U.S. Stock Futures Tumble as Europe Fears Return

Date : 07/23/2012 @ 7:30AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Talbots (The) (TLB)
Quote : 2.76  0.0 (0.00%) @ 2:05AM

U.S. Stock Futures Tumble as Europe Fears Return

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Wall Street headed for a sharply lower start Monday, set to follow a global equity rout as fears of a full-fledged Spanish bailout and a Greek exit from the euro returned to the spotlight.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 154 points to 12619. S&P 500 index futures dropped 16.3 points to 1341.90, while Nasdaq-100 futures lost 34.75 points to 2578.50.

"We start yet another week with a very fragile backdrop--that of Spanish debt trading at the widest euro-era levels and politicians and policy makers doing little to stem the crisis," wrote strategists at Lloyds TSB, in a note to clients.

Spanish government bond yields picked up where they left off Friday, soaring to another round of euro-era highs. The yield on the 10-year benchmark traded at 7.45%, a rise of nearly a quarter of a basis point, and well above the 7% threshold widely viewed as potentially unsustainable in terms of long-term government borrowing costs. The two-year yield jumped nearly 0.90 percentage point.

Strategists tied the Spanish bond carnage to a combination of factors, including a decision Friday by the regional government in Valencia to seek state aid, uncertainty over whether Spain's government will be able to take the cost of the 100 billion euro ($123 billion) bank bailout from its books, and the government's cut in its own economic projections.

Add in weekend news reports that the International Monetary Fund is prepared to cut off further aid for Greece, and global equity markets opened the week with a tumble.

Asian stocks fell sharply and European equities were under heavy pressure. The Stoxx 600 Europe index fell 2%. Spain's IBEX 35 index dropped more than 5% after losing nearly 6% on Friday.

The euro temporarily dropped below the $1.21 level versus the dollar and remained 0.4% lower at $1.2107. The dollar index (DXY), which measures the U.S. unit against a basket of six major rivals, rose 0.4% to 83.790.

Meanwhile, corporate earnings data will continue to roll in this week, including the latest results from Apple Inc. (AAPL), Ford Motor Co. (F), Facebook Inc. (FB) and McDonald's Corp. (MCD).

McDonald's is expected to report earnings ahead of Monday's opening bell.

Nymex crude-oil futures fell $2.93 to $88.90 a barrel in electronic trade. Gold futures lost $11.40 an ounce to trade at $1,571.40.

Write to William L. Watts at AskNewswires@dowjones.com


Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Monday's session are Mission West Properties, Inc. (MSW) and Talbots Inc. (TLB).

Mission West Properties, one of the largest office landlords in California's Silicon Valley, is in talks to sell itself to Divco West, a San Francisco real-estate investment firm, and private equity firm TPG, according to people who have been briefed on the deal. Shares jumped 6.7% to $9.35 after hours.

Talbots said Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. won't take action related to the retailer's acquisition by private-equity firm Sycamore Partners, paving the way for the deal to close. Shares were up 2.3% to $2.69 after hours.

Watch List:

AT&T Inc. (T) said it has reached agreements "in concept" with the Communications Workers of America in wireline contract negotiations for about 18,700 employees.

Moody's Investors Service downgraded Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) credit rating one notch further into junk territory, pointing to the consulting firm's shift to an aggressive financial policy after it proposed paying a special $1 billion dividend last week.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services boosted its investment-grade rating on J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT), saying the trucking company's earnings and free cash flow generation have continued to improve.

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) announced plans Friday to increase compensation to brokers that lost money trading in Facebook Inc.'s (FB) problematic stock-market debut to $62 million.

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (SBLK) said one of its ships has been docked in South Korea for an estimated four months of repairs after its engine failed.

Write to Nathalie Tadena at nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

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