Fri, November 26, 2010
Business > Markets

Wall Street to drop at open on euro zone debt worries

2010-11-26 14:13:34 GMT2010-11-26 22:13:34 (Beijing Time)

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a fall of 1 percent at the open on Friday ahead of a shortened post-holiday session, as investors fled from risk on worries that euro zone debt problems may continue to spread.

European shares dropped nearly 1 percent after a German newspaper reported that a majority of euro zone members and the European Central Bank were pressuring Lisbon to seek a bailout. Portugal and the European Commission denied the report.

China warned against military acts near its coastline ahead of U.S.-South Korean naval exercises that North Korea said risked pushing the region toward war, further rattling investors. The North shelled a South Korean island earlier this week.

Traders will also eye consumer-related stocks as so-called Black Friday kicks off a holiday shopping season that retailers hope will be the strongest in three years.

"It doesn't seem the European Union has a defensible solution for this debt crisis and that makes investors very nervous," said Kim Caughey Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

"The bright side is it seems the American consumer is back with a vengeance. If we are to believe the CEOs of retailers, they feel they can support margins with prices that are attracting consumers."

Shares of discount retailers Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) dipped 0.3 percent at $53.87 and Target Corp (TGT.N) edged down 0.2 percent to $57.15 in premarket trading, while Macy's Inc (M.N), operator of its namesake retail chain and upscale Bloomingdale's, rose more than 1 percent to $26.18.

S&P 500 futures fell 9.7 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures dropped 89 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 16.75 points.

Resource-related stocks will be in focus as key base metals prices fell, pressured by a rise in margin requirements by the Shanghai Futures Exchange that prompted liquidation of speculative positions.

Del Monte Foods Co (DLM.N) rose 4.3 percent to $18.77 in premarket trading a day after the company agreed to a buyout led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR.N) worth about $4 billion, excluding debt.

Volume is likely to be light as U.S. stock markets will close at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) following the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Wall Street rallied as investors put aside worries about swirling global problems and focused on upbeat data on the labor market and consumer spending.


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