US stock futures mixed on retailer earnings

US stock futures mixed on retailer earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures were mixed today as a pair of U.S. retail giants posted better-than-expected profits, but revenue that fell just short.

The Labor Department also reported a surge in unemployment benefit applications due largely to the havoc from Superstorm Sandy in Northeast states.

Dow Jones industrial futures fell 3 points to 12,541. The broader S&P futures dipped 2.2 points to 1,350.80. Nasdaq futures have added 5.75 points to 2,535.25.

Before the opening bell today, shares of Wal-Mart fell more than 3 percent. Its expectations for the current quarter fell shy of Wall Street expectations. An investigation into bribery allegations in Mexico also may be expanding to a number of other countries.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission Thursday, Wal-Mart said that “Inquiries or investigations regarding allegations of potential (U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) violations have been commenced in a number of foreign markets where we operate, including but not limited to Brazil, China and India.”

Superstorm Sandy drove the number of people seeking unemployment benefits up to a seasonally adjusted 439,000 last week, the highest level in 18 months, the Labor Department said.

Target reported a higher profit for the third quarter, but said that comparable store sales rose 2.9 percent, which was a slower growth rate than last year.

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