Stocks likely to struggle

@CNNMoneyInvest June 8, 2012: 8:57 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks could struggle Friday on investor disappointment that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did not signal more stimulus is on the horizon.

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

Overseas markets were selling off in reaction to testimony from Bernanke to a congressional panel Thursday. He said the U.S. central bank stands ready to act, but gave no indication that additional asset purchases are imminent.

The comments took the air out of an earlier rally sparked by a surprise rate cut by the People's Bank of China.

Asian markets, which had all closed Thursday ahead of both the Chinese rate cut and Bernanke comments, ended Friday trading lower, with the Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) closing down 0.5%, the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong losing 0.9%, and Japan's Nikkei (N225) falling 2.1%

European stocks were lower in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) slipped 0.8%, and the DAX (DAX) in Germany fell 0.7%.. France's CAC 40 (CAC40) declined 0.6%

Art Hogan, managing director at Lazard Capital Markets, said that investors should not have been surprised that Bernanke didn't signal more stimulus in his testimony. But he said hopes had been raised by comments from other Fed officials, including Vice Chairman Janet Yellen, prior to his comments.

Hogan said beyond the disappointment in Bernanke, many investors want to be cautious heading into the weekend, especially with China due to report on inflation and reports that there could be some decision about European help for Spanish banks.

"Fridays can be difficult because weekends have been tumultuous lately," Hogan said.

Spain needs to recapitalize its banking sector, but its treasury minister said earlier this week it will need help from Europe to do so because the country was at risk of being shut out of the financial markets.

Worries about Europe eased slightly Thursday after Spain held a successful bond auction. But Spain's problems are far from solved, however. Ratings agency Fitch moved Thursday to downgrade the country's credit rating to "BBB" from "A." and warned the country's debt is at risk of another cut into junk bond status.

Investors will be mulling new U.S. economic reports that showed a smaller U.S. trade deficit and a wholesale inventories report due later Friday morning, while also staying tuned for further news on Europe's debt crisis.

U.S. stocks ended mixed Thursday, trimming gains from earlier in the day. Investor sentiment remains in the "extreme fear" range on CNNMoney's Fear & Greed index, although they were not quite as fearful as they were a day or week earlier.

Heading into Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 342 points, or 2.8%, for the week. The S&P 500 index was up nearly 36 points, or 2.9%, and the Nasdaq composite was more than 83 points, or 3%, higher.

Economy: The U.S. trade deficit for April came in at $50.1 billion, roughly in line with forecasts of analysts by Briefing.com, and down from the revised $52.6 billion in March.

Wholesale inventories for April are expected to have increased by 0.5%, after increasing by 0.3% in the month prior.

Companies: Shares of International Game Technology (IGT) rose about 1% in heavy premarket trading. The gaming firm announced late Thursday that it had received a recommendation for an online gaming license from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Shares of Molina Healthcare (MOH, Fortune 500) jumped 19% in premarket trading after the company announced late Thursday that Ohio had endorsed its bid to continue as a health care provider for the state's Medicaid beneficiaries.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar gained against the euro and the British pound, but slipped versus the Japanese yen.

Oil for July delivery continue its slide, losing $2.17 to $82.65 a barrel.

Gold futures for June delivery fell $5 to $1,583 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield near down to 1.57% from the 1.65% level reached late Thursday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,122.01 15.31 0.09%
Nasdaq 4,569.62 -1.02 -0.02%
S&P 500 2,000.12 0.10 0.00%
Treasuries 2.36 -0.03 -1.25%
Data as of 9:40pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.20 -0.13 -0.80%
Apple Inc 102.13 1.24 1.23%
Facebook Inc 74.63 -1.33 -1.75%
Yahoo! Inc 38.18 0.39 1.03%
Pfizer Inc 29.49 0.28 0.96%
Data as of 4:02pm ET
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