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Stock futures retreat ahead of manufacturing data

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[June 02, 2008]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street headed for a lower opening Monday with investors anticipating data on U.S. manufacturing will show a contraction in May for the fourth straight month.

HardwareThe Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index at 10 a.m. EDT, and the median estimate of economists polled by Thomson Financial is for a reading of 48.5. For April, the index came in at 48.6. A reading below 50 suggests contraction in activity.

Also at 10 a.m. EDT, investors will be examining the Commerce Department's report on construction spending in April. Economists, on average, are expecting the data to show the sixth monthly decline in spending in seven months.

Dow Jones industrial average futures slipped 64, or 0.51 percent, to 12,573, and Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 7.10, or 0.51 percent, to 1,393.50. Nasdaq 100 index futures fell 6.00, or 0.29 percent, to 2,029.25.

Government bonds rose. The 10-year Treasury note's yield, which moves opposite its price, was at 4.03 percent, down from 4.06 percent late Friday.

The dollar traded mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.


Last week, the stock market rose in reaction to a pullback in oil prices, a better-than-expected reading on durable goods orders and an upwardly revised estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product. The Dow rose 1.27 percent, the S&P 500 rose 1.78 percent, and the Nasdaq rose 3.19 percent.

But investors continue to closely watch crude prices, which are still up significantly for the year and buoying energy costs for consumers.

Light, sweet crude fell $1.28 to $126.07 a barrel in premarket electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In addition to data, Wall Street will be monitoring a speech in Jacksonville, Fla., on the economy by Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart for signals about whether the Fed plans to keep interest rates on hold.

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In corporate news, Wachovia Corp. said early Monday that CEO Ken Thompson has stepped down at the request of the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank's board. Wachovia, the nation's fourth-largest bank, had stripped Thompson of his role as chairman about a month ago. Lanty Smith, the current chairman, has been appointed interim CEO. Wachovia shares declined in pre-market trading after the announcement.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported Monday that the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management has sold more than half its equity in its deals for GMAC and Chrysler to other investors.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average closed up 0.71 percent. In midday trading, Britain's FTSE 100 fell 1.00 percent, Germany's DAX index fell 1.03 percent, and France's CAC-40 fell 1.41 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 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




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