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Stocks Head for Lower Open

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[February 08, 2008]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks were poised to open lower Friday in what would be the fourth loss in five sessions as investors awaited any clues about the economy's direction.

Concerns about a recession were likely to again influence trading after Wall Street managed to rise Thursday for the first time this week. San Francisco Federal Reserve President Janet Yellen said Thursday that the possibility of such a contraction can't be ruled out, and other central bank officials are scheduled to speak Friday.

Investors are also waiting for more economic data. U.S. wholesale trade inventories due at 10 a.m. EST might show distributors in December limited their stockpiles amid weak retail sales.

Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 44, or 0.36 percent, to 12,230. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 6.20, or 0.46 percent, to 1,333.50, and Nasdaq 100 index futures fell 14.00, or 0.79 percent, to 1,753.60.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices slipped.

Light, sweet crude oil rose 66 cents to $88.77 a barrel in premarket trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In corporate news, McAfee Inc. was expected to move higher after the software maker reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit late Thursday.

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Alcatel-Lucent was expected to rise after the telecom equipment maker reported higher fourth-quarter revenue than forecast. However, it warned of a first-quarter operating loss and suspended its dividend.

Earnings are expected on Friday from Chevron Corp., Weyerhaeuser Co. and Beckman Coulter Inc.

Bond insurer MBIA Inc., which has been trying to raise capital to maintain its crucial "AAA" financial strength rating, said late Thursday it has boosted the size of a public stock offering to $1 billion from the $750 million it announced one day earlier.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei average fell 1.44 percent. In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.23 percent, Germany's DAX index rose 0.29 percent, and France's CAC-40 fell 0.16 percent.


On the Net:

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

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

[Associated Press; By JOE BEL BRUNO]

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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