Futures Point to a Lower Open

Futures point to a lower open Friday, following Thursday's sell off over economic concerns.
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Futures point to a lower open Friday, following Thursday's sell off over economic concerns, sparked by disappointing jobless claims data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down by 56 points, at 10,179. S&P 500 futures were lower by 7 points, at 1074. Nasdaq futures were down by 10, at 1809.

European markets are lower as doubts over the strength of the recovery weigh on investor sentiment. Asia closed mostly in the red with Japan's Nikkei 225 seeing sharp declines.

M&A headlines continue to dominate the news. BHP Billiton (BHP) - Get Report may see competition to its hostile takeover bid for Potash of Saskatchewan (POT) . A source tells Reuters that POT is soliciting white knight bidders in China to trump BHP's offer, currently worth $39 billion. "The notion is that this is the Cadillac of the (fertilizer) business," the source said.

Yesterday, The CBOE Volatility Index I:VIX closed at its 31-day high, up 1.85 points, at 26.44. VIX September 47 calls were the most active calls with 27,000 contracting, and October 26 puts were the most active puts, with 14,000 contracts trading. The increase in the VIX indicates traders were purchasing volatility as a hedge, on expectations of increased movement. In total, 150,000 VIX call contracts traded, verses 47,000 puts.

There is no economic data expected today, but it is August Options Expiration. Notable companies reporting include: Ann Taylor (ANN) , Corinthian Colleges (COCO) , Hormel (HRL) - Get Report and The J.M. Smucker Company (SJM) - Get Report

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