U.S. Stock Futures Maintain Losses After Jobs, Durables Data

U.S. stock futures maintained losses after jobless claims and orders for durable goods increased as investors searched the data for clues on when the Federal Reserve may reduce its bond-buying program.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in September lost 0.4 percent to 1,677.5 at 8:37 a.m. in New York. The equity benchmark completed its first two-day drop in a month yesterday.

Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years increased 4.2 percent after a revised 5.2 percent gain in May that was bigger than initially reported, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 1.4 percent advance. Unfilled orders for big-ticket goods rose the most since December 2007.

Jobless claims rose by 7,000 to 343,000 in the week ended July 20 from a revised 336,000 the prior period, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected 340,000. The retooling at carmakers and school closings typical during this time of year continued to influence the figures last week, a spokesman said as the data were released.

The S&P 500 declined the most in a month yesterday as investors weighed global manufacturing reports and corporate earnings for signs on when the Fed may scale back its asset purchases. Support from central banks and better-than-estimated corporate earnings have driven the S&P 500 up as much as 151 percent from its March 2009 low.

The Fed has said economic data will determine the timing and pace of any reduction in its $85 billion in monthly bond-buying.

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