Updated from 7:01 a.m. EST
Premarket futures were forecasting a lower open for stocks in New York Monday, as financial firms once again took action to dull the impact of impending economic squalor.
Futures for the
were down 7 points at 855 and were 18 points below fair value.
futures were lower by 6.3 points at 1149 and were 31 points short of fair value.
On Friday, stocks ended on the downside following the release of the worst retail sales data on record and disheartening corporate earnings statements.
Over the weekend, members of the Group of 20 finance ministers convened in Washington to try to prevent further economic decline. The meeting resulted in a decision not to raise barriers to trade for 2009, to delegate additional money to the International Monetary Fund and to set up regulatory bodies to detect risky investment.
Ahead of Monday's session, there were additional signs that companies were prepping for hard times. Various reports indicated
would be laying off thousands of workers in 2009.
Chairman Winfried Bischoff is expected to make comments on future actions at 9 a.m. EST.
Elsewhere in the financials, top managers at
were declining to take bonuses for 2008, accepting only their salaries.
applied with the Office of Thrift Supervision to become a savings and loan holding company and moved to buy a bank, moves that make it able to secure funding under the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Uncertainty was even hitting holiday package deliveries. Shipper
elected not to forecast the number of packages it would deliver on its peak shipping season and declined to forecast the number of seasonal workers it would hire.
In the automotive sector,
was getting ready to sell its 3% stake in
for $230 million.
Looking at corporate earnings, hardware store operator
saw profit decline year over year and cut its full-year earnings guidance. Fellow retailer
also announced reduced quarterly profit and suspended its share-buyback program.
As to economic data, New York's November Empire State index registered at negative 25.43, down from negative 24.62 a month ago. Economists were expecting a look of negative 26.10. October industrial production and capacity utilization figures from the
are also due for release.
Switching to commodities, crude oil was down 61 cents to $56.43 a barrel. Gold was shedding $6.80 to $735.70 an ounce.
Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising in price. The 10-year was adding 3/32 to yield 3.72%, and the 30-year was gaining 8/32, yielding 4.22%. The dollar was rising vs. the euro but weakening against the yen and pound.
Abroad, European exchanges such as the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were losing ground. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei ended the day higher, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed on the downside.