US futures climb despite worrisome news from Asia
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock futures were mixed Tuesday ahead of a report expected to signal further gains in the housing market, while a downgrade of Japan's credit rating sent an early shudder through the market.
That has been the narrative throughout May as worrisome news from oversees counters what appears to be a slow but sustained recovery in the U.S.
Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 3 points at 12,487. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose 0.3 points to 1,316. Nasdaq composite index futures added 3.25 points to 2,546.75.
Futures turned fully negative briefly after Fitch cited spiraling debt as it lowered Japan's credit rating Tuesday.
Japan's gross government debt is projected to hit 239 percent of its economy by the end of this year, by far the highest of any Fitch-rated country.
And warnings about the European economy continue to sound.
The 17-country eurozone risks falling into a "severe recession," the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Tuesday, as it called on governments and Europe's central bank to act quickly or rise dragging down the global economy.
The OECD releases a global outlook twice per year and said that countries using the euro could see a contraction of as much as 2 percent this year.
Just six months ago, that was a worst-case scenario laid out by the Paris think tank.
In the U.S., Best Buy reported its first-quarter earnings and there are signs that the beleaguered electronics chain has begun to turn its fortunes around.
Profits fell 26 percent on restructuring charges, but Best Buy Co. beat Wall Street expectations and shares spiked 7 percent higher before the market opened before reversing course.
Facebook Inc. shares tumbled another 3 percent in premarket trading after its stock fell below its initial offering price Monday during its second day as a public company.
Shares of the social media company fell $1.13 to $32.90 in premarket trading Tuesday. The finger-pointing over what's gone wrong has begun with some blaming technical mix-ups at Nasdaq, while others are blaming Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter of the offering.
At 10 a.m. Eastern, economists expect the National Association of Realtors to report that sales of previously owned homes increased in April, adding more evidence of a housing recovery.
Economists predicted that sales of previously occupied homes rose 2.9 percent in April after falling 2.6 percent in March, according to a survey by FactSet.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)