RTTNews - After turning a mixed performance to close out the previous week, stocks are poised to open Monday's session notably lower amid another slow day on the economic front. The major index futures are all in negative territory, with the Dow down by 70 points.
Some traders may remain on the sidelines today amid the lull in economic data, looking ahead to the results of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, along with some key housing, employment and personal spending figures set to be released later this week.
The downward momentum for the markets may be partly due to news that the World Bank has reduced its global GDP estimate as well as the outlook for most other economies and warned of a large decline in international capital flows amidst financial market fragility and recession.
The Washington-based lender now expects the world economy to shrink 2.9 percent this year, larger than its earlier prediction of a 1.7 percent decrease.
On the earnings front, drug store retailer Walgreen (WAG) reported third-quarter net earnings of $522 million or $0.53 per share, down from $572 million or $0.58 per share last year. Wall Street analysts had expected the company to report earnings of $0.56 per share.
Meanwhile, shares of Marvell Technology (MRVL) could see some early strength after the chip maker raised its second quarter revenue guidance, citing an improvement in demand. The company now expects revenues of $600 to $630 million compared to its previous guidance of $540 to $580 million.
In other corporate news, Anglo-Swiss mining company Xstrata has approached rival Anglo American, seeking their consideration regarding a merger of the two companies. If accepted, the merger would create the third largest mining firm in the world.
Despite a strong start to the session, stocks finished Friday's session on a mixed note. While the Dow closed down 16 points at 8,540, the Nasdaq closed up 20 points at 1,827 and the S&P 500 closed up 3 points at 921.
For the previous week, the Dow and the S&P 500 fell by 2.9 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, while the Nasdaq posted a loss of 1.7 percent.
Crude oil futures are falling in early commodities trading, dropping by $1.22 to $68.80 a barrel after ending the previous session down $1.89 at $70.02 a barrel. The price of gold is plunging, declining by $10.0 to $926.20 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is rising against the major European currencies, moving up to $1.3853 against the euro and advancing to $1.6446 against the pound. Against the yen, the dollar is little changed at 96.00 yen.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia Pacific region ended Monday's session showing moderate gains. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed up 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished up 0.8 percent.
The major European markets are firmly on the downside, with the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index down by 1.7 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is sliding by 1.3 percent.
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