* Blackberry slumps after results
* Molycorp climbs after SEC investigation
* Accenture tumbles after earnings, outlook
* Futures off: Dow 34 pts, S&P 3.6 pts, Nasdaq 6.5 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, June 28 U.S. stocks were set for a
slightly lower open on Friday, as weakness in technology shares
outweighed gains in other shares spurred by relief a premature
pullback of central bank stimulus measures was unlikely.
The S&P 500 has risen 2.6 percent over the past three
sessions as economic data and comments from U.S. Federal Reserve
officials soothed worries over an earlier-than-expected reining
in of stimulative bond purchases by the Fed.
The benchmark S&P index had slumped as much as 4.8 percent
in the days following a June 19 statement from the U.S. Federal
Reserve, when Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed could start
slowing its bond purchases later this year if growth was strong
Accenture PLC tumbled 8.9 percent to $73.10 in
premarket trading after the outsourcing and consulting services
provider cut its full-year outlook and reported third-quarter
revenue below analysts' estimates. The results also weighed on
competitor IBM, which dropped 1.8 percent to $192.15
before the opening bell.
"Accenture's weak results both on revenues and guidance is
weighing on the services group including IBM, which is one of
the tech bellwethers, and that is causing futures to drop down
from what was a strong overnight session," said Tim Ghriskey
chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New
"Clearly, (Accenture's) outlook is weak and certainly the
underperformance of technology as a sector in the stock market
shows there are cyclical issues going on in tech as well as
secular issues, rapid change occurring and purchasing managers
U.S.-listed shares of Research in Motion plunged
24.1 percent to $10.99 in premarket trading after the BlackBerry
maker reported a fiscal first-quarter loss and forecast a loss
in the current quarter.
Data expected on Friday includes the June index of
manufacturing activity from the Institute for Supply Management
Chicago at 9:45 a.m. EDT (1345 GMT). Economists in a Reuters
survey forecast a reading of 56.0, from 58.7 in May.
Shortly after at 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT), the Thomson
Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers final June
consumer sentiment index is due. Economists polled by Reuters
expect a reading of 82.8 compared with 82.7 in the preliminary
The recent rally for the S&P 500 marks its best three-day
performance since early January. The index is currently up 2.8
percent for the quarter and 13.1 percent for the year, though it
is on track for its first monthly loss since October.
S&P 500 futures lost 3.6 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 gained 34
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 6.5 points.
Investors can expect a surge of volume at the close Friday
when Russell Investments is due to set the final update for the
annual reconstitution of its indexes.
Molycorp Inc jumped 8.2 percent to $6.07 in
premarket trading after the rare earths producer said the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission completed an investigation
into the company and didn't recommend enforcement action.
Arch Coal Inc surged 8.3 percent to $3.90 before the
opening bell after the company agreed to sell its Canyon Fuel
subsidiary for $435 million in cash.