U.S. to Open Flat as Early Futures Gains Reversed

by: SA Editors

At 8:40 AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: -0.50; 1,332.00
NASDAQ: -0.60; 1,652.00
DOW: -8.00; 11,656.00

International Indexes

NIKKEI 225: 15,866.93
HANG SENG: + 0.87%; 17,387.21 (+149.56)
S&P/ASX 200: +0.72% 5,072.80 (+36.40)
BSE SENSEX 30: +0.51%; 12,071.30 (+61.71)

FTSE 100: +0.21%; 5,889.20 (+12.20)
CAC 40: -0.18%; 5,135.71 (-9.17)
XETRA-DAX: -0.13%; 5,930.11 (-7.76)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: +0.27%; $63.50 (+$0.17)
Gold: +0.46%; $586.50 (+$2.70)
Natural Gas: +0.0%; $4.98
Silver: +1.47%; $11.035 (+$0.160)

Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Yen Drops After G-7 Statement Omits Reference to Stronger Asian Currencies The yen slid to a five-month low against the dollar after finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations omitted a call for Asian currencies to strengthen.

China, Japan Oppose Paulson's Call for IMF Role in Currency Surveillance China and Japan opposed calls by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson for the International Monetary Fund to police "misaligned" currencies, saying the role is outside its mandate and wouldn't solve global trade imbalances.

Asian Stocks Advance After G-7 Drops Calls for Currencies to Appreciate Asian stocks rose for a fourth day, led by exporters such as Samsung Electronics Co. after the Group of Seven dropped calls for Asian currencies to appreciate and a U.S. inflation report eased fears that interest rates will rise.

Malaysia's Proton, Trying to Revive Sales, Has Alliance Talks With Peugeot Proton Holdings Bhd., Malaysia's biggest car maker, may form an alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroen (OTCPK:PEUGY) to build and assemble cars. Shares of the state-controlled company rose on expectations a tie-up may help revive earnings.

China Regulator Calls on Country's Banks to Prepare for Yuan Fluctuations China's bank regulator called on the country's lenders to prepare for currency fluctuations, a day after Central Bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said more flexibility will be introduced.

European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Scania Rejects MAN's $12.1 Billion Takeover Offer for Swedish Truckmaker Scania AB, Sweden's second-biggest truckmaker, rejected a 9.6 billion-euro ($12.1 billion) takeover offer from German commercial-vehicles manufacturer MAN AG. Shares of Scania rose as much as 6.5 percent on speculation MAN will increase its bid.

ECB Officials Say Inflation May Persist, Signaling Higher Interest Rates European Central Bank officials said inflation pressures may persist beyond 2007, indicating they'll keep raising interest rates into next year.

European Stocks Rise, Led by Oil, Mining Companies; BP, BHP Billiton Gain European stocks continued last week's rally as rising commodity prices lifted energy and mining companies, the region's worst performers this quarter.

E.ON Shares Climb to Record on Indications Bid to Buy Endesa Will Succeed Shares of E.ON AG (EON), the world's largest utility, rose to a record on indications its bid to acquire Endesa SA (ELE) will be successful.

CSR Cuts Forecast as Chip Demand Fails to Meet Expectations; Shares Slide Shares of CSR Plc, a U.K. maker of microchips used in Nokia Oyj mobile phones, dropped the most since the stock began trading in February 2004 after the company lowered its revenue forecast on weaker-than-expected demand.

U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Big Five May Earn $28 Billion in 2007 as Wall Street Juggernaut Continues After fees from acquisitions during the third quarter fell 14 percent, trading of U.S. government bonds dropped 6 percent and commodities lost the most in two decades, the biggest securities firms show no signs of forfeiting their profitability.

Citizens Communications to Buy Commonwealth Telephone for $1.16 Billion Citizens Communications Co. (CZN), a provider of rural telephone service in 24 U.S. states, agreed to buy Commonwealth Telephone Enterprises Inc. (CTCO) for $1.16 billion.

Aeneas Hedge Fund Trading Probed by U.S., Malaysia, People Familiar Say Aeneas Capital Management LP, the hedge fund company run by former SAC Capital Advisors LLC money manager Thomas Grossman, is under investigation by regulators in the U.S. and Malaysia after bets on Malaysian stocks caused losses of about 60 percent in one of its funds, people familiar with the situation said.

Current-Account Gap Probably Widened to $214 Billion in the Second Quarter The U.S. current-account deficit probably widened last quarter to the second-largest on record as the trade gap expanded and more interest was paid to overseas investors, economists said before a government report today.

Actavis Won't Raise $2.5 Billion Bid for Pliva, Giving Edge to Barr Offer Actavis Group hf, an Icelandic generic-drug maker, won't raise its $2.5 billion bid for Pliva d.d., clearing the way for Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. (BARR) to buy eastern Europe's largest drugmaker after a three-month fight.

U.S. Wake Up Call (via CNN Money)


U.S. stocks were headed for a higher open Monday, as investors consider a reported Intel breakthrough on semiconductor technology among other news items.

At 7:30 a.m. ET, Nasdaq and S&P futures were higher.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) was expected to announce a breakthrough Monday in the development of chips using lasers, a move seen reducing the cost of high-speed communications.

Shares of Intel were little changed in Frankfurt trading Monday.

Peter Cardillo, chief market strategist SW Bach, said that even though Intel is likely at least five years away from a commercial version of the new chip, the reports of the breakthrough should feed relatively positive market sentiment ahead of Wednesday's Federal Reserve meeting, at which investors are expecting rates to be again left unchanged.

"Right now, negative news seems to be being spun into good news, while good news is lifting stocks," he said. "I think we should see tech and energy stocks keep stocks in a positive trading range."

In other corporate news, Automotive News reported that the chief financial officers of embattled U.S. automakers General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford Motor (NYSE:F) have held discussions about a possible alliance or merger between the companies, although sources told the trade publication that the chance of a combination between the two are slim.

Citizens Communications (CZN) announced a deal early Monday to buy Commonwealth Telephone Enterprises (CTCO) for $1.16 billion in cash and stock.

Telecom Italia agreed to buy AOL's German operations from Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) for $870 million in cash, the companies announced Sunday. CNNMoney.com is also a unit of Time Warner.

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