LONDON (SHARECAST) - US markets are set to open higher on the back of better than expected US retail sales figures.
US retail sales, excluding automobiles, rose 1.1% in September, comfortably beating the consensus expectation of a 0.6% rise. The previous month's reading has been revised down to a rise of 0.8% from a preliminary estimate of 1.0%.
In other economic news, the Empire State Manufacturing Index for October remained in negative territory for the third month in a row, at -6.2, though this was an improvement from September's reading of -10.2.
Spread betting quotes indicate the Dow Jones index will open around 25 points higher while the broader based S&P 500 is set to start three points firmer.
Banking colossus Citigroup saw revenue from fixed income securities trading surge by just under two-thirds year-on-year in the third quarter, putting a positive sheen on the company's results.
American phone company Sprint Nextel shot up in pre-market trade in New York after Softbank confirmed that it will acquire a 70% share in the company for 20.1bn dollars.
The deal will be the largest acquisition ever made by a Japanese company.
According to a statement by Softbank, the operation will take place with a direct purchase of $8bn of Sprint’s treasury stock, while the remaining $12.1bn will be acquired via market transactions.
Softbank says both boards of directors have approved the deal and that they expect the transaction to close in mid-2013.
Wireless broadband firm Clearwire, in which Sprint owns a strategic stake, rose in sympathy.
Advanced Micro Devices, a distant second to Intel in the US computer chip manufacturing market, is rumoured to be slashing around one-fifth of its workforce.