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Wall Street heads for slightly lower open

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[August 04, 2008]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street headed for a moderately lower open Monday as investors awaited key government readings on personal income and spending as well as a report on factory orders.

HardwareThe market expects the Commerce Department to report that consumer spending slowed in June despite billions of dollars in government tax rebates. Economists surveyed by Thomson Financial/IFR believe personal spending rose by 0.5 percent in June, down from an increase of 0.8 percent in May.

Analysts expect personal incomes to have fallen by 0.2 percent in June following a big 1.9 percent surge in May that reflected the tax rebates. Checks were still being sent out by the government in June, but the amount was smaller than in May. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Investors are also awaiting a Commerce Department report on U.S. factory orders, expected at 10 a.m. EDT. Analysts believe orders to factories rose by 0.7 percent in June, pushed moderately higher by an increase in demand for defense equipment. That would be just higher than the 0.6 percent increase reported in May.


Wall Street is also awaiting the Federal Reserve's policymaking meeting on Tuesday. The Fed is expected to keep interest rates steady at 2 percent, given the recent underwhelming readings on the economy. Inflation rose sharply for businesses in June as they paid higher prices for commodities, but it appears to have eased in July as the price of oil retreated in the second half of the month.

Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 22, or 0.19 percent, to 11,284. The Dow logged several triple digit, back-and-forth swings last week, and ended the week down 0.39 percent.

Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 2.8, or 0.22 percent, to 1,257.50, and Nasdaq 100 index futures fell 8, or 0.44 percent, to 1,825.

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Bonds fell. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 3.95 percent from late Friday's 3.94 percent. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices fell.

Light, sweet crude was basically flat at $125.09 a barrel in premarket electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Meanwhile, U.S. corporate earnings reports for the second quarter were still arriving, but Monday's flow was lighter. Cisco Systems Inc., News Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co. all report earnings Tuesday.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 161.41, or 1.23 percent to 12,933.1. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 8.90, or 0.17 percent, 5,363.60. Germany's DAX index fell 48.31, or 0.76 percent, to 6,348.15, and France's CAC-40 fell 13.79, or 0.32 percent, to 4,300.55.


On the Net:

New York Stock Exchange: http://www.nyse.com/

Nasdaq Stock Market: http://www.nasdaq.com/

[Associated Press; By STEVENSON JACOBS]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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