US Stock Futures Flat as Wall Street Stays Shuttered

Andrew Klips  |

As cash equity indices remained closed on Tuesday, electronic trading of U.S. stock futures closed flat this morning. Superstorm Sandy forced Wall Street to sandbag its doors in the first two-day weather-related shutdown in 124 years that flooded lower Manhattan and New Jersey, leaving millions without electricity and the subway operations suspended.

Dow Jones futures advanced a modest 8 points, less than 0.1 percent, and S&P 500 futures for December expiration rose 0.2 percent from Friday’s closing price.

On Monday, Dow futures had fallen 69 points while the S&P 500 futures slid 4.9 points lower.

Notably, shares of Apple, Inc. (AAPL) declined by 0.4 percent in German trading after news that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook fired mobile software head Scott Forstall and retail chief John Browett. Forstall oversaw Apple efforts such as Siri and Maps that were met with criticism and Browett was the man who cut Apple stores hours, a move that Apple later apologized for.

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In another week that investors expected to cobble through a swatch of earnings reports, several companies, such as Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL), Pfizer, Inc. (PFE), Take-Two Interactive Corp. (TTWO), Thomson Reuters Corp. (TMI) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC), postponed their operations reports.

Ford (F) went ahead and released its earnings. The U.S.’s second largest automaker reported that it earned $1.63 billion in the third quarter compared with $1.64 billion in the year prior quarter. Revenue was also basically flat; totaling $32.1 billion in the latest quarter compared to $33.1 billion in Q3 2011. Sales were limited against a backdrop of increased sales in the States, but floundering sales in Europe that has inspired the company to close three factories in the region.

Ford posted and operating profit of $2.2 billion, or 40 cents per share, trouncing Wall Street estimates of 30 cents per share.

On the economic slate, residential real estate prices in the 20 cities of the S&P/Case-Shiller Index rose by 2 percent in August compared to the same month in 2011. Economists were expecting at 1.9 percent increase. It was the biggest year-over-year gain since July 2010 and provides another signal that the U.S. housing market it keeping its healing ways since a price collapse in 2006.

The NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX Group said that, pending conditions, they plan to re-open on Wednesday. Wednesday is a key day in the markets being that it’s the last day of the month, a day when traders price their portfolios.

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