US STOCKS-Futures point to higher open on Wal-Mart, Home Depot

* Wal-Mart, Home Depot profits top estimates

* Home starts weaker than expected, PPI rises

* Futures up: S&P 8 pts, Dow 60 pts, Nasdaq 12.5 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Adds housing and PPI data)

By Edward Krudy

NEW YORK, Aug 17 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a higher Wall Street open on Tuesday after
bellwether retailers Wal-Mart and Home Depot recorded
better-than-expected profits, but Wal-Mart cautioned about the
strength of the U.S. consumer.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: ) said cost controls and
international markets helped quarterly earnings, but sales at
U.S. stores fell for the fifth consecutive quarter as the
world’s largest retailer warned the U.S. consumer remained
under pressure. The shares rose nearly 1 percent to $50.82 in
premarket trading. For details, see [ID:nN17234410]

Home Depot Inc (HD.N: ), the top home improvement chain, said
income beat estimates, also helped by cost controls, but sales
missed expectations. Still, the stock gained 2.4 percent to
$28.05 premarket. [ID:nN17114618]

In the latest economic data, producer prices increased in
July for the first time in four months, helping to allay
concerns about deflation, but housing starts rose at a weaker
rate than expected and permits fell to their lowest level in
more than a year. [ID:nN16267366] and [ID:nN17122965]

“On a stand-alone basis the economic data would be enough
to have futures in the red, so it’s good we’re getting some
decent news out of the big companies saying things aren’t as
bad as the economic data suggests,” said John Canally
investment strategist and economist for LPL Financial in
Boston.

S&P 500 futures (

Stocks fell sharply last week amid fears of a slowdown in
the economy. Although Wall Street finished flat on Monday, many
analysts said the trend is for stocks to likely remain lower on
concerns about the economy.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co (ANF.N: ) topped estimates as its
profit was helped by discounts that lifted sales. The retailer
said promotions ate into profit margins, and the stock fell 4.7
percent to $35.85. [ID:nSGE67G0D8]

Crude oil futures (CLc1: ) were up 1 percent, rising from a
one-month low as a weaker dollar edged out concerns about the
pace of global economic recovery and U.S. petroleum inventory
data. Copper prices were also higher.

European stocks rose 0.6 percent as Aegon pushed insurers
higher after the European Union approved its recapitalisation,
while firmer copper prices on falling inventories and a weaker
dollar boosted miners. [ID:nLDE67G037] and [ID:nLDE67G145]

Japan’s Nikkei average fell 0.4 percent to its lowest close
in more than eight months, with the yen holding on to gains
against the dollar as signs of weak economic growth dampened
appetite for risk.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; additional reporting by Leah
Schnurr; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures point to higher open on Wal-Mart, Home Depot