Stock Futures Lower Despite Strong Trade Data


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U.S. stock-index futures pointed lower on Tuesday despite a round of much better-than-expected trade data and upbeat reports from Europe.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:37 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 22 points to 15532, S&P 500 futures dipped 2 points to 1701 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1 point to 3137.

The Commerce Department said the U.S. trade deficit fell to $34.22 billion in June from $44.1 billion in May, much smaller than the $43.5 billion deficit economists expected. Imports slid 2.5%, while exports jumped 2.2% to a record high.

While the data are a lagging indicator, they will figure directly into second-quarter gross domestic product readings.

Europe is in recovery mode. Or at least that's what the latest round of data show. Germany and the UK both saw gauges of industrial output jump past expectations in June. Meanwhile, struggling Italy's troubled economy contracted less than economists expected in the second quarter.

The continent has struggled as the eurozone's debt crisis has hit internal demand. Meanwhile, external demand has taken a hit as much of the developing world only slowly recovers.

Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans is set to speak to reporters later in the day. Commentary from Fed officials has driven markets in recent weeks as traders look for clues on when the central bank will begin paring back its easing program and eventually hike interest rates.

In corporate news, Sony (NYSE:SNE) turned down a proposal from Dan Loeb's Third Point to spin off its entertainment business. The electronics giant came under heavy selling pressure on the move. Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos will buy Washington Post's (NYSE:WPO) publishing business, including its namesake paper, for $250 million.

Elsewhere, U.S. oil rose 42 cents, or 0.39%, to $106.97 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline gained 0.61% to $2.969 a gallon. Gold slumped $13.80, or 1.1%, to $1,289 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.09% to 2812, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.11% to 6612 and the German DAX slipped 0.02% to 8369.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rallied 1% to 14401 and the Chinese Hang Seng sold off by 1.3% to 21924.

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