Futures Edge Lower

U.S stock futures edged lower on Thursday as initial euphoria over “fiscal cliff” deal fades away and as investors turn their attention towards another heated round of negotiations on spending cuts and debt ceiling issue.

At last check, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index slipped 0.16%; those on Nasdaq 100 Index fell 0.19% while futures on S&P 500 Index edged down 0.24% .

The U.S. congress having passed a bill which approves raising taxes on wealthy individuals and families has merely postponed the resolution on other key issues such as long-term spending cuts, including defense spending and domestic entitlement measures.  Until lawmakers don’t build a consensus over how to trim fiscal deficit through cuts, the danger of automatic across-the-board spending cuts from March will keep investors nervy. Moreover, a decision on debt ceiling will keep investors on the edge.

The heated round of negotiations between congressional leaders on pending issues will continue for the next two months.

On U.S economic news front, Automatic Data Processing Inc’s data on private sector payrolls for December is slated to be released at 8:15 a.m. EST.

The Labor Department is scheduled to release its weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST. According to economists’ consensus estimate, first time applications for benefits are likely to rise to 360,000 in the week ended Dec. 29 versus 350,000 the previous week.

Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) is scheduled to release its first quarter earnings on Thursday.

Earlier Today, retailer Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) reported that its same-store-sales climbed 9 percent in December.

Elsewhere in Asia, all leading benchmark indexes ended higher with Japan’s Nikkei India gaining 0.70 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng adding 0.37%.

In Europe, nearly all leading indexes turned lower on Thursday. While Stoxx 600 Index inched up 0.18 p%, FTSE 100 slipped 0.07 %.



Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.