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US stock futures lower after sell-off in Asia

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[August 31, 2009]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks moved toward a lower opening Monday following a big drop in Asian markets.

U.S. stock futures fell after China's main index plunged 6.7 percent, adding to a nearly 3 percent drop on Friday. The selloffs in Chinese shares have been fueled by growing concerns over a tightening in bank lending and have weighed on markets around the globe this month.

Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 0.4 percent after the country's opposition party came to power in a landslide victory. European markets are also lower.

Investors are heading in to the last day of August cautiously. There are no major economic reports scheduled for Monday, but key readings come later this week on manufacturing and employment in August that have the ability to either sustain or upset the market's massive six-month rally.


After rising more than 45 percent from 12-year lows in March, the Dow Jones industrial average stands less than 500 points away from 10,000. Investors have grown increasingly worried that the market may have gotten too far ahead of the economy and without evidence of actual economic growth, analysts have warned that the market's rally could fizzle in the coming weeks, especially as traders head into September, historically a rough month for the stock market.

Ahead of the market's open, Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 61, or 0.6 percent, to 9,475. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 5.90, or 0.6 percent, to 1,021.50, while Nasdaq 100 index futures fell 11.50, or 0.7 percent, to 1,631.

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In corporate news, oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said it will buy BJ Services Co. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $5.5 billion.

Oil prices lost $1.68 to $71.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, fell to 3.42 percent from 3.45 percent late Friday.

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

In late morning trading, Germany's DAX index and France's CAC-40 were down about 0.7 percent. The London Stock Exchange was closed for a public holiday.

[Associated Press; By SARA LEPRO]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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