U.S. stock-index futures remain little changed, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted its first two-day drop in three weeks, as investors focused on manufacturing data to measure the strength of the world’s largest economy.
Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in December rose 0.2% to 1,754.9 at 9:15 a.m. in New York. The equity gauge has fallen 0.2% so far this week as the Federal Reserve fueled bets it may begin to cut stimulus in the coming months. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts gained 47 points, or 0.3%, to 15,524 today.
“We now know that the U.S. economic recovery will be slower and more protracted,” Jonathan Aldrich-Blake, who helps oversee about $11 billion at Ashburton Investments, said by phone to Bloomberg. “Still, the market has proved it can get past quite a few headwinds. Recent data seems to have pushed the recovery further out, but these are just a few hiccups along the way. It may be hard to see more of a rating improvement in the market now, and we need earnings to support valuations.”
An ISM manufacturing report is due at 10 a.m. New York time which may show manufacturing output expanded at a slower pace in October, economists forecast.
In corporate news, AIG the insurer that repaid a U.S. rescue last year, lost 3.5% to $49.85. Revenue at the property-casualty division fell 3.7% to $8.43 billion in the third quarter, taccording to companys statement released yesterday. Third-quarter net income rose to $2.17 billion, or $1.46 a share, from $1.86 billion, or $1.13 a year earlier, New York-based AIG said.
Auto makers shoul release October sales figures. General Motors Co. sales are projected to rise 10% to 215,274 vehicles and Ford Motor Co. sales are estimated to jump 15.5% to 193,988 units, according to Edmunds.coms report. Overall car sales are forecast to climb to 15.4 million in October from 15.2 million in September, according to a MarketWatch poll.
Tower International Inc. which produces metal components for the automotive industry, sank 4.8% to $20.20 after saying an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management LP plans to sell about 2.6 million shares in the company.