US STOCKS-Futures slip ahead of retail sales, claims data

by Reuters
Thursday, 13 February 2014 12:56 GMT

* Cisco falls after results, outlook

* Comcast to buy Time Warner

* Whole Foods drops after cutting forecast

* Futures down: Dow 59 pts, S&P 8 pts, Nasdaq 18.25 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Feb 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures declined on Thursday, after a disappointing outlook from Cisco Systems and ahead of data on retail sales and the labor market.

* Cisco fell 4 percent to $21.94 in premarket trading after the network gear maker forecast a drop of 6 to 8 percent in revenue in the current quarter.

* Investors will eye retail sales data and weekly initial jobless claims due out at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT). Retail sales are expected to be flat in January after a 0.2 percent decline in December. Initial claims are expected to come in at 300,000, a slight drop from the 331,000 reported in the prior week.

* Comcast Corp said it would buy Time Warner Cable Inc for $45.2 billion in an all-stock deal that combines the two largest U.S. cable operators.

* Time Warner shares rose 9.4 percent to $148 in premarket while Comcast shed 3.2 percent to $53.50. Shares of Charter Communications Inc, which had also pursued Time Warner, fell 6.2 percent to $129 before the opening bell.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures fell 8 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 lost 59 points and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 18.25 points.

* A deadly winter storm gripped the southeastern United States on Wednesday, crippling travel, grounding flights, knocking out power to 363,000 customers.

* A scheduled hearing by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in front of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Thursday was postponed due to the snowstorm in the U.S. East Coast. Yellen's testimony Tuesday helped fuel strong gains on Wall Street.

* Whole Foods Market Inc lost 8.9 percent to $50.55 in premarket after the largest U.S. organic and natural food retailer stunned investors on Wednesday by cutting its 2014 sales forecast for the second time in three months.

* PepsiCo Inc reported a 5 percent jump in quarterly profit, helped by strong sales of Frito-Lay chips in the Americas and cost-cutting measures.

* Of 365 companies in the S&P 500 that had reported earnings through Wednesday morning, 67.7 percent have beaten profit expectations, above the long-term average of 63 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

* The S&P 500 closed lower on Wednesday, with a four-day rally in the index just barely coming to an end after Procter & Gamble cut its outlook.

* European stocks snapped a week-long winning streak on Thursday, weighed by a batch of disappointing updates from blue-chip companies including Swiss food group Nestle and French bank BNP Paribas.

* Asian shares stepped back from three-week highs on Thursday, snapping a five-session winning streak that was underpinned by receding concerns about global growth prospects and reassurance over U.S. monetary policy.

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