July 26, 2011 / 1:30 PM / 8 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set for flat open, debt stalemate weighs

 * Obama urges compromise to raise debt limit
 * Ford shares up premarket after profit tops view
 * U.S. home prices unchanged in May-S&P/Case-Shiller
 * Futures off: S&P 0.2 pt, Dow 13 pts, Nasdaq 1.5 pts
 * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]   (Updates with Case-Shiller data, prices)
 By Angela Moon
 NEW YORK, July 26 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open little changed on Tuesday as earnings from blue chips like Ford extended optimism about a strong earnings season, but the debt ceiling stalemate kept investors nervous.
 Stocks fell in the previous session as U.S. lawmakers remained deadlocked over a deal to raise the government’s debt ceiling to avoid a default. Investors were hopeful a compromise could be crafted by the Aug. 2 deadline.
 U.S. President Barack Obama took to the airwaves Monday night to rally public support for a package proposed by Democrats, warned that failure to make a deal would severely hurt the nation. For details, see [ID:nN1E76P002] and [ID:nUSBUDGET]
 In earnings news, Ford Motor Co (F.N) shares were up 1.8 percent at $13.39 in premarket trade after the automaker’s second-quarter earnings beat expectations, helped by higher prices and improved sales in North America. [ID:nN1E76P00N]
 Cummins Inc (CMI.N) rose 6 percent to $113.05 after the diesel engine maker reported higher earnings. [ID:nN1E76P02M]
 But 3M Co (MMM.N) fell 2.8 percent to $92.40 after the industrial conglomerate’s quarterly earnings met estimates, but it said Japan’s March earthquake and tsunami reduced sales and profit margins. [ID:nN1E76O0VJ]
 Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) fell 8.8 percent to $256.80 premarket. The movie rental company said late Monday its quarterly revenue fell short of expectations and warned its red-hot subscriber growth would cool down in the third quarter. [ID:nN1E76O1TN]
 “Corporate America is still pretty healthy. Debt talks may take a while, but we think eventually there will be a deal,” said Catherine Avery, the head of Catherine Avery Investment Management in New Canaan, Connecticut.
 “In light of what’s been going on, markets are holding up surprisingly well, but you have to have faith that we will come to a deal. Otherwise we might as well just throw in the towel.”
 S&P 500 futures SPc1 dipped 0.2 point and were in line with 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 DJc1 were down 13 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 were off 1.5 points.
 U.S. single-family home prices were unchanged in May on a monthly basis and were revised to show an increase in April, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller composite index. Market reaction was muted. [ID:nN9E7HG026]
 At 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), the Conference Board reports on July consumer confidence. Economists expect a reading of 56.0, compared with 58.5 in June.
 Also coming at 10 a.m., the Commerce Department releases new home sales for June. Economists forecast a total of 320,000 annualized units, compared with 319,000 in May.
 Resource-related stocks will be in focus as copper prices CMCU3 rose for the first time in five sessions on a weaker dollar. Other key base metals also advanced.
 U.S. specialty finance company Orchid Island Capital Inc postponed its initial public offering due to market conditions. [ID:nL3E7IQ063]   (Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)       

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