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Wall Street to open lower after big rally

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[November 14, 2008]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street looked to give back some of the gains from the previous session's huge rally Friday, as investors again focused their concerns on the slumping global economy.

The market surged Thursday after briefly testing its lows from last month, sending the Dow Jones industrial average up 552 points. However, investors appeared to be more conservative going into Friday's session, which could include a sobering report on October retail sales.

Analysts expect this to be the fourth straight month that retail sales have retreated. Sales at the nation's stores are forecast to show a 2 percent drop for last month, according to Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

The Commerce Department is scheduled to release the data Friday at 8:30 a.m. EST.

Increasing signs that consumers are hunkering down rattled the market early this week; the great fear on the Street is that Americans' reluctance to spend will extend what is already a series economic downturn.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to give his assessment of the economy when he speaks to an international conference in Frankfurt, Germany at 8:30 a.m. EST.

Dow futures shed 80, or 0.91 percent, to 8,750. Standard & Poor's 500 futures dropped 9.50, or 1.05 percent, to 898.20. Nasdaq 100 index futures stumbled 14.00, or 1.13 percent, to 1,210.50.


On Thursday, the Dow's nearly 553-point surge was the third-largest single-session point gain on record, following the 889-point rise on Oct. 28 and the 936-point surge on Oct. 13. Some analysts said investors were positioning themselves ahead of a meeting of Group of 20 international leaders in Washington. The meeting could bring decisions on steps to help the troubled global financial system.

Government bond prices rose as investors looked for safety. The three-month Treasury bill's yield fell to 0.19 percent from 0.20 percent late Thursday, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.81 percent from 3.85 percent late Thursday. Lower yields indicate higher demand.

Meanwhile, the price of a barrel of light, sweet crude fell 44 cents to $57.80 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil, which have dropped to the lowest levels since January 2007, has been falling for the same reason as stocks -- the fear of a deep global recession.

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In corporate news, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. will be in focus as Senate Democrats pressed ahead with plans to vote next week on a $25 billion emergency loan plan. The bailout, which still faces strong GOP opposition, could come before Congress on Monday.

Citigroup Inc. is cutting at least 10,000 jobs in its investment bank and other areas globally, according to The Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. The stock might move higher after Chief Executive Vikram Pandit bought 750,000 shares of the company, whose shares have fallen to its lowest level since the mid-1990s.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co., JCPenney Co. and Agilent Technologies Inc. are all expected to post quarterly results on Friday.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei closed up 2.72 percent and Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 2.43 percent. In European trading, London's FTSE 100 was up 3.69 percent, Germany's DAX rose 3.54 percent, and France's CAC-40 added 2.56 percent.

[Associated Press; By JOE BEL BRUNO]

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



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