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Stocks head for lower open ahead of consumer price data

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[May 14, 2008]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks headed for a moderately lower open Wednesday, with investors wary ahead of the government's reading on April consumer prices.

HardwareThe Labor Department's consumer price index is expected to show what impact soaring energy prices are having on overall inflation. Wall Street is concerned that more expensive food and gasoline are cutting into consumers' ability to spend. A pullback in spending could weigh on the economy because consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

Wall Street expects the CPI to show an increase of 0.3 percent for April after rising by a similar amount in March. Core consumer prices, which exclude often volatile food and energy costs, are expected to increase by 0.2 percent after rising at the same pace the previous month.

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Investors made small bets ahead of the report, which is due an hour before the opening bell.

Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 10, or 0.08 percent, to 12,816.

Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 2.40, or 0.17 percent, to 1,402.30, and the Nasdaq 100 futures fell 3.25, or 0.16 percent, to 2,002.75.

Light, sweet crude oil fell 40 cents to $125.40 in premarket electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 3.94 percent from 3.91 percent late Tuesday.

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

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 1.18 percent. In morning trading, Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.05 percent, Germany's DAX index fell 0.17 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.33 percent.


On the Net:

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

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

[Associated Press; By TIM PARADIS]

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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