Futures Signal Muted Open for Stocks

Oil prices are slightly higher, and the dollar is mixed.
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U.S. stock futures were indicating a slightly lower open in New York Wednesday, as crude oil resumed its climb after several days of falling prices.

Futures for the

S&P 500

were down 1 point at 1273 and were 2 points below fair value.

Nasdaq

futures were up 1.5 points at 1870 but were 9 points under fair value.

After a recent retreat, crude oil was up 17 cents at $136.21 a barrel. On Tuesday, it had fallen more than $5 a barrel. Spurring the increase were reports on Iranian television that Iran has tested a long-range missile that could potentially reach Israel.

Heightened tensions between the two states contributed to oil reaching record levels over the past couple of weeks. Gold was down $2.90 at $920.40 an ounce.

In corporate earnings, following the last close

Dow

component

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

posted a second-quarter profit that was lower than the year ago, but in line with expectations.

Meanwhile, mortgage lender

IndyMac

(IMB)

, whose shares have lost nearly all their value, said it was selling most of its retail mortgage branches to Prospect Mortgage in an attempt to assuage regulators' concerns about its capital levels.

The economic-data calendar is light, but traders will be looking at the government's weekly crude inventory numbers to get a handle on where oil prices may go next.

Treasuries prices were pulling back. The 10-year note was down 8/32 in price, yielding 3.91%, and the 30-year was off 10/32 to yield 4.47%. The dollar was falling vs. the euro and pound, but gaining slightly against the yen.

Overseas markets were advancing nearly across the board. The FTSE of London and the DAX in Frankfurt were both up more than 1.3%, and Japan's Nikkei and the Hong Kong Hang Seng were also in the green.