Lower Open in Store for Market

by: SA Editors

At 8:51 AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: -1.40; 1,425.40
NASDAQ 100: -2.00; 1,815.25
Dow: -10.00; 12,420.00

International Indexes

NIKKEI 225: +0.66%; 16,637.78 (+109.79)
HANG SENG: -0.09%; 18,907.17 (-17.49)
S&P/ASX 200: +0.07%; 5,473.60 (+3.90)
BSE SENSEX 30: -3.02%; 12,995.02 (-404.41)

FTSE 100: -0.06%; 6,156.10 (-3.70)
CAC 40: -0.27%; 5,412.84 (-14.72)
XETRA-DAX: +0.02%; 6,470.72 (+1.30)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: +0.26%; $61.38 (+$0.16)
Gold: -0.13%; $634.00 (-$0.80)
Natural Gas: -1.29%; $7.33 (-$0.10)
Silver: -0.14%; $14.005 (-$0.02)

Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Zinifex, Umicore to Merge Smelters, Creating World's Largest Zinc Producer Zinifex Ltd. and Umicore SA agreed to combine their zinc smelters and sell shares in what would be the world's largest producer of the metal.

Asian Shares Rise, Led by Canon, Sony, After Yen Drops; Indian Stocks Fall Asian stocks rose, led by Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) and Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE), after the yen fell to a record low against the euro and slid against the dollar, boosting the value of exports.

Indian Industrial Production Grows Less Than Expected, Easing Rate Concern India's industrial production growth slumped to a 10-month low, triggering a stock-market decline on concern that central bank measures to restrict lending will damp economic expansion.

Samsung Electronics, LG.Philips Face LCD Price-Fixing Probe; Shares Tumble Samsung Electronics Co. and LG.Philips LCD Co. (NYSE:LPL), the world's largest makers of liquid-crystal displays, are being probed by regulators in the U.S., South Korea and Japan for alleged price fixing in the $69 billion industry.

European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

U.K. Inflation Rate Rises to 2.7 Percent, Highest in at Least Nine Years Britain's inflation rate rose to the highest in at least nine years in November, increasing speculation that the Bank of England will lift interest rates next year.

German Investor Confidence Recovers From 13-Year Low on Unemployment Drop German investor confidence rebounded from a 13-year low in December as increased investment and hiring bolstered optimism Europe's largest economy will weather a planned sales-tax increase.

European Retail Stocks Advance, Led by Ahold, Tesco; BP, Total Shares Drop European retail stocks, the second-worst performers in the past month, gained on speculation the Christmas shopping season will be better than analysts forecast. Royal Ahold NV (AHO) and Tesco Plc led the advance.

Nasdaq Approaches London Stock Exchange Investors With $5.3 Billion Offer Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) started its 2.7 billion-pound ($5.3 billion) hostile offer for London Stock Exchange Plc, appealing directly to shareholders after Europe's biggest equity market rejected an approach three weeks ago.

U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Goldman Sachs Group Profit Soars, Led by Trading, Investment Gains in Asia Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) capped the most profitable year ever for any Wall Street firm with a better-than-expected 93 percent increase in fourth-quarter earnings, led by trading, underwriting fees and investment gains in China and Japan.

Exchange-Traded Credit Derivatives Threaten Morgan Stanley, Bank Monopoly Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) risk losing their hammerlock on the most lucrative financial market when exchanges begin offering credit derivatives next year.

Fed May Signal Inflation Is Still Greater Concern Than Economic Slowdown Federal Reserve policy makers will probably leave their benchmark interest rate unchanged today and signal the economy isn't slowing enough to diminish the risk of higher inflation.

U.S. Trade Deficit in October Narrows More Than Estimated to $58.9 Billion The U.S. trade deficit narrowed more than expected in October as the price of imported oil dropped and faster growth abroad boosted exports to a record.

Best Buy Net Income Misses Analyst Estimates on Discounting; Shares Drop Best Buy Co. (NYSE:BBY), the largest U.S. consumer-electronics retailer, said third-quarter earnings rose 8.7 percent on sales of flat-panel televisions. The shares fell because discounts caused profit to trail analysts' estimates.