U.S. Stock-Index Futures Fall


U.S. stock-index futures retreated after wholesale prices rose more than expected in January, boosting concern that inflation may keep accelerating even as the economy slows.

Merck & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Alcoa Inc. helped lead declines in members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Home Depot Inc., the largest home-improvement retailer, tumbled after earnings trailed analysts' estimates amid the worst housing slump in a quarter century.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures expiring in March dropped 3.3 to 1,368.3 at 8:54 a.m. in New York. Dow futures lost 25 to 12,541. Nasdaq-100 Index futures slid 5.25 to 1,780.25. Shares in Asia and Europe gained.

The 1 percent increase in prices paid to U.S. producers followed a revised 0.3 percent drop in December, the Labor Department said. Economists in a Bloomberg News survey projected a 0.4 percent rise. Excluding food and energy, so-called core wholesale prices climbed 0.4 percent, the most in almost a year.

Investors were also awaiting a report later today from the Conference Board that economists expect will show confidence among U.S. consumers fell to the lowest in more than four years this month as the labor market weakened and other parts of the economy showed strain.

Shares in Asia and Europe rallied today. Germany's Ifo institute said its business climate index gained for a second month in February, indicating Europe's largest economy may cope with slowing U.S. growth and higher oil prices.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
2/26/2008 6:48:04 AM