U.S. to Open Lower on Cue from International Markets

by: SA Editors

At 8:20 AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: -0.04%; 1,297.00 (-0.50)
NASDAQ: +0.02%; 1,561.00 (+0.25)
DOW: -0.05%; 11,302 (-6.00)

International Indexes

NIKKEI 225: -1.10%; 15,762.59 (-176.07)
HANG SENG: -0.20%; 16,922.29 (-33.16)
S&P/ASX 200: +0.01%; 5,024.20 (+0.60)
BSE SENSEX 30: +0.41%; 11,619.52 (+47.32)

FTSE 100: +0.16%; 5,878.60 (+9.50)
CAC 40: -0.28%; 5,096.68 (-14.45)
XETRA-DAX: -0.33%; 5,792.49 (-18.98)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: -1.71%; $71.27 (-$1.24)
Gold: +0.17%; $631.70 (+$1.10)
Natural Gas: -8.13% $6.58 (-$0.58)
Silver: +0.64%; $12.44 (+$0.079)

Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Sinopec Second-Quarter Net Gains 20 Percent After China Raises Fuel Price China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.'s (NYSE:SNP) second-quarter profit rose 20 percent, beating analyst estimates, after state fuel price increases helped Asia's biggest oil refiner cut losses from producing gasoline and diesel.

Temasek, GIC Bid for 20 Percent of India's ICICI Rejected by Central Bank India's central bank blocked Singapore's two investment arms from doubling their combined stake in ICICI Bank Ltd. (NYSE:IBN), the nation's most valuable lender, curbing the city-state's plans to expand in faster-growing regional economies.

Asian Stocks Decline for Fourth Day on U.S. Growth Concerns; Toyota Drops Asian stocks fell for a fourth day, the longest losing streak in six weeks, on concern a U.S. housing slump will cut consumer spending in the region's biggest export market. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. led declines.

Mylan to Pay $736 Million for Control of Indian Generic Drugmaker Matrix Mylan Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL), the second- largest U.S. generic drugmaker by market value, will buy control of Matrix Laboratories Ltd. for as much as $736 million, the biggest acquisition of an Indian pharmaceutical company.

China Life's First-Half Profit Jumps 72 Percent on Equity Investment Gains China Life Insurance Co. (NYSE:LFC), the nation's biggest insurer, said first-half profit jumped 72 percent because of higher investment gains.

European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Unilever to Sell Birds Eye, Iglo Frozen-Foods to Permira for $2.21 Billion Unilever (NYSE:UN), the world's second-biggest food and detergent company, agreed to sell most of its European frozen-foods unit to Permira Funds for 1.73 billion euros ($2.21 billion) to focus on more profitable brands.

European Stocks Decline as Oil Falls; Total, Statoil, Sanpaolo Shares Drop European stocks slipped for the first time in three sessions. Total SA (NYSE:TOT) and Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) paced a decline by energy shares as crude-oil futures fell in New York.

Euro Rises to Record Against Yen on View European Interest Rates to Climb The euro climbed to a record against the yen on speculation the European Central Bank will raise interest rates at a faster pace than the Bank of Japan.

Prodi Government Best in Europe, Bondholders Say, as Debt Securities Rally The government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi is performing better than any other in Europe as it attempts to reduce Italy's widening budget deficit, bondholders say.

EADS, Siemens Win $1.28 Billion Order to Update German Police Radio System European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., Europe's biggest aerospace company, and Siemens AG (SI) won an order valued at as much as 1 billion euros ($1.28 billion) supply German police with radios less prone to eavesdropping.

U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Kinder Morgan Accepts Higher Bid of $15 Billion From Buyout Group, Founder Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE:KMI) accepted the largest pipeline takeover in history after a group led by Richard Kinder, the former Enron Corp. executive who helped found the company, raised its offer to $15 billion.

Western Refining Agrees to Buy Giant Industries for $1.2 Billion in Cash Western Refining Inc. (NYSE:WNR), which operates an oil refinery in Texas, agreed to acquire Giant Industries Inc. (NYSE:GI) for about $1.2 billion in cash to extend its operations into New Mexico and Virginia.

Fed May Wait Before Resuming Rate Increases, Setting Aside Price Concerns Federal Reserve policy makers, who gathered at their annual mountain retreat this weekend, may be more concerned by inflation than some investors assume, though not enough to resume raising interest rates just yet.

Crude Oil Drops on Signs Tropical Storm May Miss Gulf of Mexico Platforms Crude oil fell the most in seven trading days on signs a Caribbean tropical storm won't pack the same punch as Hurricane Katrina, which ripped into Gulf of Mexico platforms a year ago today.

Schwab, Goldman Say Business Spending May Languish, Raising Recession Risk Like the title character of "Waiting for Godot," the U.S. business spending spree many economists have been expecting just might not show up.

Tropical Storm Ernesto Approaches Cuba, Prompting Florida Hurricane Watch Tropical Storm Ernesto is forecast to make landfall in southeastern Cuba in the next few hours and may move north toward Florida as it intensifies into a hurricane.

Delta Air Regional Jet's Takeoff Runway Is Focus of Crash Investigation U.S. investigators are trying to determine why a Delta Air Lines Inc. (DALRQ) Comair commuter jet took off from a runway that may have been too short, killing 49 and critically injuring a pilot.

The Week At-a-Glance (via Briefing.com)

The market spent last week in consolidation mode and it appears as if that is where it will begin this week, as the futures market is trading with a slightly negative bent.

The current disposition is not all that surprising given that this is a popular vacation period for Wall Street's heavy-hitters and knowing that there is a large batch of telling economic data on the horizon that includes Consumer Confidence (Tuesday), the revised Q2 GDP report (Wednesday), Personal Income and Spending (Thursday), the August Employment report (Friday) and the August ISM Index (Friday). Separately, participants are anxiously awaiting the minutes from the August 8 FOMC meeting, which will be released tomorrow afternoon. They will be studied carefully for comments relating to the debate on inflation and the pace of economic activity.