Markets Set for Flat to Slightly Higher Open

by: SA Editors

At 8:21 AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: +0.70; 1,403.60
NASDAQ 100: -0.75; 1,794.00
Dow: +8.00; 12,255.00

International Indexes

NIKKEI 225: +0.29%; 16,321.78 (+47.45)
HANG SENG: -1.42%; 18,690.82 (-269.66)
S&P/ASX 200: -0.99%; 5,427.90 (-54.20)
BSE SENSEX 30: +1.08%; 13,844.78 (+148.47)

FTSE 100: +0.52%; 6,080.00 (+31.20)
CAC 40: +0.40%; 5,348.78 (+21.14)
XETRA-DAX: +0.43%; 6,336.10 (+26.91)

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: -1.24%; $62.35 (-$0.78)
Gold: -0.40%; $650.30 (-$2.60)
Natural Gas: -2.08%; $8.66 (-$0.18)
Silver: -0.46%; $14.05 (-$0.065)

Asian Headlines (via

Japan's Inflation Unexpectedly Slows to 0.1 Percent as Oil Prices Decline Japan's inflation unexpectedly slowed in October as oil prices dropped, damping speculation the central bank will raise the lowest interest rates among major economies later this month.

Boeing to Bid For $15 Billion of Indian Defense Contracts Over Next Decade Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA), the second-largest U.S. defense contractor, said it may bid for $15 billion of Indian military orders in the next decade, benefiting from growing ties between India and the U.S.

Asian Stocks: Hong Kong Declines, Led by PCCW; Japan's NTT DoCoMo Climbs Hong Kong's stocks declined, leading a drop in Asian markets. PCCW (PCW), the city's biggest phone company, fell the most in four months on concern a dispute between its two largest shareholders will hamper an expansion into China.

PCCW Shares Have Their Biggest Drop in Four Months as Li Remains Chairman Shares of PCCW Ltd. (PCW), Hong Kong's biggest phone company, fell the most in more than four months on concern a dispute between the two largest shareholders will hamper an expansion into China.

Nissan Leads Drop as Japan's Vehicle Sales Fall for 17th Straight Month Nissan Motor Co. (OTCPK:NSANY) and Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) led a 17th straight monthly decline in Japan's auto sales, extending the market's longest sales slump since 1999 as consumers opted for minicars.

European Headlines (via

European Manufacturing Expanded in November as Confidence in Economy Grew European manufacturing expanded for a 17th month and unemployment declined as executives and consumers became more confident about the economy's strength.

Stocks in Europe Advance, Paced by Shares of BHP Billiton, Xstrata, EDF European stocks advanced on renewed confidence companies will keep increasing earnings in the region even as the global economy slows.

ThyssenKrupp Posts Fourth-Quarter Profit on Higher Stainless-Steel Demand ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany's largest steelmaker, reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit because of rising sales of stainless steel to appliance makers and said earnings will increase this year.

Wolverhampton & Dudley Net Rises 87 Percent; Plans Share Split, Payout Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries Plc, the owner of about 2,400 U.K. pubs, plans to spend 100 million pounds ($197 million) buying back stock and paying dividends after soccer's World Cup and a heat wave fueled record annual profit.

Italy to Sell Controlling Stake in Alitalia, Seeks International Partner Italy plans to sell a controlling stake in unprofitable national airline Alitalia SpA in an effort to prevent the carrier from going out of business and possibly to set up a closer link with Air France-KLM Group (AKH). The shares soared.

U.S. Headlines (via

Dollar Trades Near 20-Month Low, Heads for Second Weekly Drop on Rate Gap The dollar headed for its second week of declines against the euro on expectations the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates next year.

U.S. Stock-Index Futures Advance; Boeing Shares Gain on India Contract Bid U.S. stock-index futures gained before a manufacturing report that may point to a cooling U.S. economy and reduce concern that inflation is accelerating.

Kerkorian Sells Last of His General Motors Holdings, Person Familiar Says Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian sold his remaining stake in General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM), a person briefed on the matter said, abandoning his attempt to pressure the automaker to stem its losses by getting outside help.

Warner Music Has Profit After Legal Settlement; Revenue Falls 5.6 Percent Warner Music Group Corp. (NYSE:WMG), the record company run by Edgar Bronfman Jr., reported a fourth-quarter profit on a legal settlement while revenue fell due to declining album sales.

Manufacturing Index in U.S. Probably Held Near Three-Year Low in November Manufacturing in the U.S. held near a three-year low last month as automakers cut back production and the slump in homebuilding hurt demand for construction products, economists said before a private report to be published today.

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