US STOCKS-Futures imply rebound from selloff, but concerns remain

Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:11am EDT

* Expectations rise for Chinese gov't stimulus

* Walt Disney to buy Maker Studios for $500 mln

* Data on housing, consumer confidence on tap

* Futures up: Dow 22 pts, S&P 8.2 pts, Nasdaq 16 pts (Adds Walgreen results and S&P/Case-Shiller data)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday, implying a rebound off the previous session's decline, though investors continued to watch global issues with caution.

* Major indexes fell on Monday on concerns that the crisis in Ukraine could escalate. However, the selling was concentrated in the Nasdaq, which fell under its 50-day moving average for part of the session as traders took profits in some of the market's recent standouts.

* The Dow ended Monday with only slight losses, a sign that while investors were taking money off the table, they were still finding value in more established names like Procter & Gamble . The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge of investor anxiety, closed barely higher on Monday and remains at historically low levels.

* The conflict over Ukraine continued with leaders of the Group of Seven nations warning Russia that it faced further sanctions if Russian President Vladimir Putin took further action to destabilize Ukraine following the seizure of Crimea.

* While few U.S. companies have direct exposure to the region, market participants are concerned about the fallout from any escalation in what is already the biggest confrontation between the United States and Russia since the Cold War.

* Investors also continued to look to China, with expectations growing that the government would intervene to support its economy following a series of economic reports that imply the weakest growth in China since the global financial crisis.

* S&P 500 futures rose 8.2 points and were above 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 added 22 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 16 points.

* In the latest economic data, U.S. single-family home prices rose slightly more than expected in January, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas.

* Reads on February new home sales and the Conference Board March consumer confidence index are scheduled for release at 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT). Sales are expected to slow slightly from January, while the consumer confidence index is seen rising to 78.6 from 78.1.

* In company news, Walt Disney Co agreed to buy Maker Studios, one of YouTube's largest networks, for $500 million, though the price tag could rise to $950 million if the company hits certain performance milestones. Shares of Dow component Disney rose 1.2 percent to $80.41 in premarket trading.

* Walgreen Co reported a rise in quarterly sales but said a slowdown in the introduction of higher-profit generic medicines cut into its gross profit margin. Shares rose 2.4 percent to $65.87 before the bell.

* McCormick & Co reported its first-quarter results and said unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates would reduce its 2014 sales by 1 percent.

* Internet and biotech stocks will remain in focus following their tumble on Monday. Facebook Inc, one of the market's biggest decliners on Monday with a drop of 4.7 percent, rebounded 1.2 percent to $64.88 in premarket trading.

* Over the past four sessions, the Nasdaq biotechnology index has lost 9 percent. (Editing by Nick Zieminski)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.