Things were looking up before the Commerce Department released its report on June retail sales report. Sales in June dropped 0.5 percent from May, though they were up 4.8 percent from June 2009. Retail sales are up 7.3 percent from the bottom, but still down 5.2 percent from the pre-recession peak. Consumers have been telling us that they feel insecure about the economy--this report proves it.
Too bad, because coming into the session, investors were seeking to add to the continuation of the stock market's six-day winning streak, which left the S&P 500 down less than one percent for the year. Funny how losing less is starting to feel like a win.
After the close, Intel delivered better-than-expected results. The world's number one chipmaker saw a 34 percent increase in revenue, leading to a quarterly profit of $2.89 billion, or 51 cents a share, compared to a 7 cent loss a year ago. Intel shares rose 5 percent to over $22 a share after hours.
News from Asia helped those markets advance. City-state Singapore said second quarter GDP increased 26 percent from the previous quarter and upped its 2010 GDP growth forecast to 13 percent to 15 percent.
That's all history now--U.S. stock futures have turned lower, so prepare for a negative opening.