Stock futures were trading mixed after a lukewarm May durable goods report and ahead of the eurozone summit Thursday. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were falling 13 points, or 13.33 points above fair value, at 12,473.
Futures for the S&P 500 were down by 0.5 points, or 1.32 points above fair value, at 1315. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 were falling 0.75 points, or 3.81 points above fair value, at 2548.
The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that durable goods orders rose 1.1% to $217.2 billion in May, which was much better than expected; orders were expected to rise 1%, according to Briefing.com.
Excluding the transportation factor, new orders increased 0.4%, and excluding defense, new orders increased 0.7%.
Still, April’s figure was downwardly revised to a 0.2% decrease.
â€œThere is nothing in todayâ€™s report to change the view that orders and shipments are likely to be weak in the second quarter,â€ cautioned Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG. â€œShipments of core goods are a proxy for an important component of the GDP report were up a modest 0.4%, only partially recouping some of Aprilâ€™s move lower.â€
The National Association of Realtors is expected to report at 10 a.m. that its pending home sales index increased by 0.5% in May after a 5.5% decline in April.
U.S. stocks finished with mild gains on Tuesday as investors let improved home price data deflect their attention away from the eurozone debt crisis.
Trading volumes are expected to remain low Wednesday, with the summer doldrums setting in.
The FTSE in London was up 0.43% and the DAX in Germany was up 0.19% on Wednesday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to meet with French President Francois Hollande in Paris Wednesday, on the eve of the two-day eurozone summit, following Merkel’s reassertion that her country objected to shared liability. Germany, however, may consider the idea of eliminating the preferred creditor status of the European Stability Mechanism permanent rescue fund, which is believed to have discouraged investors from taking up sovereign debt for fear of much steeper losses if a default were to occur.
“Markets are waiting for nothing to happen, with the euro heads of government summit looming on the horizon,” said Paul Donovan, a global economist at UBS. “Expectations have been lowered so much that it is just possible that markets react positively to any decision. Alternatively, markets look at the broken structure of the Euro and ask ‘is that it.’”
The Hong Kong Hang Seng index closed up by 1.03% and the Nikkei in Japan settled up by 0.77%.
August crude oil futures were down 21 cents to $79.15 a barrel. August gold futures were falling by $6.10 to $1,568.80 an ounce.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury was sliding by 1/32, raising the yield to 1.634%, while the dollar was flat, according to the dollar index.
In corporate news, Best Buy (BBY) is reportedly a buyout candidate.
According to The Wall Street Journal, founder Richard Schulze is working with bankers to possibly put together a deal to take the company private.
The board of News Corp. (NWSA) will decide Wednesday whether to proceed with a split of the media giant into two companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper, which is owned by News Corp., first reported Monday the company was mulling separating its smaller publishing business from its entertainment businesses.
If the board approves the split, News Corp. is expected to announce the restructuring Thursday morning, a person familiar with the situation told the Journal. News Corp. on Monday confirmed it was contemplating a split.
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) announced an additional $3 billion buyback authorization after Tuesday’s closing bell.