* Jobless claims, rescheduled ADP (Euronext: ADP.NX – news) report on tap
* Many unable to trade because of storm Sandy
* Pfizer (BSE: PFIZER.BO – news) shares tumble in premarket after results
* Dow (NYSE: DPD – news) down 12 pts, S&P down 1.3 pt, Nasdaq (Nasdaq: ^NDX – news) up 2.25 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK (Frankfurt: A0DKRK – news) , Nov 1 (Reuters) – Dow Futures were
little changed on Thursday as investors looked ahead to data
that may give insight into the strength of the economy a day
before the crucial payroll report.
Markets will still be dealing with the aftermath of a
massive storm in the U.S. northeast, which forced a historic
two-day market closure. Trading could be volatile, with many
market participants unable to reach their offices, or working
from home amid persisting power outages and limited mass
Those who are able to trade will find no shortage of news.
Weekly jobless claims are on tap for release at 8:30 a.m.
EDT (1230 GMT), with monthly reads on construction spending,
manufacturing and consumer confidence due out at 10:00 a.m.
“The data is front and center today, and no one is doing
much before that, but there are a fair number of firms still
dealing with technology and power issues because of the storm,”
said James Dailey, portfolio manager of TEAM Asset Strategy Fund
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“Volume won’t be that significant, it seems like most firms
are shooting for Monday for full operational capacity.”
Jobless claims are seen rising 1,000 to 370,000 in the
latest week, while confidence rises to 72.5 from 70.3, and a
read on manufacturing, both for October, is seen edging down to
51.2 from 51.5. Construction spending for the month of September
is seen rising 0.6 percent.
In addition, the ADP National Employment report, the release
of which was delayed by a day because of the storm, is due at
8:15 a.m., and is expected to show that jobs growth slowed in
October from September.
More earnings reports are due, including those of Exxon
Mobil Corp, Kellogg (EUREX: DE000A1EZEP5.EX – news) , Starbucks (NasdaqGS: SBUX – news) and Cigna
Pfizer Inc, which delayed the release of its results
because of the storm, posted revenue that fell far short of
expectations, sending shares down 2.1 percent to $ 24.35 in
S&P 500 (SNP: ^GSPC – news) futures fell 1.3 point 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 (DJI: ^DJI – news) industrial average futures slid 12
points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2.25 points.
The S&P 500 fell 2 percent in the month of October, breaking
a four-month streak of gains.
TEAM (NasdaqGS: TISI – news) ‘s Dailey said that if the S&P falls under a support
level around 1,400, “then volatility could spike quite a bit.
That’s a level a lot of people are hoping will hold, and if it
doesn’t hold, we could fall another three to five percent.”
Tech shares will be in focus in the wake of a Wall Street
Journal report saying that private-equity firm New Mountain
Capital was nearing a deal to buy JDA Software Group
for about $ 1.9 billion. The paper cited people familiar with the
Overseas markets were higher, with Europe (Chicago Options: ^REURUSD – news) boosted by strong
results from such companies as Royal Dutch Shell and
Chinese shares posting their strongest daily gains in more than
three weeks on bullish data.
U.S. shares of Sony Corp edged lower in premarket
trading after the company posted a small profit in its latest
quarter, though it affirmed its full-year view.
The U.S. stock market slowly returned to life on Wednesday
after the market’s first weather-related two-day closure since
the late 19th century. The Dow and the S&P 500 closed little
changed while the Nasdaq edged lower in a session with slightly
less than average volume.