* Many unable to trade because of storm Sandy
* Pfizer (BSE: PFIZER.BO – news) , Exxon fall in premarket after results
* JDA Software (Xetra: 899847 – news) rallies, to be bought for $ 1.9 bln
* 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 pointed
to a steady open on Thursday as investors continued to deal with
the aftermath of the massive storm Sandy in the U.S. northeast,
which had forced a historic two-day market closure earlier this
The lack of movement came despite the release of closely
watched data on the labor market, which painted an improving
economic picture one day ahead of a critical non-farm payroll
Weekly jobless claims unexpectedly fell in the latest week,
dropping to 363,000 from a revised 372,000 in the previous week.
Separately, the ADP National Employment report showed 158,000
private sector jobs were added in October, far more than had
been expected. The ADP Report was based on a different
methodology than previous months, which could impact
Markets are still recovering from the aftermath of Sandy, a
massive storm that wreaked havoc up and down the U.S. eastern
seaboard and forced markets to close Monday and Tuesday. Trading
could be volatile, with many market participants unable to reach
their offices, or working from home amid persisting power
outages and limited mass transit.
“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. “There isn’t the kind of involvement
in markets you would normally see, which explains the lack of
movement” in futures.
Dailey added that trading volume wouldn’t be high with so
many participants out.
“It seems like most firms are shooting for Monday for full
operational capacity,” he said.
Still, some stocks saw interest in premarket trading.
JDA Software Group soared 18 percent to $ 44.81 in
heavy trading after it agreed to be bought by privately held
supply chain software maker RedPrairie Corp for about $ 1.9
billion in cash.
Pfizer Inc, which delayed the release of its results
because of the storm, posted revenue that fell far short of
expectations, sending shares down 1.6 percent to $ 24.46 in
Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM – news) , which along with Pfizer is a Dow
component, fell 0.7 percent before the bell after posting a drop
in its quarterly profit.
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.”
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 higher in premarket
trading after the company posted a small profit in its latest
quarter and affirmed its full-year view.
The U.S. stock market slowly returned to life on Wednesday
after the market’s first weather-related multiple-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.