Futures slip on Asia growth worries
The World Bank cuts its outlook for China and East Asia. Spain is in focus at a European finance ministers meeting. Wal-Mart and American Express launch a prepaid card.
By Andrea Tse
Stock futures pointed to a lower open Monday, with investors wary about Asia's growth prospects and uncertain about Spain.
Traders were also uneasy as they kept an eye on a European finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg, where a potential financial aid request from Spain and the country's harsh 2013 budget plans were expected to be in focus Monday and Tuesday.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) were down by 34 points at 13,488. S&P 500 ($INX) futures were down by 5.40 points at 1,450. Futures for the Nasdaq ($COMPX) were falling by 13 points to 2,791.
The World Bank reduced China's growth outlook to 7.7% this year and 8.1% next year, down from the prior estimate of 8.2% in 2012 and 8.6% in 2013 -- though the bank noted that it still expects a soft landing for the country -- and that the outlook for East Asia was reduced to 7.2% this year and 7.6% next year, below the prior forecast of 7.6% in 2012 and 8% in 2013, as the regional and global economy continue to be at risk of a number of headwinds relating the eurozone and U.S. fiscal cliff.
The U.S. economic calendar is empty Monday, with state and federal offices closed for the Columbus Day holiday.
In corporate news, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), the world's biggest retailer, and American Express (AXP) announced their launch of Bluebird, an alternative to debit and checking accounts.
UnitedHealth (UNH) has agreed to purchase 90% of Brazilian health care provider Amil Participacoes for roughly $4.3 billion.
Zynga (ZNGA) saw its shares fall 12% to $2.48 Friday after it forecast a loss for the third quarter and lowered its full-year outlook.
Apple's (AAPL) iPhone manufacturer in China, Foxconn, suffered a production interruption after thousands of its workers went on strike over labor conditions.
General Motors (GM) said it and its joint ventures in China sold 244,266 vehicles in the country in September, an increase of 1.7% from last year.
AngioDynamics (ANGO), the medical instruments maker, is expected by analysts Monday to post fiscal first-quarter earnings of 9 cents a share on revenue of $84.4 million.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended higher across the board as the S&P 500 advanced 0.8%.
Equities climbed steadily since the opening bell as investors prepared for tomorrow's policy decision from the Federal Reserve. Although chatter in recent weeks has included speculation the Fed would look to taper its asset purchases, today's broad gains suggest investors expect mostly reassuring words from Chairman Bernanke at tomorrow's press conference.
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