U.S. Market Set for Mixed Open Wednesday

by: Jonathan Liss

U.S. futures were mixed Wednesday morning with the Nasdaq 100 gaining 2.5 points to 2,052.75, the Dow trading down 18 points to 13,310 and the S&P 500 lower by 3 points to 1,463.50. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) swung to a greater-than-expected loss of $3.61/share on $9.4 billion in writedowns, well above its previously expected writedown of $3.7 billion, sending its shares lower by 0.5% in pre-market action (full story). Morgan also announced a $5 billion cash infusion from China Investment Corp., keeping its shares steady in pre-market trading despite its heavy losses.

The Nikkei continued its losing streak, shedding an additional 1.17% Wednesday; Shanghai and Hong Kong bounced back, gaining 2.18% and 1.11% respectively (full story). European markets were lower in intraday trading Wednesday with the FTSE down 0.34% and the CAC lower by 0.49% (full story).

The Fed’s newly proposed rules Tuesday to severely reduce some of the high-risk mortgages responsible for recent mortgage-market turmoil came under fire from Democrats who said the measures were ‘too little, too late’. (full story).

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) reported a 1.3% increase in net income in its latest quarter on a 7% increase in sales, slightly topping consensus analyst estimates. The company also raised its sales outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year to mid-single digit growth (full story).

Oil was up slightly to $90.40/bbl while gold was off 0.43% to $803.90. The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell to 4.09% as notes gained 0-07½ to 101-08. On the economic front, weekly crude inventories are due out at 10:30 AM ET. After the closing bell, Nike (NYSE:NKE), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), 3Com (COMS) and Accenture (NYSE:ACN) report earnings.

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