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posted: 12/6/2012 7:13 AM

U.S. stocks little changed before jobs report

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  • Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange,

    Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange,
    Associated Press

Bloomberg News

U.S. stock-index futures were little changed before a report on initial jobless claims and interest- rate announcements in the euro area.

Garmin Ltd., the biggest maker of mobile-navigation systems in the U.S., rose 3.3 percent in Germany as it will replace R.R. Donnelley & Sons in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Walt Disney Co. added 1.1 percent in early New York trading. Blackstone Group LP dropped 2 percent in Frankfurt after a report it dropped out of bidding for Inghams Enterprises Pty. Ltd.

S&P futures expiring this month fell 0.1 percent to 1,407 at 7:23 a.m. in New York. The equity benchmark has slipped 1.3 percent since the U.S. elections on Nov. 6 as President Barack Obama seeks a deal with Republican lawmakers to avoid $607 billion of automatic tax increases and spending cuts starting next year. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 3 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 13,021 today.

"The main obstacle remains the fiscal cliff, though there seems to be a sense among investors that a solution will come in time," said Lars Knudsen, a portfolio manager who oversees about $95 million at LGT Capital Management in Pfaeffikon, Switzerland. "Sentiment is positive and markets have room to move higher before the end of the year."

The S&P 500 climbed 0.2 percent yesterday as Republican defectors joined a bipartisan call to break the impasse over taxes on top earners, signing a letter calling for the consideration of "all options."

Jobs Reports

A Labor Department report at 8:30 a.m. New York time may show that applications for jobless benefits declined to 380,000 last week from 393,000 the previous week, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Data due tomorrow will probably show that private payrolls increased by 90,000 last month, the smallest gain since June, according to another survey. Unemployment held at 7.9 percent in November, figures may show.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will announce the latest economic forecasts, including the first projection for 2014, at a press conference at 2:30 p.m. in Frankfurt.

Economists projected the central bank will keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.75 percent, in a decision due 45 minutes before the press meet. The Bank of England left its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent and left their bond-buying program on hold.

Index Membership

Garmin rose 3.3 percent to $41.02. The company will replace R.R. Donnelley in the S&P 500 after the close of trading on Dec. 11, S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC said. The stock this week crossed above its 50-day and 100-day moving averages.

R.R. Donnelley shares didn't trade in Europe.

Walt Disney advanced 1.1 percent to $49.38 in early New York trading. The world's largest entertainment company opens an expanded section of its Magic Kingdom today with the aim of drawing more visitors to a Florida park battling stagnant attendance for the past five years.

Men's Wearhouse Inc. added 1.7 percent to $31.89 in Germany. The stock had dropped in late New York trading after the clothing retailer reported third-quarter earnings per share that missed analysts' estimates.

Blackstone Group lost 2 percent to $14.48 in Germany. The Wall Street Journal reported the company has dropped out of bidding for Inghams Enterprises, Australia's biggest poultry producer, saying the asking price is too high. The newspaper cited two unidentified people with knowledge of the matter.

Pandora Media Inc. slid 4.7 percent to $7.43 in early New York trading, extending yesterday's biggest slump in almost nine months, after saying advertisers' caution about spending will lead to a wider full-year loss than the company forecast.

Dynavax Technologies Corp. slumped 9.3 percent to $2.45. The drugmaker seeking to bring its first product to market has lost 6.3 percent over the past five days.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. slipped 2.2 percent to $31.44 in premarket trading. The world's largest publicly traded copper producer yesterday plunged the most in four years after it agreed to buy Plains Exploration & Production Co. and McMoRan Exploration Co.

--Editors: Srinivasan Sivabalan, Alan Soughley

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at

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