Stock Futures Signal Lower Wall Street Open

 @ibtimes
on January 23 2012 5:14 AM
The U.S. flag hangs outside the New York Stock Exchange
The U.S. flag hangs outside the New York Stock Exchange November 9, 2011. REUTERS

(REUTERS) -- Stock index futures pointed to a weaker open for equities on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 down 0.2 to 0.3 percent.

Gas producer Apache is to buy privately owned oil and gas company Cordillera Energy Partners III in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $2.85 billion to expand its acreage of oil and petroleum liquid fields.

News Corp is considering bidding for Turkish group Calik Holding's media assets ATV and Sabah, the Wall Street Journal reported citing sources familiar with the matter.

Asda, the British arm of U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores , said on Monday it would invest over 500 million pounds ($776 million) this year, opening 25 new stores and three depots and creating up to 5,000 jobs.

CSX, the No. 2 U.S. railroad operator, reports results. It is expected to post higher profit driven by auto and metals shipments.

Texas Instruments is expected to report weak fourth-quarter results due to broad-based soft demand. Since the company already warned that the fourth quarter would be weak, the focus will be on its guidance for the first quarter.

Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International releases at 4:30 a.m. ET its book-to-bill ratio for December. In November, the ratio was 0.83.

Halliburton , the world's second-largest oilfield services company, is expected to report a sharply higher quarterly profit, and will be watched for any indication of how the U.S. hydraulic fracturing market is holding up.

Euro zone finance ministers will decide on Monday what terms of a Greek debt restructuring they are ready to accept as part of a second bailout package for Athens after negotiators for private creditors said they could not improve their offer.

France and Germany will call on Monday for a relaxation of global bank capital rules to prevent lending to the real economy being choked off, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

European shares were flat on Wednesday as investors dumped shares in defensive sectors, offsetting a rally in banks.

U.S. stocks posted their best week since Christmas, even with a mixed finish on Friday after strong earnings from tech bellwethers IBM and Intel contrasted with Google's disappointing report.

The Dow Jones industrial average  closed 0.8 percent higher, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index  rose 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.1 percent.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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