US futures drop after extended run-up

AP News
Posted: Apr 12, 2013 9:03 AM
US futures drop after extended run-up

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures slid and markets appeared ready for a breather after an extended rally this week. More lackluster signs from the retail sector didn't help.

A strong showing from U.S. banks, which began reporting quarterly earnings Friday, was not enough to stop investors from pulling money off the table.

Dow Jones industrial futures fell 60 points to 14,736. The broader S&P futures gave up 7.4 points to 1,580.30. Nasdaq futures slipped 15.5 points to 2,837.75.

The Dow and S&P hit record highs this week and Nasdaq is hovering at 12-year highs. Futures had been down all morning with investors taking profits, and that decline accelerated after the government posted retail numbers for March.

Retail sales suffered their biggest decline in nine months, according to the Commerce Department, with so many consumers still stretched for cash.

The report comes on the heels of some weak comparable-store sales numbers released by retailers themselves on Thursday.

Retail sales declined by a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent last month. Both February and January sales figures were revised lower by the Commerce Department.

The government did release some positive news Friday for almost everyone. Wholesale prices fell by the largest amount in 10 months in March thanks to slumping gasoline prices.

And banks rode improving loan quality and robust investments to a very strong first quarter.

Profits for JPMorgan Chase, the nation's biggest bank, soared more than 30 percent to set a first-quarter record of $6.5 billion. The results topped Wall Street expectations and announced a 27 percent dividend boost.

Wells Fargo also beat Wall Street expectations Friday as its profit jumped 23 percent.

Yet banks could not escape the sell-off Friday. Both JPMorgan and Wells Fargo were down before the opening bell.