August 15 (Reuters) - Canadian main stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Thursday, after closing flat in the previous session, as lack of clarity about the Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus program kept inventors on edge.
* Wal-Mart Stores Inc posted disappointing quarterly U.S. sales as shoppers pinched by higher payroll taxes and gas prices made fewer trips to its stores.
* Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc is cutting 4,000 jobs, or 5 percent of its workforce, as it makes a fresh attempt to reduce costs and refocus on growth areas in the face of uncertain demand for its networking equipment.
* British retail sales rose at their fastest annual rate in over two years in July as a heat wave boosted sales of barbecue food and outdoor items, adding to signs that third-quarter growth has got off to a strong start. * Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood called on followers to march in protest in Cairo, after at least 421 people were killed in a security crackdown on the Islamist movement that has left the most populous Arab nation polarised and in turmoil. * Verizon Communications Inc has decided to put off the acquisition of two small Canadian wireless companies until after a government auction of wireless licenses in January, a Canadian newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.MARKET SNAPSHOT
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.5 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.68 percent to 0.31 percent
* European shares, were down COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 290.652; rose 0.02 percent
* Gold futures : $1,336.9; rose 0.22 percent
* US crude : $107.33; rose 0.45 percent
* Brent crude : $110.89; rose 0.63 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,256.75; fell 0.84 percent ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* AgJunction Inc : NBF cuts to underperform from sector perform on expected headwinds well into FY 2014
* Boyd Group Income Fund : NBF ups target to C$28 from C$25 as the company recorded a strong performance in the second quarter
* High Arctic Energy Services : NBF ups target to C$2.75 from C$2.50, says the company’s dividend appears rock solid and balance sheet is in excellent shape
* Paladin Labs : NBF raises target price to C$69 from C$57 to reflect a strong second-quarter, recent corporate developments and a positive outlook
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for the day
* Major U.S. events and data includes CPI, real earnings, initial and continuing claims, manufacturing output and Philadelphia Fed business