Stocks: Growth worries keep investors sidelined

@CNNMoneyInvest March 29, 2012: 8:53 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were poised for a lower open Thursday as a string of weak economic reports -- including a worse-than-expected jobless claims report --have sparked worries about growth slowing down on both sides of the Atlantic.

Disappointing reports on durable goods orders, consumer confidence and home prices have dragged on domestic markets this week, while ongoing concerns about a growth slowdown in China have added pressure on world markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were slightly lower. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Retailer Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500) saw its stock jump in premarket trading after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

Stocks closed in the red Wednesday amid worries about slowing growth overseas and disappointing data in the U.S.

U.S. economy to outpace Europe

Economy: First-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended March 24 fell to 359,000. The forecast was for 350,000, according to a survey of analysts by Briefing.com. But the jobless claims report was still at a four-year low.

Companies: Best Buy's stock rose by 3% after reporting an adjusted quarterly profit of $2.47 a share. The electronics retailer was expected to report quarterly earnings of $2.16 a share, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters.

Worthington fell short of expectations with its quarterly earnings of 27 cents per share on revenue of $580 million. The company was expected to post earnings of 35 cents a share on $591 million in revenue.

Sears Holdings' (SHLD, Fortune 500) stock rose more than 3% in premarket trading after the New York Post reported that the retailer was shopping its Lands' End brand for $2 billion.

Red Hat's (RHT) stock jumped 4% in premarket trading after the software maker reported quarterly earnings, or 18 cents per diluted share, and a stock buyback of $133 million.

Research in Motion (RIMM) will report results after the closing bell. The BlackBerry maker is expected to post earnings per share of 81 cents on $4.5 billion in revenue.

World markets: European stocks dropped in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) was off 0.8%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany lost 1.1% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) was down 0.9%.

Asian markets ended lower. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) declined 1.4%, the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong dropped 1.3% and Japan's Nikkei (N225) lost 0.7%.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar lost ground against the Japanese yen, but strengthened against the euro and the British pound.

Oil for May delivery slipped 39 cents to $105.02 a barrel.

Gold futures for April delivery rose $3.10 to $1,661 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, dropping yields to 2.18% from 2.20% late Wednesday. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,445.43 36.89 0.22%
Nasdaq 4,104.58 9.06 0.22%
S&P 500 1,868.84 3.99 0.21%
Treasuries 2.70 -0.02 -0.70%
Data as of 10:15am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 60.34 1.40 2.38%
Micron Technology In... 24.94 1.04 4.33%
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Newmont Mining Corp 25.08 1.54 6.54%
Pfizer Inc 30.65 0.40 1.32%
Data as of 10:00am ET
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
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15 yr fixed3.39%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.27%
30 yr refi4.34%4.22%
15 yr refi3.38%3.24%
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