STOCKS-Futures fall after German business index drops

* German business sentiment falls in February

* Home Depot swings to quarterly profit

* S&P Case-Shiller house prices on tap

* Futures down: Dow 29 pts, S&P 500 3.5, Nasdaq 7.75

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US]

NEW YORK, Feb 23 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures
dropped on Tuesday as a key index of German business sentiment
fell unexpectedly, denting confidence in a global economic
recovery and weighing on European shares.

The data overshadowed better-than-expected quarterly
results from Home Depot Inc (HD.N: ), as the top home improvement
chain benefited from improved efficiency and forecast a
fiscal-year profit above estimates. Its shares jumped more than
2 percent to $30.98 in premarket trade. For details, see
[ID:nN23238978]

German business sentiment declined for the first time in
almost a year in February, suggesting that Europe’s largest
economy may slide back into contraction in the first quarter
into a much-feared double-dip recession. [ID:nLDE61M0UN]

“The news out of Germany that is putting pressure on the
European bourses is spilling over here,” said Peter Cardillo,
chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York. “It is a
market that is basically following European markets lower as
the risk aversion trade kicks in.”

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) fell 3.4 points and were below fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: ) were off
29 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) lost 7.75 points.

Home Depot swung to a fourth-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) versus a loss a
year ago. Excluding items, the latest-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) was 24
cents a share, beating the average estimate of 17 cents.

In a busy day for retailers, Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O: )
said quarterly profit more than doubled despite slightly weaker
revenue. Its shares were lightly traded in premarket.
[ID:nN23202826]

Other retailers due to report include Target Corp (TGT.N: ),
the No. 2 U.S. discount retailer, and department store operator
Macy’s Inc (M.N: ).

Consumer confidence data, due at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) is
expected to show U.S. consumers are a little less upbeat, while
the S&P/Case-Shiller house price index of 20 major U.S. cities
is expected to have fallen 3.2 percent in December, according
to a Reuters poll, better than the 5.3 percent fall in January.
Case-Shiller is due at 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT)

The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of leading European
shares fell 0.5 percent, paring gains after the Ifo German
index of business sentiment fell.

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STOCKS-Futures fall after German business index drops