Stock Futures Waver Amid Mixed Data


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After trudging through an actual holiday storm, Wall Street traders were awaiting a deluge of economic data Wednesday morning.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:38 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 12 points, or 0.08%, to 16073, S&P 500 futures climbed 1 point, or 0.06%, to 1803 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 4.2 points, or 0.12%, to 3452.

It's raining on the Street. And the economic floodgates are open as well, with several key reports out.

The Commerce Department said orders for long-lasting goods fell 2% in October, slightly more than the 1.9% drop economists expected. Excluding the transportation segment, orders fell 0.1%, versus a 0.5% gain Wall Street expected. The gauge frequently figures into investment banks' estimates for fourth-quarter GDP.

The Labor Department said the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 316,000 from an upwardly revised 326,000 the week prior. Economists expected the number of claims to rise to 330,000 from an initially reported 323,000.

At 9:45 a.m. ET, market participants will get a look at manufacturing conditions in the Midwest from the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago. Economists are expecting growth there to have slowed down significantly this month.

Finally, the University of Michigan and Reuters provide their gauge of consumer sentiment at 9:55 a.m. ET. A separate report Tuesday from the Conference Board showed an unexpected slump in consumer confidence this month -- just as the key holiday shopping season kicks off.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures sold off by $1.02, or 1.1%, to $92.66 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.26% to $2.694 a gallon. Gold rose $9.30, or 0.74%, to $1,251 a troy ounce.

On the corporate front, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) posted quarterly results that widely beat analysts' expectations, sending shares of the blue-chip PC-maker surging.

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