this year. Same-store front-end sales increased 1.6%. Total pharmacy sales rose 7.3% for the month, with same-store sales up 3.7%.

Shares of National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM) jumped more than 72% in Tuesday's pre-market trading after it agreed to be acquired by Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE: TXN) for $25 per share in an all-cash transaction of about $6.5 billion. 

On the economic front, the Institute of Supply Management report on activity in the services sector is due at 10 a.m. Eastern time. The FOMC will release minutes from the March 15 meeting at 2 pm ET.

Meanwhile, China's central bank on Tuesday raised its base lending and deposit rates by a quarter point. The one-year deposit rate will rise by a 0.25-percentage point to 3.25%, while the one-year lending rate will rise 0.25-percentage point to 6.31%, with both hikes to take effect from April 6.

European stocks retreated in afternoon trade. At 13:58 pm London Time, the UK FTSE fell 25.20 points or 0.42% to 5,991.78. The German DAX and French CAC decreased 0.50% and 0.62% respectively.

Asian stocks finished lower. The Nikkei 225 slumped 103.34 points or 1.06% to 9,615.15. 

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