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Energy Prices Hit Stock Futures

A slew of economic data will hit the market later this morning.

Stock futures turned lower Thursday as a stubborn climb in energy futures overshadowed the bidding war brewing at




Index futures recently showed both the

S&P 500

and Nasdaq 100 trading 2 points below fair value. The 10-year Treasury bond was down 4/32 in price to yield 4.44%, 4 basis points above the two-year note, while the dollar fell against the yen and euro.

Oil futures were well above $64 a barrel Thursday as traders eyed political developments in Iran, where the government has cleared the way for a resumption of uranium enrichment as a precursor to restarting its nuclear program. February crude was recently up 61 cents to $64.55 a barrel in electronic Nymex trading.

A slew of economic data was also set to hit the tape Thursday, including the trade deficit, first-time unemployment claims, the import price index and, later, figures on the U.S. budget deficit.

Overseas markets were mostly higher, with London's FTSE 100 recently adding 0.1% to 5735 while Germany's Xetra DAX dipped 0.2% to 5521. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.5% overnight to 16,445, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.4% to 15,719.

Stocks are coming off another up session, with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

closing above 11,000 for the third day in a row. For the year, the Dow is up 326 points, or 3%, while the S&P 500 has risen 46 points, or 3.7%, and the

Nasdaq Composite

has gained 126 points, or 5.7%.

In corporate news, medical device maker Guidant is back in the arms of

TheStreet Recommends

Johnson & Johnson


, with its board recommending shareholders accept a takeover offer worth $23.2 billion, or $68.06 a share.

Rival suitor

Boston Scientific

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says it's still in the hunt for Guidant. It previously offered $25 billion, or $72 a share, for the company and vowed to "vigorously pursue" the transaction.

Laurels continue to be laid on


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following its blowout business update on Tuesday. Bear Stearns upgraded the stock to outperform and set a $105 price target, about 25% above Wednesday's $83.90 close.

Mylan Labs

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soared after the bell on an agreement to license its experimental blood processing drug nebivolol to

Forest Labs


. Mylan will collect $75 million upfront and stands to see future royalties.

Research in Motion


announced support Thursday for two


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protocols, the Google Talk instant message program and Google Local, a maps-and-directions service. Both will be available on BlackBerry.