US stock futures signal dip; Texas Instruments eyed

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Tuesday, with futures for the S&P 500 SPc1 down 0.36 percent, Dow Jones DJc1 futures down 0.26 percent and Nasdaq 100 NDc1 futures down 0.23 percent at 1049 GMT. * Tech shares will be in focus after Texas Instruments (TXN.N) overnight raised the low end of its quarterly earnings and revenue forecast, and said it was struggling to fill orders in time as demand for chips rose faster than it could make them. [ID:nN08195713] * Airbus parent EADS (EAD.PA), the world’s second-largest aerospace group after Boeing (BA.N), dived to a heavy loss in 2009 and scrapped its dividend as charges on its A380 superjumbo and a currency hit swelled already announced charges from cost overruns on the delayed A400M airlifter. EADS shares dropped 5 percent in morning trade in Paris. [Read the full article]

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European shares were lower at midday on Tuesday, with banks weak and mining stocks under pressure as metals prices dropped, offsetting a rebound in pharmaceutical stocks. By 1143 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares was down 0.8 percent at 1,044.89 points, after falling 0.1 percent on Monday following six sessions of gains. The index has rebounded 60 percent since hitting a lifetime low exactly a year ago, but is little changed so far in 2010. Banks were among the worst performers, with Barclays (BARC.L), HSBC (HSBA.L), Societe Generale (SOGN.PA), BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) off 1.5-3.1 percent. Greek bank shares .FTATBNK shed 2.5 percent after Deutsche Bank cut earnings forecasts for EFG Eurobank (EFGr.AT), Alpha Bank (ACBr.AT) and National Bank of Greece (NBGr.AT), and also downgraded Alpha Bank and National Bank to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’. “We saw half-hearted trading sessions in the U.S. [Read the full article]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday a possible new fund to support euro zone countries that run into financial problems would not weaken European Union rules on budget discipline. Speaking after a meeting with Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, she said any European monetary fund that emerges from discussions should be seen as a last resort and Juncker said it would not be a solution for Greece’s problems. Merkel, however, noted positive developments in Greece, saying its recent bond issue was successful, even if the country had a long way to go to overcome its budget deficit and debt problems. The country did not need support, she said. “Greece has won some trust back through the steps taken by its government,” she said. [Read the full article]

Weak banks helped drive Britain’s top share index 0.7 percent lower by midday on Tuesday after analysts cautioned over the sector’s funding position, with miners also on the back foot as recent gains unwind. By 1204 GMT, the FTSE 100 .FTSE was down 35.81 points at 5,570.94, having ended up 0.1 percent on Monday, its highest close since Sept. 2, 2008 — before Lehman Brothers collapsed. “It is a slowish day. I don’t take this as being anything significant in terms of calling a halt to where the market wants to trade, I think it is just a day for taking off some profit,” said Stephen Pope, chief global market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald. Banks took the most points off the index, extending Monday’s losses. Moody’s Investors Services said British banks and lenders that have not improved their funding position may have their financial-strength ratings cut as government support for the industry is withdrawn. [Read the full article]

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