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At 8AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: -2.00; 1,296.90
NASDAQ: -3.00; 1,573.25
DOW: -8.00; 11,344.00

International Indexes

Asia
NIKKEI 225: -0.31%; 16,020.84 (-50.52)
HANG SENG: -0.45%; 17,373.05 (-77.98)
S&P/ASX 200: +1.89%; 5,055.90 (+94.00)
BSE SENSEX 30: +0.25%; 11,477.48 (+29.17)

Europe
FTSE 100: +0.06%; 5,900.30 (+3.70)
CAC 40: -0.06%; 5,134.17 (-3.14)
XETRA-DAX: + 0.03%; 5,814.82 (+1.88)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: -1.85%; $70.56 (-$1.33)
Gold: +0.09%; $639.60 (+$0.60)
Natural Gas: -1.05%; 6.70 (-$0.07)
Silver: +0.16%; $12.305 (+$0.02)

Asia Headlines (via DealingFloor)

- Coles Myer Gets Takeover Approach; Retailer’s Value Jumps to $11.8 Billion
- Euro Approaches Record High Against Yen as Inflation May Exceed ECB Target
- Fuji Photo (OTCPK:FUJIY) to Challenge General Electric’s Mammography Equipment in U.S.
- Brazil, Russia, India and China Stock Funds Outperform Emerging Markets
- China Interest-Rate-Rise Expectations Scaled Back on Cooling, Survey Shows
- Australian Treasurer Costello Says Oil Prices Threaten to Stoke Inflation
- South Korea’s Department Store Sales Rise the Least in 13 Months Amid Rain
- India’s Economic Growth Revs Up Motorcycle Stocks Hero Honda, TVS, Bajaj
- LVMH (OTCPK:LVMUY), Burberry Demand Eviction of Beijing Shops to Slow Onslaught of Fakes

Europe: In Play Today (via DealingFloor)

- Earnings today: Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Coloplast, SeG Holding, Siegfried Holding, Zurich Financial Services, Unit 4

- Endesa SA (ELE): Spain’s biggest power company said that it plans to sell shares in its Brazilian unit at the beginning of next year.

- Danone (DA) plans to spend E500m to E1bln annually in the next three to five years on acquisitions (WSJ citing the company’s CFO).

- BP (NYSE:BP) announced that it shut down another section of its Prudhoe Bay oil field on Aug 11, due to an increase of oil under pressure (London Times). The stock reached a new 3-month relative low against the FTSE 100.

- Unit 4 Agresso announced 1H net income rose 30% to E9.4m, on revenue up 14% to E187.6m. The computer software developer said it had “significant” increase in 1H orders, and expects FY organic sales to jump 7% to 10%. The group was raised to “buy” from “hold” by ABN Amro yesterday.

- Zurich Financial Services (OTC:ZFSVY) reported 1H net income increased 8.78% to $1.957bln. Net premiums earned and fees dropped 3.8% to $19.9bln. CEO James J. Schiro said: “The success of our three-year operational improvement program, combined with the improving quality of our general insurance portfolio and consistent profitable growth in the life business, gives us confidence about Zurich’s continued operational momentum.” The company expects to meet its target of cutting operating costs by $500m this year.

- Ciba Specialty (CSB) reported 1H net income of SF95m, compared to SF99m in the same period last year, while revenue increased 9.6% to SF3.29bln. The firm confirmed its FY06 outlook for higher sales, profits and free cash flow. The statement mentioned: “Operational Agenda to substantially improve cost structure; around 2,500 fewer positions required by 2009 - the majority coming from natural attrition”.

U.S.: In Play Today (via DealingFloor)

- Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ) (+4.6% after hours) reported Q3 (Jul) earnings of $0.52 per share, $0.04 better than the Reuters Estimates consensus of $0.48. Revenues fell 2.9% year/year to $21.89 bln vs. the $21.79 bln consensus. Co issued upside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.61-0.63 (consensus $0.59) on revenues of $24.1 bln (consensus $24.04 bln). For FY06, co sees EPS of $2.31-2.33, which includes a one-time gain realized in Q2 and is not comparable to the $2.13 consensus.

- The 8:30 ET release of Initial Claims, which were compiled during the same week as the August payrolls data, may garner some added attention. Leading Indicators will be out at 16:00 CET followed by the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing index at 18:00 CET.

- On the earnings front, it’s all about retail, with reports before the bell coming from Barnes &Noble (NYSE:BKS), Children’s Place (NASDAQ:PLCE), Claire’s Stores (CLE), GameStop (NYSE:GME) and Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD). After the bell, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK), and Marvell Technology Group (NASDAQ:MRVL) will be joined by more earnings reports from retailers: Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO), Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS), Cost Plus (NASDAQ:CPWM), Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) and Foot Locker (NYSE:FL).

U.S. Pre-Market Movers (via BusinessWeek.com)

Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) +4.6%; $36 (+$1.57) -- The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company's stock jumped $1.57, or 4.6 percent, to $36 in aftermarket trading on the INET electronic exchange after it said stronger sales helped it beat Wall Street's third-quarter profit expectations.

Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) +10.2%; $31.20 (+$2.88) -- the SF-based customer relationship management software provider boosted its full-year earnings guidance while reporting second-quarter results above analysts' expectations.

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL) -3.3%; $19.98 (-$0.68) -- Marvell Tech said it will likely miss deadlines to file its second-quarter financial report due to its internal investigation of its stock-option practices.

Hot Topic Inc. (NASDAQ:HOTT) +2.1%; $12.40 (+$0.25) -- Hot Topic reported a second-quarter loss in line with Wall Street's expectations. It forecast a smaller third-quarter profit than analysts had been predicting, while saying fourth-quarter results should be significantly above expectations.

Source: Europe Flat, Asia Mixed; Oil Drops Sharply