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Wall Street heads for mixed open after big drop

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[March 03, 2009]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street is headed for a mixed open Tuesday as investors recover from a massive selloff and await data on home and auto sales.

The Dow Jones industrial average on Monday plunged far below the 7,000 mark to end at 6,763 -- the lowest close for the Dow since April 25, 1997. The Dow has fallen more than 52 percent since hitting a record high of 14,164.53 in October 2007.

HardwareAnother government bailout of American International Group Inc., a disappointing profit drop at the European bank HSBC PLC, and a pessimistic economic outlook from billionaire investor Warren Buffett triggered Monday's decline. But the selloff also had been a long time coming, with investors worrying for months how far stocks could fall given the broken financial system and persistently weak global economy.

Ahead of the market's open on Tuesday, Dow futures rose 10, or 0.15 percent, to 6,800. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 2.00, or 0.28 percent, to 703.50, and Nasdaq 100 index futures fell 2.75, or 0.25 percent, to 1,083.25.

Later in the session, the National Association of Realtors is expected to report a decline in pending sales of existing homes for January, and automakers will report vehicle sales for February.


Government bonds -- considered a safe haven when stocks are tumultuous -- extended gains in early trading. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, fell to 2.95 percent from 2.87 percent late Monday. The yield on the three-month T-bill, considered one of the safest investments, rose to 0.29 percent from 0.27 percent.

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

Light, sweet crude rose 66 cents to $40.81 a barrel in electronic premarket trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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In Asian trading, Japan's Nikkei stock average slipped 0.69 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 2.30 percent on the heels of Wall Street's massive selloff.

In late morning trading in Europe, markets were mixed. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 1.18 percent, Germany's DAX index rose 0.01 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.32 percent.


On the Net:

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

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

[Associated Press; By MADLEN READ]

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



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