US STOCKS-Futures lower ahead of housing, consumer data

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Aug 31 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures were
lower on Tuesday as investors awaited data on housing and
consumer confidence to gauge the pace of the economy recovery.

* U.S. home prices likely eked out a small gain in June,
but a rise would represent the final tail winds of the
homebuyer tax credit that ended in April rather than housing
market improvement.

* The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home
price index likely rose 0.2 percent in June after a 0.5 percent
increase in May, seasonally adjusted, according to a Reuters
survey of economists. The data comes at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT)
For details, see [ID:nN30253333]

* The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index is seen
edging up to 50.5 in August from 50.4 in July, which was the
lowest reading since February. The data will be released at 10
a.m. EDT. (1400 GMT)

* The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its Aug. 10
policy meeting, where it endorsed a more dovish monetary
posture, citing a willingness to “reinvest” in monetary
accommodation. Last week Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a
speech the recovery had weakened more than expected.

* “We have a slew of economic data. Several things the
market will be looking at very carefully are consumer
confidence, the FOMC minutes, Case-Shiller and Chicago PMI,”
said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners
in New York.

* “It is just a very nervous market and going into
September certainly doesn’t help. Traditionally September is a
weak month for stocks.”

* S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) were down 5.4 points and 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: ) slipped
32 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) lost 11 points.

* Deere & Co (DE.N: ) said it would sell its wind energy
business to an Exelon Corp (EXC.N: ) subsidiary for $900 million.

* European shares fell early Tuesday and remained on track
to end the month lower as growing concerns about the pace of
the global economic recovery kept investors on the sidelines.

* Japan-led Asian stocks dropped Tuesday as worries about
the flagging U.S. economy triggered profit-taking across the
region and fed a five-month rally in U.S. and Japanese
government bonds. [ID:nLDE67U09C]

* U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) declined Monday in the year’s lightest volume
as worries about the pace of the recovery overshadowed data
showing a rise in consumer spending and income.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures lower ahead of housing, consumer data