Stock futures signal lower open for equities

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange November 21, 2011. — Reuters pic  Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange November 21, 2011. — Reuters pic

US stock markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday yesterday and will be open this morning only.

Shoppers flocked to US stores, which opened early to offer a jump start on “Black Friday,” the traditional beginning to the US holiday shopping season. Bargain hunters worried about their shaky finances searched for deals on big screen televisions, video games and toys.

Today the Federal Reserve releases at 2130 GMT weekly money stock, liquid assets and debt measures and the weekly report on factors affecting reserves of depository institutions and the condition statement of the Federal Reserve banks.

India threw open its US$450 billion (RM1.43 billion) retail market to global supermarket giants yesterday, approving its biggest reform in years that may boost sorely needed investment in Asia’s third-largest economy.

The world’s largest retail group, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, and its rivals see India’s retail sector as one of the last frontier markets, where a burgeoning middle-class still shops at local, family-owned merchants.

AT&T said it would take a US$4 billion charge in case its takeover of T-Mobile USA fails, a tacit recognition of the dwindling chances that the deal will get through US regulators who say it would destroy jobs and curb competition.

US exchange Bats Global Markets has secured British regulatory backing for its US$300 million purchase of rival Chi-X Europe to create the region’s top share trading venue.

US apparel brand Gap Inc said today that it aims to triple its store network in China next year, one of the latest foreign brands to target the country’s consumer spending growth.

European stocks fell 0.7 per cent today, losing ground for the ninth time in 10 sessions and set to post their biggest weekly loss in two months, dragged by deepening worries over the euro zone debt crisis and the outlook for the global economy. US stocks suffered a sixth straight day of losses on Wednesday as frustration over the euro zone’s debt crisis, coupled with weak Chinese factory data, further dented investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones industrial average sank 236.17 points, or 2.05 per cent, to 11,257.55 at the close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 26.25 points, or 2.21 per cent, to 1,161.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 61.20 points, or 2.43 per cent, to 2,460.08. — Reuters 



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