U.S. Stock Futures Signal Weaker Wall Street Open

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange November 18, 2011.

Stock futures pointed to a sharply lower open for equities on Wall Street Monday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 down 1.1 to 1.4 percent.

The Republican and Democratic leaders of a 12-member congressional super committee are set to declare defeat in their attempt to find at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over 10 years after three months of talks failed to bridge deep divides over taxes and spending.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago releases at 1330 its Chicago Fed National Activity Index for October. The index read -0.22 in the prior month.

National Association of Realtors (NAR) will release at 1500 GMT existing home sales for October. Economists forecast a 4.8 million annualized unit total in October versus 4.91 million annualized units in September.

On the earnings front, companies announcing results include Hewlett-Packard and Tyson Foods .

Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan warned on Monday the global economy was in a grim state and that an unbalanced recovery might be the best option, at talks where senior U.S. officials said the mood at home toward China was souring.

U.S. property and casualty insurer Alleghany Corp is nearing a deal to buy Transatlantic Holdings Inc for about $3.4 billion, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters in the latest twist in a drawn-out battle for the reinsurer.

U.S. oil company Chevron will fully clean up a spill off Brazil's coast, the CEO of the local subsidiary, George Buck, said on Sunday, taking responsibility for an accident that has become a major test for one of the world's fastest-growing oil frontiers.

Pfizer Inc has agreed to pay more than $60 million to settle an investigation by U.S. regulators into whether the drugmaker paid bribes to win business abroad, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

British publishing group Pearson said on Monday it had agreed to buy Global Education and Technology Group , which provides English teaching services in China, for $155 million in cash.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris launched legal action against Australian laws forcing tobacco products to be sold in drab, plain packaging from late next year, and other tobacco companies said they would soon follow suit.

Private equity firm Blackstone Group is set to buy a portfolio of 16 office buildings for about $800 million, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Australia's government is set to pass laws for its 30 percent mining profits tax later this week after agreeing to lift the starting threshold and promising more scrutiny of coal seam gas projects in a deal to win support from three key independents.

European stocks extended their losses on Monday after Moody's Investors Service's warning on France added to worries about the euro zone debt crisis. The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index was down 2 percent.

In Spain, Prime Minister-elect Mariano Rajoy was under pressure on Monday to give rapid details of his policies to overcome the worst economic crisis for generations, after his center-right party won the country's biggest election victory in 30 years.

On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 25.43 points, or 0.22 percent, to 11,796.16. The S&P 500 <.SPX> dipped 0.48 point, or 0.04 percent, to 1,215.65. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> lost 15.49 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,572.50.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Will Waterman)

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