U.S. To Open Lower on Weak Durable Goods Report

by: SA Editors

At 8:40 AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: -4.40; 1,379.20
NASDAQ 100: -7.00; 1,772.00
Dow: -27.00; 12,110.00

International Indexes

NIKKEI 225: -0.19%; 15,855.26 (-30.12)
HANG SENG: -2.94%; 18,639.53 (-564.48)
S&P/ASX 200: -1.25%; 5,384.30 (-67.90)
BSE SENSEX 30: -1.25%; 13,601.95 (-171.64)

FTSE 100: -0.29%; 6,032.50 (-17.60)
CAC 40: -0.57%; 5,278.57 (-30.08)
XETRA-DAX: -0.34%; 6,276.62 (-21.55)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: +0.56%; $60.66 (+$0.34)
Gold: -0.20%; $645.80 (-$1.30)
Natural Gas: +0.90%; $8.07 (+$0.07)
Silver: -0.04%; $13.680 (-$0.006)

Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Asian Stocks Drop, Led by Honda, Samsung on Slowing Sales in Japan, U.S. Asian stocks fell, led by Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC), on concern sales are slowing in the U.S. and Japan. Li & Fung Ltd., a clothing supplier to American retailers, contributed to the Hang Seng Index's biggest points decline since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Japan's Retail Sales Unexpectedly Drop as Consumers Spend Less on Clothes Japan's retail sales unexpectedly fell for a second month, reducing the likelihood that consumer spending will accelerate and lead to an increase in the lowest interest rates among the world's seven biggest economies.

Volkswagen Plans to Spend $530 Million to Build Automobile Plant in India Volkswagen AG (OTCPK:VLKAY), Europe's largest carmaker, will spend $530 million to set up a factory in India, where it trails General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) and Suzuki Motor Corp.

Hu Jintao Makes Pledge to Bush to Work for `Balance' in U.S.-China Trade China's President Hu Jintao told President George W. Bush he will seek more ``balanced'' trade relations with the U.S., moving to ease tension over the value of the yuan and the size of China's trade surplus.

Cheung Kong, Sino Pay $666 Million for Land Sites at Auction in Hong Kong Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. (CHEUY) and Sino Land Co. (OTCPK:SNLAY), two of Hong Kong's largest real estate developers, paid HK$5.18 billion ($666 million) for land at a government auction in the city today, slightly less than analysts expected.

European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Iberdrola to Buy Scottish Power for $22.5 Billion to Grow in U.S., U.K. Iberdrola SA, Spain's second-largest power company, agreed to buy Scottish Power Plc (NASDAQ:SPI) for 11.6 billion pounds ($22.5 billion) to gain customers and power plants in the U.K. and North America.

Nokia Cuts Forecast for Operating-Profit Margin, Citing Siemens Networks Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK), the world's largest maker of mobile phones, lowered targets for profitability as the company combines its network unit with that of Germany's Siemens AG (SI) and increased sales of cheaper phones.

EMI Receives Preliminary Approach From Unidentified Bidder; Shares Surge EMI Group Plc (OTC:EMIPY), the world's third- largest music company, said it received a ``preliminary'' approach that may lead to an offer.

European Stocks Fall on Dollar's Drop; Daimler, Assa Abloy Lead Declines European stocks fell as the dollar extended its slide against the region's currencies and on concern that global economic growth is slowing more than forecast.

Barclays Says Credit-Card Defaults Will Limit Earnings Growth This Year Barclays Plc (NYSE:BCS), the U.K.'s third-largest bank by assets, said credit-card defaults will limit this year's profit growth.

U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Sales of Previously Owned Homes in U.S. Probably Dropped for Seventh Month U.S. sales of previously owned homes declined for a seventh straight month in October, suggesting lower prices and borrowing costs have yet to rekindle demand, according to a survey of economists.

Orders for Durable Goods in U.S. Decline 8.3 Percent, More Than Forecast Orders for U.S.-made durable goods declined last month by the most since July 2000, suggesting a slowing economy is making companies more cautious about spending.

Stock Futures Are Little Changed; Palm Slumps on Profit Outlook, EDS Gains U.S. stock-index futures were little changed before reports on durable-goods orders, home sales and consumer confidence that may help investors gauge the outlook for economic growth and interest rates.

U.S. Holiday Shoppers Pick Crowds Over Clicks as They Go Offline for Gifts Almost 10 years after Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) went public, online holiday sales are still less than one-tenth of the total and probably won't ever eclipse the fun shoppers have going to the mall.