Associates First Capital


was getting a boost this morning on news that


(C) - Get Report

has agreed to acquire it for $31.1 billion. On


this morning, Associates was trading at $39 after closing yesterday at $28. The agreed price per share of $42.49 is a significant premium to Associates's closing price in regular market trading Tuesday.

Citigroup was trading at $56, down from yesterday's close of $57.57

Also on Instinet,


(SLB) - Get Report

was fractionally higher at $86, after closing Tuesday at $85 11/16.

Elsewhere in preopen trading,


(AMTD) - Get Report

was up $2 to $20.62, while



was up $1.94 to $20 on


. Ameritrade and E*Trade were moving higher on upgrades from

Credit Suisse First Boston

TST Recommends


At 7:29 a.m. EDT, futures were indicating a positive open.

S&P 500 futures were up 2 to 1514.3, about 5 points above fair value as calculated by

Prudential Securities


The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

futures were up 13.5 to 4012.5, about 19 points above fair value, as calculated by

, and indicating that investors will be shopping for tech stocks when the market opens. Fair value is a good gauge of how stocks will trade in early action.

Europe's major indices were mixed at midsession, with France's

CAC 40

0.2% lower, Germany's

Xetra Dax

up 0.2% and the U.K.'s

FTSE 100

down 0.1%. Japan's

Nikkei 225

lost 0.3% overnight, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

rose 0.1% (see today's

Asian Markets Update for more).

For Tuesday's postclose trading, see The Night Watch.