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Futures dip as France slips into recession

May 15, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures dipped Wednesday as another nation in Europe sank into recession and the economic contraction for the entire European Union stretched into its sixth straight quarter.

With France’s second consecutive quarter of shrinking gross domestic product, the majority of the EU, the world’s largest export market, is now in recession.

Dow Jones industrial futures fell 11 points to 15,164. The broader S&P futures gave up 1.8 points to 1,646.20. Nasdaq futures fell half a point to 2,994.755.

The economy in Europe could prove to be a drag on the U.S. recovery, which by all measures is still in recovery mode.

Major U.S. corporations are posting strong quarterly earnings, including Deere & Co., on Wednesday.

Deere beat Wall Street expectations for the second quarter, but it warned that lingering economic concerns in many parts of the world leave the farming and construction equipment company cautious.

Deere shares slid 4 percent in premarket trading, even though it stuck to previous projections for the year.

Other major equipment manufacturers fell in premarket trading as well, including Caterpillar and Cummins.

Still, U.S. economists expect the Federal Reserve on Wednesday to report that U.S. factories increased their output in April, with automakers on a roll.

And retailers, after surprisingly strong numbers from the Commerce Department for sales in April, continue to grow healthier.

Macy’s posted a 20 percent jump in first quarter profits Wednesday as Americans shrugged off a hike in their Social Security tax this year and braved nasty spring weather to go shopping.

Macy’s beat Wall Street profit expectations as well.

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