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US stock futures steady after previous day's dive

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[September 02, 2009]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock futures are little changed Wednesday, pausing after the market's big slide a day earlier.

HardwareOverseas markets dropped, taking a cue from the sell-off Tuesday in U.S. markets that was sparked by fresh fears about the financial industry and the economy as a whole. Oil prices rebounded slightly on Wednesday, while bond prices fell.

The market is likely to stay cautious ahead of Friday's August unemployment report from the government -- the month's most telling piece of economic data.

Among the economic news expected Wednesday, the Labor Department will release a report on second-quarter productivity at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, while the Commerce Department will issue data on factory orders for July at 10 a.m.

Ahead of the market's open, Dow Jones industrial average futures are down 9 at 9,294. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are down 1 at 995, while Nasdaq 100 index futures are down 7 at 1,588.


The stock market Tuesday succumbed to the growing anxiety on Wall Street, bringing its massive spring and summer rally to a halt.

All the major indexes fell about 2 percent, including the Dow Jones industrials, which lost 185 points, even in the midst of data showing the first month of growth in manufacturing activity since January 2008. Investors have largely come to expect improvements in housing and manufacturing, which have been showing signs of healing. But still-rising unemployment and sluggish consumer confidence remain big concerns.

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On Wednesday in Asia, Japan's Nikkei stock average tumbled 2.4 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 1.8 percent. In late morning trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.5 percent, Germany's DAX index was down 0.8 percent, and France's CAC-40 fell 0.8 percent.

Bond prices fell in early trading Wednesday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 3.38 percent from 3.36 percent late Tuesday.

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

Oil prices rose 60 cents to $68.65 a barrel in premarket trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange

[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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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