• News
  • Finance

U.S. Stock Futures Slide as Whole Foods, Kraft Fall on Earnings

July 31 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures declined, signaling the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will trim its monthly gain, as earnings at companies from Whole Foods Market Inc. to Kraft Foods Group Inc. disappointed investors and Argentina missed a debt payment.

Whole Foods Market Inc. dropped 5.3 percent after lowering its 2014 revenue forecast. Kraft Foods Group Inc. declined after reporting quarterly results that missed analysts’ estimates.

S&P 500 futures expiring in September slid 0.7 percent to 1,951.3 at 8:33 a.m. in New York. The gauge closed little changed yesterday as weaker earnings and the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep trimming asset purchases offset better-than- forecast economic growth. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts lost 110 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,711 today.

“We’re seeing the market consolidate on last night’s FOMC decision, people want to take some profit off the table,” Nick Skiming, who helps manage $10 billion at Ashburton Ltd., said in a phone interview from Jersey, in the Channel Islands. “Earnings overall have been tracking slightly higher than expected. Next quarter may disappoint because earnings have been rising on a comparative basis. Argentina may well have an impact on sentiment.”

The S&P 500 has climbed 0.5 percent in July, heading for a sixth straight monthly gain, as companies from Facebook Inc. to Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. reported a surge in profit, while Time Warner Inc. rallied as Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. made a takeover offer.

Earnings Season

Fifty S&P 500 companies report quarterly earnings today. About 75 percent of those that have released results this seasons have topped analysts’ estimates for profit, while 66 percent have exceeded sales projections.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 4 percent annual pace in the second quarter, confirming the central bank’s view that a first-quarter contraction was transitory. The Fed yesterday cut its monthly bond buying to $25 billion in its sixth consecutive $10 billion reduction.

The Fed’s Open Market Committee reiterated that it’s likely to reduce bond buying in “further measured steps” and to keep interest rates low for a “considerable time” after ending purchases. The central bank said slack in the labor market persists even though the economy is picking up.

Labor Market

Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment insurance benefits over the past month than at any time in more than eight years, signaling employers are hanging on to workers as demand improves. The four-week average of jobless claims, considered a less volatile measure than the weekly figure, dropped to 297,250, the lowest since April 2006, from 300,750 the prior week.

Data from Washington tomorrow may show companies added 231,000 jobs this month, according to the median economist estimate. A private report from ADP Research Institute yesterday said U.S. companies boosted payrolls by 218,000 in July, falling shy of the estimates of 230,000.

Argentina missed a deadline yesterday to pay $539 million in interest after two full days of negotiations in New York failed to produce an accord with creditors from its last default in 2001. A U.S. judge ruled that the payment couldn’t be made unless those investors, a group of hedge funds led by Elliott Management Corp., got the $1.5 billion they claimed. Standard & Poor’s said Argentina is in default.

Whole Foods dropped 5.3 percent. The largest U.S. natural- goods grocer said sales will climb 9.6 percent to 9.9 percent this fiscal year, less than the previous forecast for a gain of as much as 11 percent. The company cited increased competition from new competitors.

Kraft lost 2.2 percent after reporting second-quarter sales of $4.75 billion, missing the average analyst projection of $4.83 billion.

Yum! Brands Inc. slid 6.3 percent. The owner of Pizza Hut and KFC said it cut ties with meat supplier OSI Group LLC globally after previously saying it would stop using it China, Australia and the U.S.

User Response
0 UserComments