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Premarket: An ugly start to the trading day Add to ...

(Updated with the latest economic and market data)

Investors are in a selling mood this Friday as concerns over corporate profits and slowing global economic growth continue to dominate, with U.S. stock futures pointing to losses when the North American trading day gets underway.

Asian markets overnight were down more than 1 per cent, finding little comfort in Apple's lacklustre earnings report late Thursday in which it missed profit and guidance expectations. Major commodities this morning are also pointing down.

More Related to this Story

South Korea overnight said its economy slowed to 1.6 per cent in the third quarter from 2.3 per cent in the previous three months, a reminder that the global demand picture is still unsettling. This was further underlined by Ericsson AB, the world's largest maker of mobile-phone networks, posting a 43 per cent decline in third-quarter profit this morning. Its shares fell about 5 per cent in Europe.

Market sentiment got a small boost when the U.S. released slightly stronger-than-expected third-quarter GDP data this morning. The economy grew at 2.0 per cent, whereas economists were expecting a figure closer to 1.9 per cent.

U.S. stock futures pared some losses after the data. But with several weak fourth-quarter outlooks already provided by companies this week, and about 59 per cent of S&P 500 firms missing third-quarter analyst sales forecasts so far, traders are still in a cautious mood.

Now, here's the rundown of what else you need to know before the trading day gets underway.

MARKETS:

Equities:
Futures: Dow -0.5 per cent, S&P 500 -0.4 per cent, Nasdaq -0.2 per cent

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index -1.21 per cent

Shanghai composite index -1.69 per cent

Japan’s Nikkei -1.35 per cent

London’s FTSE 100 -0.47 per cent

France’s CAC 40 +0.07 per cent

Germany’s DAX index -0.03 per cent

Commodities:
WTI (Nymex Dec) -0.23 per cent at $85.85 (U.S.) a barrel

Gold (Comex Dec) -0.43 per cent at $1,705.70 (U.S.) an ounce

Copper (Comex Dec) -0.25 per cent at $3.54 (U.S.) a pound

Currencies:
Canadian dollar down 0.0031, or 0.31 per cent, at $1.0025 (U.S.)

STOCKS AND ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:

The U.S. Commerce Department said the economy grew an annualized 2.0 per cent in the third quarter, better than forecasts of 1.9 per cent.

(0955 a.m. ET) University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for October is released. The index is expected to remain unchanged at 83.1.

Apple shares are steady in the premarket after its earnings came up a little short amid signs its competition is making some gains.

Amazon is down 0.4 per cent in the premarket after reporting late Thursday a $274-million loss, suffering from the economic slowdown in Europe.

Expedia shares are up 16 per cent in the premarket after its earnings beat expectations.

Merck & Co. said quarterly profit rose 2 per cent to 56 cents a share with sales falling 4 per cent to $11.5-billion, close to expectations.

Other earnings out today include: Whirlpool, Comcast, Goodyear, Petrobras SA, Statoil ASA, TransAlta Corp. and Weyerhaeuser Co.

THIS MORNING'S TOP INVESTING READS ON THE WEB:

Malaysian state-owned oil company Petronas was so confident last Friday that its purchase of Progress Energy Resources Corp would be approved by Canada that company officials had drafted a press release to announce the news.

The three scariest things about this disappointing earnings season.

An interesting chart showing stocks and oil diverging. Suggests one may soon be catching up to the other.

________

For instant headlines on breaking economic and corporate news in the premarket, follow Darcy Keith on Twitter at @eyeonequities

 

Follow on Twitter: @eyeonequities

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