Futures Inch Lower, Retail Sales Data Eyed

U.S. stock futures slipped on Tuesday as investors wait for a series of economic data to find some direction after sentiment turned downbeat in the preceding session following news that demand for Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5 has been weaker than expected.

At last check, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index slid 0.03%; those on NASDAQ 100 fell 0.17% while futures on S&P 500 Index inched down 0.14%.

Earlier on Monday, Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, while giving a speech at the University of Michigan warned that the U.S. economy “ was not out of the woods yet” and urged the Congress to raise the debt ceiling so that world’s largest economy does not make a historical default in few week time. Bernanke also ruled out any hike in benchmark interest rate and roll back of ongoing quantitative measures, citing that bond purchase will not spike inflationary pressure.

On U.S. economic data front, the Commerce Department will release its retail sales data for December at 8:30 a.m. EST.  Also at the same time, December’s Producer Price Index (PPI) is slated to release. New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Index, a gauge on manufacturing activities, will be released at 8:30 a.m. EST. The Index, according to economists surveyed by MarketWatch, is likely to come at minus 2.8 in January up from minus 8.1 in December.  A reading above 0 indicates improvement in manufacturing activities.

Later at 10:00 a.m. EST, the Commerce Department will release its data business inventories for November.

On earnings front, homebuilder Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) is scheduled to report quarterly results ahead of the morning bell.

Apple inched lower in premarket tr, ade. On Monday, news report said that Apple was slashing its LCD orders, used for iPhones, owing to weaker than expected demand for iPhone 5.

In some other markets, crude oil futures slipped 0.07% to $93.07 a barrel while U.S. gold futures edged up 0.68% to $1,680.80 an ounce.

edliston

edliston

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.