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US Stock-Index Futures Decline; Alcoa Drops in Early Trading

April 13, 2010, 7:32 AM EDT

April 13 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stock-index futures fell after the Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its first close above 11,000 since September 2008 and Alcoa inc. reported lower-than- estimated first-quarter sales.

Alcoa dropped 2.9 percent as the largest U.S. aluminum producer kicked off the reporting season. Harley-Davidson inc. dropped 2.9 percent after Deutsche Bank AG downgraded the shares.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in June lost 0.2 percent to 1,189.9 as of 7:27 a.m. in new York. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures retreated 0.2 percent to 10,932 and Nasdaq-100 Index futures lost 0.3 percent to 1,987. U.S. stocks rose yesterday after European governments offered Greece $61 billion rescue package.

“Alcoa’s disappointing sales result was poorly received by markets,” Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid wrote in a report to clients today. Yesterday’s rally was “one where markets see the pain partly redistributed rather than cured,” he wrote.

Combined profit for S&P 500 companies will increase 30 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The S&P 500 has jumped 77 percent from a 12-year low in March 2009 as the economy returned to growth and the Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate near zero to safeguard the recovery.

Alcoa

Alcoa dropped 2.9 percent to $14.15 in pre-market new York trading. The metal producer reported quarterly sales of $4.89 billion, missing the $5.23 billion average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. UBS AG downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “buy” and cut its price estimate to $16 from $17.

Harley-Davidson lost 2 percent to $32.10 in pre-market new York trading. Deutsche Bank cut its recommendation on the shares to “hold” from “buy.”

Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals inc. may rise after the stock more than doubled to $3.98 in after-hours trading. The biopharmaceutical company said clinical data showed its Onalta improved symptoms associated with metastatic carcinoid tumors.

–Editors: Jason Carey, Andrew Rummer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in London at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

US Stock-Index Futures Decline; Alcoa Drops in Early Trading