Wall Street set for weak opening
Futures decline as investors worry about outlook for tech, financial firms. Economic data on tap.
NEW YORK†(CNNMoney.com) -- Stock futures dropped early Thursday ahead of some key economic readings and amid worries about the health of the banking sector and outlook for tech profits.
At 8:40 a.m. ET, Nasdaq and S&P futures were lower, with a comparison to fair value suggesting early losses for Wall Street.
Stocks finished Wednesday's session moderately higher after the Federal Reserve kept rates steady at 2% Wednesday, as expected.
"It's all about RIM [Research In Motion] and Oracle today," said Dave Rovelli, managing director of U.S. equity trading at Canaccord Adams. "Two huge tech names that are bringing the market lower."
Techs Software maker Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) both reported a jump in quarterly earnings after the market close Wednesday. But Oracle issued a disappointing outlook, while RIM missed Wall Street's estimates.
Banks A grim outlook for the financial sector is also likely to take a toll on sentiment.
Goldman Sachs cut its ratings on U.S. investment banks to "neutral'' from "attractive" and added Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) to its "conviction sell'' list, according to a research report published early Thursday.
"Fundamentals continue to deteriorate as expected, but the pace of deterioration appears to be far worse than we originally anticipated," said Goldman analyst William Tanona in the report.
Economy The Commerce Department's final reading on first-quarter gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic activity, was revised up to a 1% annual rate from the previous reading of 0.9%.
Separately, the Labor Department reported that 384,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, unchanged from the week before.
Housing A reading on May existing home sales is scheduled for release at 10 a.m. ET.
The National Association of Realtors is expected to report that the number of existing homes sold in May rose to an annual rate of 4.95 million from 4.89 million in April, according to consensus estimates gathered by Briefing.com.
Thursday's report comes after data released earlier in the week showed the number of new homes sold declined and that home prices fell sharply.
Lennar One of the nation's largest homebuilders reported that its profit loss narrowed in the second quarter as the company reported fewer writedowns.
Anheuser-Busch The brewer of Budweiser is prepared to reject InBev's $46 billion takeover offer, according to The Wall Street Journal. A rejection by Anheuser (BUD, Fortune 500) is expected to pave the way for a hostile takeover battle.
Energy Crude prices edged slightly lower in electronic trading. Oil futures shed more than $2 Wednesday after the U.S. government reported a surprise jump in crude supplies.